Karen Shimada, MPH
Executive Director

Karen Shimada, MPH, brings more than 30 years of public health, gerontology, nonprofit and primary care clinic management experience to her current role as Executive Director (ED) of the Oregon Oral Health Coalition (OrOHC). 

Prior to joining OrOHC, Karen served five years as the ED of the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) free clinic. Each day she saw evidence that oral health is one of the most significant gaps in the continuum of services that patients need. 

She is the Oregon State Rep to the DentaQuest Foundation and serves on various committees and task forces that advocate for the integration of oral health and primary care. 

Karen completed her BS from University of Wisconsin and her MPH from University of Hawaii under a US Public Health Service Traineeship. She has two grown children and lives on the Columbia River with Nellie and Petey, her mini-blue heelers.



Chris Overton, MS, MBA
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Encore Fellow


Chris Overton, MS, is a native 5th generation Oregonian, born and raised in Eugene Oregon. Upon graduating from South Eugene High School, he attended the University of Oregon, receiving both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Science. Chris worked in the logging industry, hospitality industry and taught school while in Eugene and attending undergraduate and graduate school.

He then got married and moved to Portland to start his career as a Health Educator with Kaiser Permanente (KP) in 1984. Thirty four years later Chris retired from KP after moving back to Eugene and leading the expansion of KP to Lane County in 2015. In the intervening years Chris’s experience and roles included being the leader of Continuing Medical Education and Leadership Development, Director of the Northwest (KP) Region’s Occupational Health and Rehabilitation Services Department, the Senior Director of Sales Operations, and finally the Senior Director of Lane County Kaiser Permanente, responsible for all KP Medical and Dental Operations in Lane County.

With Chris’s retirement he has moved back to the Sellwood neighborhood in Portland to be close to his adult children. He has recently decided to be the first Encore Fellow from Kaiser Permanente with a focus on community development in the Social Determinants of Health. Through his fellowship, he is working with the Oregon Oral Health Coalition.



Caroline Adair Freeman, MA
Director of Communication and Outreach
Conference Coordinator

Caroline Adair Freeman, MA, joined OrOHC in February 2018. Her diverse professional background, partnered with strong and varied communication skills, is enhanced with an undergraduate degree in speech communication, a graduate degree in English with a writing concentration, and exemplified throughout her career spanning national and international cultural variations across two languages in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

During her time as a Peace Corps volunteer, she managed a campaign to improve environmental practices and oversaw several health campaigns in rural El Salvador. She also worked as a campaign manager for a progressive county legislative candidate in Monroe County, New York, and volunteered on the communication team for a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on human rights for birthing mothers.

She has spent over a decade working in various aspects of communication and writing, three years in advocacy, was a freelance writer and communication consultant, and enjoyed her time as a Lecturer of College Composition at the State University of New York. She also has a background in program management and human resources.

She lives in the St. Johns area of Portland with her husband, mother, and two adorable yet stubborn tabby cats.