2020 OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting
Featured Presentations

October 12 & 13, 2020

This year, our conference will be held virtually, with no travel required to attend.

2020 Keynote Speakers & Presentations

Monday, October 12

The future of public health: Tackling tough questions and messy stuff 

Summary: As public health has taken the world stage during a global pandemic, the future of public health is both clear and unclear. What are the most important lessons from COVID-19? How do we apply them to all aspects of our work? How will they impact the future of health? This session will explore these questions and more. We will tackle the hard questions and messy stuff of public health.

Lisa Carlson, MPH, MCHES 
President, American Public Health Association (APHA)
Executive Administrator, Research Programs and Operations, Emory School of Medicine

Lisa M Carlson is executive administrator, research programs and operations, at Emory University School of Medicine, directing research initiatives across the School’s core missions, and working at the intersection of health sciences, research administration, and practice. She has served 18 years at Emory in the School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH). Her Emory experience includes launching the operations of Emory’s largest-ever sponsored award (CHAMPS) and facilitating Emory Transplant Center teams that grew academic program funding by >350% in 6 years. She is on the adjunct faculty at RSPH, where she teaches in the Executive Master of Public Health (EMPH) Program.  Carlson is president of the American Public Health Association (APHA), past chair of APHA’s Executive Board, and a past president and honorary lifetime member of the Georgia Public Health Association. 

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated and amplified the need for systemic change to our health care system to better assure health and social justice. This presentation will discuss what we have learned and what we can do to assure we come out of the pandemic better than when we went in.

Bruce Goldberg, MD
Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health


Bruce Goldberg, MD served two Oregon Governors, as the Director of the Oregon Office for Health Policy and Research from 2003-2005, Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services from November 2005 through February 2011, and then was the founding Director of the Oregon Health Authority from February 2011 through 2013. In that role, Bruce led Oregon's nationally recognized health reforms transforming Oregon’s Medicaid system to one based on a model of coordinated care. In addition, he established Oregon’s Healthy Kids program expanding health coverage for children and transformed the delivery of public human services to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

His experiences span time as an administrator of large complex organizations, a practicing clinician, teacher/academician, a county health officer, medical director for a Medicaid managed care organization and Clinical Director for the US Public Health Services in Zuni, New Mexico. He was and faculty member at the Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Medicine for more than 15 years. He currently consults nationally on health policy issues.

Tuesday, October 13

A trauma informed response to climate change impacts. 
Building resilient, trauma informed communities to address the negative impacts of climate changes.

Summary: Climate changes will have negative impacts on our psychological, emotional, and behavioral health. Covid19 has demonstrated inequities in our response efforts as well as provided examples of community driven care. We are being challenged to not go back to "business as usual" that has failed so many, but instead to imagine a different way. If we want to prevent perpetuating the disparities COVID19 has highlighted in our response to climate related stressors we need to promote inclusive, equitable, resilient, and trauma informed communities that are ready to respond, repair, and restore.

Mandy Davis, LCSW, PhD.
Associate Professor of Practice
Director, Trauma Informed Oregon 
Portland State University School of Social Work

Dr. Davis is an Associate Professor of Practice at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and a licensed clinical social worker.  She is Director of Trauma Informed Oregon, a program primarily funded by the Oregon Health Authority, to advance trauma informed care throughout organizations and systems through training, consultation, and implementation resources. Dr. Davis teaches and lectures on implementing trauma informed care and trauma specific services. Her current interests include measuring change when organizations and systems implement the principles of trauma informed care, the impact of toxic stress on the workforce, intersectionality between equity work, and the impact of systemic oppression.

Health Inequities: at the Intersection of Racism and COVID-19 

Summary: The narrative is prevalent. COVID-19 has revealed the fissures, inequities and injustices of “the system.” So why did it take a global pandemic to bring to light what has been a reality for BIPOC people and communities for decades if not centuries? Did we act soon enough related to what seemed to be a new realization? What have we learned? Is true transformation in our future?  The newly adopted health equity definition for the Oregon Health Authority cites the need for Oregon to recognize, reconcile and rectify historical and contemporary injustices and calls for the distribution and redistribution of resources and power. Facing head-on centuries-old racism and oppression is the pathway to resolving health equities and achieving transformation in Oregon. Realizations related to the COVID-19 response are paramount to our learning and our path forward.

Leann Johnson, MS
Director of Office of Equity and Inclusion, Oregon Health Authority

Leann Johnson, M.S., is the director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. She joined the Oregon Health Authority in 2010 as an executive manager for the Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights unit. Leann has more than 20 years of leadership experience developing equity, diversity and intercultural programs in the public and non-profit sectors. Past employers include Clark College, the City of Vancouver and the YWCA of Clark County. She also has served as a consultant to multiple agencies and organizations including the Vancouver Police Department, Portland General Electric, Bonneville Power Administration, Hewlett-Packard and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Leann is a qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory and the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory. She holds a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology with program focus in multicultural organizational development and indigenous psychology. Leann also has a bachelor's degree in communications management from the University of Portland.

Plenary Panels 

Monday, October 12

Topic: Local Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic 

Moderator: Mimi McDonell, Health Officer, North Central Public Health District

  • Tricia Mortell, Washington County Public Health Director
  • Katrina Rothenberger, Marion County Public Health Director
  • Michael McNickle, Clatsop County Public Health Director
  • Sarah Poe, Malheur County Public Health Director

The panel will focus on the State and Local public health response to COVID-19, challenges faced, and lessons learned. Panelists will describe the varied challenges health departments are addressing related to testing, contact tracing, and response across the varied geographies and population demographics of Oregon. To align with the overall conference focus on the future of public health, panelists will address how lessons from COVID-19 should influence the future of the public health system in Oregon.

Tuesday, October 13

Topic: Experiences of underserved populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in Oregon 

Moderator: Daniel López-Cevallos, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, Oregon State University

  • Celeste Davis, Director of Environmental Public Health, Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center
  • Deborah Riddick, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, Oregon Nurses Association
  • Olivia Quiroz, Executive Director, Oregon Latino Health Coalition
  • LeAnn Ivers, Disability Emergency Management Council (DEMAC) of Oregon

The panel will describe how COVID-19 is affecting several underserved communities in Oregon, including African American, Latinx, Native American, and disability communities. Speakers will focus on health inequities related to COVID-19 in Oregon, lessons learned, and opportunities for public health to support community resiliency. The panel will provide action steps to implement change at the policy, systems and/or environment change level that will work to impact the conditions which perpetuate institutional and systemic racism, ableism, and inequities.


Register Here for the 2020 Conference