Our Board and Bios
Ralph Breitenstein, MD, Member at Large
Ralph A. Breitenstein, MD, was named to the Pacific Communities Health District Board of Directors in the fall of 2013 to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Burt Lippman and has been an elected member since May 2015. A retired internist and gastroenterologist, Dr. Breitenstein left private practice in 2006 after working in both Klamath Falls, Oregon, and Yuba City, California. During his career, he also held a number of teaching appointments, including Oregon Health & Sciences University in Klamath Falls, where he taught family practice residents.
After retiring, Dr. Breitenstein missed medicine and the feeling of contributing to the community. He recognized that serving on the Board would be a great fit for his skills and goals in retirement, which has proven to be the case.
Dr. Breitenstein also serves on the Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Board of Directors; volunteers at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in the Marine Bioinvasions Lab among other activities, including teaching; and has represented the health community on several City of Newport committees, including Vision 2040.
Dr. Breitenstein and his wife Donelle have four children and reside in Newport.
Chris Carlson, Vice Chairperson
Chris Carlson was named to the Pacific Communities Health District Board of Directors in September 2020 to fill the vacancy left by Fred Postlewait’s retirement and was elected to the board in May 2021. A second-generation entrepreneur, Chris took ownership and became president of CP Carlson Builders based in Waldport in 2010. He is recognized by the State of Oregon as a Certified Master Builder, and leads the company, which was established in 1977, through a wide variety of projects and takes pride in his team and the many specialty-contractors they employ from throughout Lincoln County. He also consults in many areas of the construction industry, including site selection, building planning, and conflict resolution.
Chris believes in the health care mission of the District and this position allows him to use his 35 years of experience in building and developing to serve the community. It gives him the opportunity to help enhance the infrastructure and plan toward the healthy future of the District.
Chris lives in south Lincoln County with his wife Julia and three children. He enjoys everything outdoors, family time, and volunteering in the community.
Lauren (Lola) Jones, Member at Large
Lauren (Lola) Jones was appointed to the Board in 2023 to complete the term of Bonnie Saxton and will appear on the May 2023 ballot. She is the executive director of Samaritan House Family Shelter in Newport, Oregon. Since joining the organization in 2012, Lola has endeavored to honor the community-owned, grass-roots origins of the mission while widening its lens to be responsive to the needs of vulnerable families and children in our community.
Through targeted partnerships she has developed connections to resources and services for parents and children who would otherwise stay separated. This is an approach she has also applied to partner agencies; bringing together the strength of different disciplines to identify and address the root causes of poverty, addiction and other trauma.
Lola was born in southern Indiana and raised in Woodinville, WA. She met her husband, a native son of Newport, at Linfield College and they moved home to the coast in 2009. She was identified by the Ford Family Foundation as a Catalytic Community Builder in 2017 and continues to work with the Rural Community Builder program as a consultant, presenter and advocate for rural innovation and ingenuity. She loves her community, barnacles and all, and is committed to building a world where all parents have the tools necessary to thrive.
David Long, MD, Secretary
David Long, MD, has been an elected member of the Pacific Communities Health District Board of Directors since 2001. He has seen significant changes at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital – changes in the facility and changes in the practice of medicine. He is proud of having participated in those positive changes and the effects they’ve had on the community.
Dr. Long provides primary care internal medicine and cares for patients of Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. He is also the Lincoln County Health Officer and provides correction’s health care for the Lincoln County Jail. He has extensive training in all aspects of adult medicine.
A fifth-generation Oregonian, Dr. Long has practiced medicine in Newport since 1982. He grew up in the Willamette Valley and spent many summers vacationing in Lincoln County. Prior to moving to Newport, he spent two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa and two years practicing medicine in Saipan, a Pacific Island.
Dr. Long is married and has raised three sons in Lincoln County. He enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing and running on the beach each morning with his wife, Deb.
Aimee Thompson, Chairperson
Aimee Thompson was named to the Pacific Communities Health District Board of Directors in March 2021 to fill the vacancy left by Kathleen Shonau’s retirement and was elected to the board in May 2021. Aimee believes that community healthcare is an essential building block for a healthy population as well as growing our local economy. She had served on the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation Board of Trustees since July 2014 and coached community soccer for 12 years.
Aimee is the public information and educational manager for Thompson’s Sanitary and an advocate of waste reduction and sustainable practices. She earned a degree in Speech Communication with a minor in Multimedia from Oregon State University in 1997 and brings years of experience in public relations, media management and community leadership.
Aimee enjoys preparing healthy foods and participating in outdoor activities with family and friends, including running, downhill skiing and hiking. A resident of Newport since 1999, Aimee lives with her husband Rob, three daughters and one spoiled dog.