Salem Health welcomes two board members

Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics recently welcomed two community leaders to its board of trustees. Mark Zook and Jenn Columbus began serving three-year terms in early April.

“We are delighted to be adding two accomplished leaders to our board of trustees — particularly during these challenging times for health care delivery,” said Katherine Keene, Salem Health Board of Trustees chair. “Both Jenn and Mark bring fresh perspectives and expertise to our work, and both have demonstrated a deep connection to our community. They continue a long history of excellent stewardship at Salem Health.” 

Mark Zook grew up in Oregon and lives in West Salem. He earned his undergraduate degree from Western Oregon University, and then attended Southern Oregon University where he completed a Master of Business Administration. Committed to lifelong learning, Zook later attended the University of Oregon and obtained a Master of Science in Educational Leadership. He also holds a specialized degree from Emory University Graduate School of Executive Bank Management.

In 1992, Zook began working with a local financial cooperative, Maps Credit Union. For the better part of three decades, he served residents of the mid-Willamette Valley in its Marion and Polk County branches — the past 13 years as president and CEO.

Zook’s ongoing involvement in the credit union industry is extensive. He currently serves on the board of institutions across the country — including Washington, California, Minnesota, Florida and Washington, D.C. Locally, Zook has long been involved with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. He served as the education committee chair in the 1990s and took up a position in the Executive Leadership Council in 2009 — a position he holds to this day.

“I am a lifelong resident of the Willamette Valley. Salem Health has been there for my family, neighbors and friends,” Zook said. “It is an honor to give back in a small way by serving on its board of trustees.” He added: “My career with Maps Credit Union has been focused on serving the financial needs of the residents of Marion and Polk Counties. This has provided me with two areas of expertise: finance and service to the citizens of the mid-Willamette Valley. I hope to employ both areas of knowledge in my work with Salem Health.”

Jenn Columbus was born and raised in Salem, and currently lives in Independence. She graduated from the University of Oregon and received a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Human Services, with a minor in special education.

In 2006, Columbus began a seven-year relationship with Family Building Blocks, a nonprofit organization based in Salem. She coordinated grants and volunteers, plus supervised visitation and case management of families and children enrolled in family dependency treatment court. In 2013, Columbus became the northwest area manager for Start Making a Reader Today (SMART), Oregon’s largest volunteer-driven nonprofit organization devoted to children’s literacy. Since 2017, she has worked as philanthropic advisor and regional director of the Oregon Community Foundation, the state’s largest charitable foundation.

Columbus currently serves as a committee member with City of Independence, plus a board member with Maps Credit Union Foundation. She also holds memberships with Willamette Valley Estate Planning Council and Rotary Club of Salem, and chairs the club’s Literacy Committee.

“I am excited to join the Salem Health Board of Trustees,” Columbus said. “I have spent my career working with nonprofit organizations in the Salem area. That experience has given me a strong connection with the people and communities that Salem Health serves. I think those connections to the community will help make me a good community member of the board.” 

All 15 members of the Salem Health Board of Trustees are volunteers and serve three-year terms. The board provides overall policy setting for the health system, and is ultimately responsible for the quality of care and the financial well-being of the organization. The Salem Health Board of Trustees appoints members from a variety of backgrounds to ensure a broad representation of experience and skills

About Salem Health. Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at; “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at


Media contact: Salem Health 24-hour media relations line: 971-718-3157; email: