|Picture of W. Kirt Toombs|
W. Kirt Toombs, Chief Executive Officer
Kirt has been employed by EOCIL as its Chief Executive Officer since its inception in 2000. Kirt is a graduate of the University of San Francisco (USF), where he earned his Master of Management and Disability Services. The development of EOCIL in eastern Oregon was the focus of his dissertation at USF. Kirt received his certificate in employment services in 2005 from Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation Western Washington University and Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE). Kirt has also studied at the University of Ireland International Disability Law & Policy.
Kirt began his disability-related service career in 1986, when he joined a company that assists seniors with activities of daily living and developed programs to enhance or maintain their independence. In 1990, he moved on to assisting individuals with multiple disabilities with transitioning from the state residential-based hospital to less restrictive community-based residential environments. In 1993, he started working with an organization that provides employment training for individuals with cognitive disabilities.
|Picture of Heidi Eidler|
Heidi Eidler, Director, Programs and Services
Heidi Eidler has been with EOCIL since 2002 serving individuals with HIV/AIDS residing in rural eastern Oregon.
She was born and raised in South Africa, graduated from secondary school in Namibia and as an adult went to college in Austria, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in psychology. During her college years, Heidi worked in the social services field providing services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Heidi has accumulated extensive HIV/AIDS service delivery experience and knowledge after working in rural communities across Africa, Europe and Brazil in the 1980s. She immigrated to the United States in 2000.
Heidi started working with an organization in Ontario, Oregon, that provides employment training for individuals with cognitive disabilities, as an employment specialist, job developer and job carver. In 2002, Heidi was project manager for expanding EOCIL services in Umatilla, Oregon. In 2004, Heidi was a team leader for the Project with Industries (PWI) grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The PWI project was successful in obtaining 65 employment placements for people with disabilities.
Heidi has been a member of the HIV Care Coalition and is now a member of the Integrated Planning Group (IPG), a coalition addressing HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections. She is currently on the board of UMALT (Umatilla, Morrow Alternatives), a human dignity group serving minority groups in rural Oregon. She brings to her role a literal world of experience and a passion for advocating for self-management of people living with HIV/AIDS outside metropolitan areas.
Notice of the passing of Heidi Kleinschmidt - Eidler - Greenwell.
|Picture of Patty Toombs|
Patty Toombs, Director of Administrative Services
Patty began her employment with EOCIL in May of 2000 as an on-call independent living specialist. In June 2004 she joined EOCIL full time and now serves as director of administrative services.
Patty began her career in 1983 providing in-home supports for an individual living with a spinal cord injury. In 1986, she started working with an organization that assists seniors with activities of daily living and developed programs to enhance or maintain their independence. In 1990, she transitioned to a company that provides independent living skills training to individuals with cognitive disabilities, and in 1995, she joined a program that managed two residential homes for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Patty was responsible for the overall management of residential services, which consisted of assisting each resident with developing an individualized plan for acquiring skills and transitioning into a less restrictive home setting. Overall she has over 27 years of disability-related work experience.
Jennifer Bonnell, Independent Living Specialist
Passionate about EOCIL and its possibilities, Jennifer provides services that help people with disabilities receiving Social Security or other benefits make informed decisions about work and benefits so they can be sure that employment will be a good choice! Jennifer Bonnell coordinates with the Work Incentives Network (WIN), as a Work Incentives Coordinator, providing a "one-stop" source of information and assistance on how work affects benefits (for example; SSA, SNAP, Medicare and Medicaid). She provides information to help reduce the fear and misunderstanding of working and benefits and provides follow along services as needed and helps prevent crises when change occurs.
Jennifer has been certified through WIN for 6 years and was nationally certified by Virginia Commonwealth University's WIPA Training Center as a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) in November, 2011.
Before joining EOCIL in August 2007, Jennifer worked for 25 years for a diverse range of organizations, including Head Start and the City of Ontario. Her varied background provides the perfect foundation for her to share with others information on how working could affect public benefits.
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Robert Crooks, Independent Living Specialist
Robert Crooks was hired in December 2013 as Administrative Assistant and advanced to the position of Independent Living Specialist in 2014 for the EOCIL's The Dalles branch office.
Robert graduated from high school in 2005 from Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. After high school Robert attended the College of Southern Nevada where he earned his Associate Degree in business. In 2012 Robert moved to the Wasco County area to be close to his eastern Oregon family.
Robert has served as a peer mentor helping others with disabilities navigate public transportation system. Robert has extensive experience with Para transit rules and regulations, ride scheduling, and complaint resolution.
Robert has spent his life trying to better himself, both mentally and spiritually. Robert is an active community member volunteering where he is needed. Robert is always willing to offer a helping hand and believes in maintaining a positive attitude through the "good and "bad" times.
|Picture of Raquel Kuehne|
Raquel Kuehne, Independent Living Specialist
Raquel Kuehne Join the EOCIL Team in May of 2009. Raquel moved from Montana is 2006 to attend TVCC. While attending TVCC Raquel played softball and worked at Meadowbrook retirement facility. Raquel has many years experience with working with consumers living with dementia. Raquel provides many different services to the consumer such as the mobility management training, recreational training, employment-based services, employer training for individuals who employ homecare workers, and financial management training. When Raquel is not at EOCIL, she loves spending time with her two children.
|Picture of Heidi Ragsdale|
Heidi Ragsdale, Senior Independent Living Specialist
Heidi Ragsdale joined EOCIL in September of 2008. Heidi provides the five core services and serves as EOCIL's American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance reviewer.
Heidi has very strong ties with the community. She has 13 years of law enforcement and corrections. Shortly after the birth of her son, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and become a wheelchair user. During the transition of her health she was no longer able to work in the law enforcement field safely.
In 2008 Heidi made contact with EOCIL to talk about transportation services. During conversation, Heidi made a comment that she had not realized that the community was not readily accessible for her to walk her son to school or other areas for concerns for a wheelchair user. And at that time, Heidi was looking for resources to help make this community user friendly and continued making contact with EOCIL for guidance.
Heidi continues to have strong ties with the communities and serves on several boards of director's panels of different agencies through out the communities. Heidi also provides resources for Healing Pathways for Women, Profession Working Women Social group and provides skills training in budgeting for individuals who want to be independent, self-reliant and to be able to move forward with confidence by managing their own finances.
|Picture of Lois Wilder|
Lois Wilder, Independent Living Specialist
Lois joined EOCIL May of 2012. Lois worked over 12 years in Oregon and Washington with incarcerated youth. Lois also worked as a recreation and youth counselor for youth living in community based residential group homes for 6 years. In addition, Lois lived in Hawaii for 15 years where she worked asa youth counselor in a community base residential group home. Lois is a graduate from WWCC with an associated of arts degree with a major in criminal justice.
|Picture of Colleen Bonnell|
Colleen Bonnell, MLIS, Administrative Assistant
Bio in Progress
|Picture of Jeff Williams|
Jeff Williams, Independent Living Specialist
Jeff Williams has been with EOCIL since July 1, 2014, Jeff is originally from Vancouver Washington and has been a resident of John Day, Oregon for 19 years. 7 years ago Jeff moved to Pendleton, Oregon and became a member of the EOCIL family.
For 2 years Jeff has worked as an Intake Coordinator for the Ryan White Program. He has recently moved in the position of Care Coordinator, assisting clients in their proactivity to Health Care, and every day Independence. Jeff also is a Certified Application Assister, assisting the community in retaining Health Insurance.
Jeff's background is in Law Enforcement, as a 911 Dispatcher for 2 years & Police Officer for the City of John Day for 7 years. After coming to Pendleton he was an Alcohol & Drug Counselor for 2 years.
|Picture of Riley Frisby|
Riley Frisby, Independent Living Specialist
Riley Frisby recently joined EOCIL in July of 2015, bringing with him a diverse work history, and a strong desire to make a difference in the world. Having a belief set that is based on continuous self-improvement, Riley found himself drawn towards the advocacy scene. Riley believes in helping others live independent lives at all costs. Riley's own life, and that of his young family, reflects this belief set of independent living, as he esteems personal growth in every aspect.
Riley started his professional career as a Helicopter Crew member for the Bureau of Land Management, learning skills like group cohesion, communication, CPR and the importance of individual awareness/safety. He has also dabbled in sales, and language translation and adventurous travel throughout Europe.
The community of Ontario means a great deal to Riley, as he has been a local since 2000. He is here to help in any way he can, desiring nothing more than to make our corner of the world a better place. Riley joined EOCIL as a Care Coordinator and as an Associate Researcher for the Institute of disability studies and policy, but has a high interest in becoming a Jack of all trades when it comes to disability advocacy.
Charlotte Persinger, Registered Nurse - Bio in Progress