This is Public Health

The opportunity to live a healthy life is a human right. Every Oregonian deserves to live in a safe and healthy place with access to the resources and information they need to actively participate in decisions that affect their wellbeing. Those places are created and protected by public health.

A passion for prevention drives our work. As public health professionals, we educate about nutritious food and physical activity and ensure all Oregonians have access to  healthy options where they live, learn, work and play. We inform them about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and teach them how to improve their children’s health. We advocate for, and help write the policies that make our streets, buildings, parks, schools and neighborhoods safe and active for everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or income status.

COVID-19 Resources

The COVID-19 Pandemic is still impacting Oregonians' every day lives and accurate, timely and helpful information is important for both combatting the illness and the spread of misinformation. The Oregon Health Authority has set up a COVID-19 webpage with videos, multiple fact sheets in nine languages, guidance for schools, housing services, local public health authorities and tribes, and more. The American Public Health Association (OPHA is the Oregon Affiliate of APHA) also has created a COVID-19 webpage with many resources and links as has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your Local Health Department may also have their own local information.

You Are Not Alone - Web Based Resources

As a way to prevent and address abuse and neglect or other related risks impacting many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, “You Are Not Alone” has been created. The pandemic has caused isolation and other suffering for many people. 

“You Are Not Alone” is a comprehensive campaign highlighting resources for support and assistance as well as abuse reporting information. The resources include contact information to report incidents or to get assistance for issues such as domestic and sexual violence prevention; suicide prevention; mental health; alcohol and drug abuse; help for youth and elders, and financial exploitation. There are flyers, downloadable informational cards, social media resources and printable materials for sharing. The information is available in multiple languages.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
The vaccine timeline in Oregon has changed as the processes to receive and distribute the vaccine improve. Keep up to date on the vaccine roll out with the following resources:
  • Oregon Health Authority's official COVID-19 Vaccine Website
    • This page provides a Vaccine Information Tool that provides an estimated timeline of when you may expect to receive the vaccine and an opportunity to ask questions about the vaccine.
    • Keep up to date on all vaccine information by regularly checking the OHA website or follow them on social media.
  • Text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates (English and Spanish only)
  • Email [email protected] (All languages)
  • Call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Please be aware that wait times may be long due to high call volumes. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold. (Languages spoken: English and Spanish. Free interpretation available for all other languages.)
      • TTY: Dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155
  • For Healthcare Providers and Partners
  • Get Vaccinated Oregon: check your eligibility for the vaccine:
    • Get Vaccinated Oregon FAQ
  • Vaccine information by county
  • CDC Covid-19 Vaccine page


HB 2337: Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Over the past several months OPHA has convened a task force of mostly Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) led organizations and community leaders to develop HB 2337 to declare racism as a public health crisis.  

This hearing has been cancelled and a public hearing in the House Rules Committee will soon be scheduled.  The bill remains a top priority for the bill's chief sponsors Rep Salinas and Rep Alonso Leon and more legislators are signing on to sponsor.  OPHA will send an update when the hearing is scheduled.

OPHA urges you to contact the chairs of the House Committee on Health Care.  Let these legislators know that HB 2337 is an important piece of public health legislation.  Racism is the underlying driver of many health disparities and it must be acknowledged and addressed in meaningful ways.

Racism is pervasive and touches every sector. No institution or system that impacts the social determinants of health is exempt from this oppressive history and current-day reality. 

HB 2337 begins the work of acknowledging Oregon's racist history and contemporary inequities and makes resource investments in initial efforts to address health inequities among BIPOC folks in Oregon.

This template provides the appropriate format for testimony, suggestions on how to personalize your testimony, and multiple talking points to consider including.

You can provide testimony either in writing only or you can sign up to give testimony virtually to the House Committee on Health Care.

Virtual testimony requires advance registration.  Follow this link to sign up to give oral testimony or do so by phone at 833-588-4500.

Follow this link to submit written testimony to the House Committee on Health Care.  Select House Committee on Health Care and the meeting date 3/2/2021 3:15 pm if not already selected.  Written testimony can be typed into the text box or a pdf can be uploaded.  

Additional resources and actions:

  1. Download the one-pager

  2. Complete this endorsement survey as an individual, an organization (if applicable), or both. 

  3. Share this endorsement survey widely with your networks. 

  4. Use our constituent guide to reach out to your legislators and let them know you support this concept.

Sign a petition from our partner, Leslie Gregory from Right to Health, to declare racism a crisis nationally.  

Want to learn more about how to provide testimony during the 2021 legislative session?

Follow this link for complete instructions on how to submit written testimony to any committee. 

You can submit written testimony up to 24 hours after a committee hearing. 

You can also provide verbal testimony through a toll-free call, video call, or at the public access station outside the Capitol.  Find the instructions for registering for verbal testimony here.

Public Health Modernization

This last year has shown everyone how vital it is to have a modern public health system. From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial disparities in policing to wildfires, public health is woven into every aspect of life, highlighting the great need to have a modern, fully-funded public health system.

During this legislative session, OPHA is advocating for an investment of $69 million to fund Local Public Health Authorities, the OHA Public Health Division, Tribal Health Authorities, and Community-Based Organizations implement Public Health Modernization.

OPHA urges you to contact the chairs of the Ways and Means Joint Subcommittee on Human Services and the Ways and Means Committee. Let these legislators know that funding a modern public health system in Oregon is a valuable investment they must make today and that they must fund the original OHA Request Budget of $69 million. 
Read OPHA's Testimony here.
Here are more resources to better understand modernization:

Learn more about this investment in environmental justice and equity here.

Invest to protect all people in Oregon

Summary of Public Health Modernization

Learn more about Public Health Modernization

Learn more about OPHA 2021 legislative priorities and endorsements to date here.

Thank you for supporting one another to build the capacity we need!