Meet our Leadership Team

Oregon Single Payer Advocates is lead by veterans of the movement for single payer health care over the past two decades. They have worked with numerous grassroots and professional organizations. These leaders share the perspective that never have so many Oregonians been mobilized to support this long overdue reform.

Karen Christianson, Corvallis, Mid Valley Health Care Advocates board

Karen is a retired attorney after being in public and private practice for 36 years.  After seeing the struggles of business, government and ordinary people struggle with the cost and inequity of health care she decided to focus on this issue in retirement.  She has been an active health care reform advocate since 2016 after she and her husband moved to Corvallis. Karen is the past chair of MVHCA and is co-chair of the legislative committee.

Lee Mercer, Silverton, leader of business outreach for  Health Care for All Oregon

Lee Mercer was formerly board president of Health Care for All Oregon and Health Care for All Oregon-Action and is currently on the Executive Team (and former Director) of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon. For 19 years he has done legislative advocacy, outreach and education on healthcare, poverty, hunger and economic issues with Main Street Alliance, Oregon Center for Public Policy and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County (California). He co-chaired the California Hunger Action Coalition and was part of the leadership team of the Human Services Coalition of Oregon. At OCPP he staffed Oregonians for Working Families, a coalition to increase the state Earned Income Tax Credit. Before entering the nonprofit world, Lee was a business owner for 20 years, owning and operating movie theaters in California and Nevada. He is also a writer and has done video and film production.

Charlie Swanson, Eugene, president of Health Care for All Oregon-Action

Charlie represented Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO) on the Universal Access to Healthcare Workgroup. He is president and chair of the legislative committee of Health Care for All Oregon-Action, and has been involved in submitting recent versions of HCAO’s bills for consideration by the legislature and with other legislative work of HCAO since 2012.  Charlie is the Platform Chair of the Democratic Party of Lane County. He was a physics instructor at Lane Community College, a math, physics, and chemistry teacher in Oregon high schools, and a computer programmer at IBM in Rochester, Minnesota.