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, or income status.


Winners of 2014 Public Health Heroes Awards

Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and the Health Department honored four extraordinary heroes at its 14th Annual Public Health Heroes celebration on Tuesday, April 8th.

The winners include:

  • Public Health Partner Award: Outside In, a local organization who helps homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency.
  • Katie Jeans-Gail Award for Young Heroes: The Leisure Hour Jr. Golf Program provides inner city youth with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of golf, compete in regional competitions and understand the purpose of giving back by volunteering in the community.
  • Social and Equity Justice Award: The Future Generations Collaborative is an innovative partnership among American Indian and Alaska Native community members, community-based organizations, and public health agencies to increase healthy pregnancies and healthy births, and strengthen families in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
  • Multnomah County Employee Award: Alison Goldstein, lead social worker for the Tri-County 911 Service Coordination Program for Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington County.


Click here for more information about this event.



Marion County Health Department
First in Oregon to Receive National Accreditation


The Marion County Health Department has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The national accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of the nation’s Tribal, state, local and territorial public health departments. Marion County Health Department is one of the first of hundreds of health departments across the country that are preparing to seek accreditation through PHAB, the independent organization that administers the national public health accreditation program.

The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s more than 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi‐faceted, peer‐reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.

As part of National Public Health Week, April 7‐13, Marion County Health Department will showcase public health milestones that have made our local community healthier, safer, and
more prepared for emergencies through a historical photo project featured on the Health Department’s social media outlets. For more information please call (503) 588‐5357, visit .

Fresh off the press: Quality Connection Newsletter

Highlighting the latest accreditation and quality news for the Oregon public health system. Read success stories and best practices in quality improvement, performance management, and accreditation initiatives. Click here to learn more.


  • Performance Management System rollout at PHD
  • Quality Improvement Kaizen event at Clackamas County
  • State Accreditation update
  • Accreditation workgroup
  • Workforce development news
  • Displaying data

Previous issues of the Oregon Quality Connection newsletter are available to download at the PHD Public Health Accreditation and Quality Improvement webpage:




Healthy Brains in Oregon: The Public Health/Dementia Connection

When: April 22, 2014 from 10:30am - 1:30pm
Where: Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union

*Via Webinar or in person at Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union (webinar ends at 12:30).

Featured Speaker: Dr. Joe Quinn, Professor of Neurology at OHSU 

Increasingly, evidence shows that a public health approach to addressing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can have a significant impact in improving health, improving care, and decreasing health care costs. Alzheimer’s is a public health issue because the burden is large, the impact is major, and there are ways to intervene. Research now makes clear links between heart health and brain health. Public awareness efforts will help reduce the health impact of caregiving on families caring for a loved one. But how do we incorporate Alzheimer’s into existing public health efforts?

Join experts from OHSU, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Oregon Public Health Division to hear about how public health professionals can help address the impact of Alzheimer’s. Share your ideas on implementing the Healthy Brain Initiative – a public health road map developed by the CDC and the Alzheimer’s Association. Help develop an Alzheimer’s Public Health Toolkit for use by local public health professionals.

Click here to register now!

Sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association Oregon Chapter, in partnership with:

  • Portland State University Institute on Aging
  • Oregon Public Health Association
  • Oregon Health & Sciences University Brain Institute


Check out the OPHA Events Calendar to learn about public health events around Oregon and get involved! 
Please let us know about Oregon public health events in your area, we would love to help spread the word! Events can be submitted online at (bottom of page).


County Health Rankings Released March 26th
What is keeping many Oregonians from living their best life?

The County Health Rankings help us consider what may be keeping people from being healthy and doing things they enjoy. The Rankings look at the overall health of nearly every county in all states. It allows each state to see how its counties compare on a range of factors that influence health including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, and family and social support.

The County Health Rankings consider health outcomes (length and quality of life) as well as health factors (clinical care, health behaviors, social & economic factors, physical environments) in order to determine the overall health of the state. In Oregon, Benton County holds the highest ranking in both categories overall, with Grant, Washington, and Hood River Counties following. Overall, Oregon ranks fairly well for health outcomes in comparison to the top ranked U.S. states. However, the county rankings for health factors show increasing rates of both unemployment and childhood poverty. Click here for more information about Oregon’s County Health Rankings. 

The Rankings help communities sharpen their focus on areas related to health that need improvement. In the past, County Health Rankings have focused on a statewide approach. This year, OPHA along with OPHI, CLHO and the PHD are all working to keep the focus on what is happening in local communities; how we’re doing and where we can improve on health. Everyone has role to play. No single sector alone can tackle the health challenges in a community. The goal is to bring members of the community together to take action to improve health.

Click here to visit the County Health Roadmaps Action Center and learn how you can make your community a healthier place to live. Download the Take Action Cycle here.

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