The dedicated professionals working hard to achieve the mission of Cascades East AHEC.


Debbie Cole

Center Director
A native of Southern California, Debbie left the "OC" in 1968 to attend UC Berkeley. After 30 years in the Bay Area, she moved to Truckee, CA in 1998. Debbie tried out several career paths before finding the perfect fit in teaching. Until her move to Bend, OR in July, 2011, she was happily teaching middle school in Incline Village, NV.

Debbie began her CEAHEC career as the Education Coordinator in 2011. In late 2016, she took on the Center Director role. Working within the constraints of the new HRSA grant and decreased funding, Debbie’s focus is on continuing the successful student programs for which CEAHEC is known; strengthening the common work of CME and CEAHEC within SCHS; as well as developing regional and community partnerships and collaborations to increase the impact CEAHEC has in the region without tremendous increases in staffing and programming costs.

Debbie’s undergraduate degree is from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her teaching credential from St. Mary’s College of California in 1994 and her Master’s in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut, Storrs in 2006. As a loyal alumna of UC Berkeley, she remains true to her Golden Bear roots, despite the pressure to become a “Duck” or a “Beaver” here in central Oregon.

Click here to contact Debbie.


Patsy Dryden

Office Coordinator
Patsy came to CEAHEC in 2012 after a brief hiatus from St. Charles. She had previously served for 14 years as Corporate Secretary of the St. Charles Health System and as Executive Assistant to the health system CEO - first Jim Lussier, then Jim Hobbs, and finally Jim Diegel. That role gave her an incredible view into all the facets of health care and the development of hospital health care systems - an expertise which she brings to AHEC.

She attended Southern Oregon University and Willamette University. Prior to coming to St. Charles, she was employed in city government in Pendleton working her way up from the court clerk’s office, to Assistant City Manager, as well as spending nine years with the Pendleton Fire and Ambulance service. She is committed to quality rural health care. And she is the AHEC expert on all matter related to our sim manikin (Carl) and his use for education in the community.

As office coordinator, Patsy is responsible for coordinating the student scholarships program, student tracking program, and contract management system.  She also supports the CEAHEC high school student programs (Health Occupations, Diagnosis Day, and MedStars summer camp) as well as Interprofessional Education (IPE) for college students. She has been married to her husband, Roger, for over 21 years and has three grown children, who have blessed her with two wonderful grandsons.  

Click here to contact Patsy.