Board & Staff

Members are chosen for their interest in the Free Clinic's mission and their respect within the community. They have professional, community, or fundraising experience to assist the Board in more effectively carrying out its responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

• Determining and monitoring the Free Clinic's programs and services
• Ensuring effective and efficient organizational planning and resource management
• Providing financial oversight and governance of the Free Clinic ensuring that it has adequate resources
• Advocating for the Free Clinic and enhancing its public image
Meet Our Clinic Directors:
Robert Johnson, MD 
Medical Director (volunteer)

Dr. Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and has been board certified for over 30 years.  He completed his residency at Bethesda Lutheran Hospital and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Western Wisconsin Medical Association.  He practiced at the Vibrant Health River Falls Medical Clinic (previously the River Falls Medical Clinic) in addition to                                       the countless volunteer hours donated to the Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties as the Medical                                    Director and a practitioner providing care to patients of the Free Clinic on a regular weekly basis.

Leah Gavin, RPh

Pharmaceutical Director (volunteer)

Leah is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and has been a pharmacist for over 30 years.  She is owner of Freeman Drug Store in River Falls that has been a family based business since she was a child. As the Free Clinics’ Pharmaceutical Director she has volunteered a significant amount of time including dispensing medications to patients that were prescribed by one  
                                   of the Free Clinic Health Care Providers on clinic nights. Leah enjoys quilting and spending time with                                      her family including her two beautiful grandchildren.  She is well-known in the River Falls community                                    for commitment to going the extra mile to help those in need.
Meet Our Board of Directors:
Brad Beckman

Administrator, St. Croix County Aging and Disabilities Resource Center

Brad worked with the Aging Resource Center for Douglas County for 15 years. Throughout that time, Brad has been involved with many non-profit boards and is currently the Chair of Greater Wisconsin Chapter for the Alzheimer’s Association and on the advisory board for the State of Wisconsin’s “Include, Respect I Self-Direct” (IRIS) program.  He is a former chair of the Duluth-Superior Transit Authority and a former national delegate member for the Alzheimer’s  Association.  In 2005, Brad was awarded Governor Doyle’s Senior Service Award. Brad taught at the Fond du Lac Community and Tribal School in Cloquet, Minnesota for several years. Brad is a graduate of social work at University of Wisconsin-Superior and lives in North Hudson.

Leo Beskar
Rodi, Beskar, Krueger & Pletcher, S.C.

Leo has lived in the River Falls area all of his life, graduating from UWRF in 1973 and Hamline University School of Law in 1978. He and his wife Donna enjoy spending time at the cabin and being with their 3 adult children and their families, which now include 4 grandchildren. 

“I enjoy being a part of the Free Clinic because of the commitment of the people involved in bringing this needed service to the community. In the tough economic times we live in, we can ensure that the Free Clinic will have the tools and resources it needs to provide medical attention to those who need it most. ”

Mary Conroy-Johnson (Board Chair)
Registered Nurse, Retired

Mary and her husband Dr. Bob Johnson are the backbone of the Free Clinic.  It was their passion for helping others, a commitment to the healthcare profession, and a deep desire to strengthening our community that prompted them to step forward as leaders in starting the Free Clinic. Mary’s extensive nursing background, patient advocacy skills and community connections were instrumental in making a dream of providing access to health care for uninsured, low income individuals a reality.  She continues to stay actively involved in the Free Clinic and has dedicated an amazing amount of her time, talent and energy. Since moving to River Falls in 1978, Mary has served in various community activities and enjoys quilting, gardening and spending time with her family, including her two sons, daughter-in-law, grandson with another one on his way!


Julie Ducklow
Operations Manager
Vibrant Health Family Clinics

Julie and her  husband Dave and I live in Spring Valley. I have two adult sons who live in the Eau Claire area.  Dave and I enjoy spending  time golfing, gardening, and watching the Brewers play. 

 “I enjoy being a part of the Free Clinic because the Free Clinic has made a difference for many individuals and families and it’s a blessing to be part of that. It is so important to have an option of health care for individuals who find themselves without health insurance.   We are so fortunate to have the Free Clinic incorporated into Vibrant Health Family Clinics to serve the best interest of all of our patients.”


Julie Freeborn

Business Banker/CPA
Bremer Bank

Julie and her husband, Mark, live in River Falls where they’ve raised their four children: Kalie, Stacie, Lindsie and Brad.  Their family continues to grow with son-in-laws and grandchildren. Julie is a Business Banker/CPA with Bremer Bank, N.A. Prior to joining Bremer, she worked in public accounting and as CFO for a manufacturing company. Spending time with family and volunteering are very important to Julie.

““I enjoy being a part of the Free Clinic because I feel that I am helping my community through my involvement with the Free Clinic.  Our community needs each of us in many ways --  financially, spiritually  and otherwise.  As a board member, I am able to offer my experience and compassion to indirectly help families be in a better place.  Everyone needs to believe that there is hope and possibilities.  Volunteering with the Free Clinic is my way of sharing hope and possibilities with families and our community. ”

Julie Hadzima
Director of Business Services
Hudson Physicians

Julie Hadzima is the Director of Business Services at Hudson Physicians. Julie and her husband, Tony, live in River Falls with their three children, Zach, Amelia and Leyton. Julie was raised in Baldwin and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Prior to working in healthcare, Julie worked as a Director of Operations for a direct marketing company. Since 2006, Julie has been a licensed First Responder, volunteering with the River Falls Area Ambulance Service. In her spare time, Julie enjoys gardening, hiking, remodeling her 120+ year old farmhouse and cheering on her children in sport

Father Gerald Harris
St. Bridget & St. Mary’s Catholic churches, River Falls and Hammond

Fr. Jerry as he is known to many grew up in River Falls, and had worked as a registered nurse, which to this day, still is. He has been in ministry for 32 years and touches the lives of all that he serves. Offering leadership to the Free Clinic is one example of the leadership he provides to the community and his desire to actively get involved in such outreach efforts. 

“I enjoy being a part of the Free Clinic because I feel I can make a difference in people that simply need access to health care through no fault of their own.  A society is judged in how it cares for those most in need.”

Meet the Staff:

Mary Steele
Clinic Manager

Mary has been a part of the Free Clinic since its doors first opened in April 2007.  She is proud to be affiliated with a program that has such a significant impact on the quality of people’s life.  She earned a degree in Education and Human Services from the University of WI-Oshkosh and has worked in the non-profit sector throughout her career. 

Jena Most
Nursing Supervisor

Jena is a Registered Nurse and has 17 years of nursing experience working in Public Health for Ramsey County and Pierce County.  She joined the Free Clinic team in June of 2015.  She has been an advocate for underserved populations and makes working at the Free Clinic a great fit.   


A BIG THANK YOU to the volunteers who support the Free Clinic. It exists because of the generosity and kind-heartedness of volunteers. The clinic is supported by 2 part time staff.