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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.



Stand together: Gun violence as a public health issue

The Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Advisory Committee was convened by the OHSU Center for Diversity and Inclusion to plan a series of public forums. The role of this committee is to help inform the design and execution of three forums, starting in November 2016, addressing the impact of:

  • Gun violence and trauma
  • Racial tensions within and across communities of color
  • Racial tensions between communities of color and police officers

***Follow and share: #standtogetherpdx

Upcoming events:

Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue forum #2
Community members, March 2017
Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue forum #3
Business and government leaders, May 2017

Health Reform: Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is the nation’s health reform law enacted in March 2010. The law aims to reform both our private and public health insurance systems, in order to expand coverage to 24 million Americans by 2023. Among the law's many goals: increase benefits and lower costs for consumers, provide new funding for public health and prevention, bolster our health care and public health workforce and infrastructure, foster innovation and quality in our system, and more.
There are many reasons health reform is critically needed in the U.S., including:

  • High uninsured rate: In April 2014, the CBO estimated that 42 million Americans under the age of 65 are currently uninsured; representing about 1 out of 6 Americans in that age group. Without the ACA, the uninsured rate would continue to rise. 
  • Unsustainable spending: Health care spending represented 17.2 percent of our gross domestic product in 2011.
  • Lack of emphasis on prevention: Today, seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are related to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer, which are largely preventable. Additionally, 75 percent of our health care dollars are spent treating such diseases. However, only three cents of each health care dollar spent in the U.S. go toward prevention.
  • Poor health outcomes: The U.S. spends far more on medical care than any other industrialized nation, but ranks 26 among 36 OECD countries in terms of life expectancy.
  • Health disparities: While inequities related to income and access to coverage exist across demographic lines, population-based disparities are impossible to deny.

The ACA is an important step forward. By making health coverage more affordable and accessible and thus increasing the number of Americans with coverage, by funding community-based public health and prevention programs, and by supporting research and tracking on key health measures, the ACA can help begin to reduce disparities, improve access to preventive care, improve health outcomes and reduce the nation’s health spending.

Learn more and take action!



APHA declares 2017 the Year of Climate Change and Health

The science is clear: climate change is a serious threat to human health. Science is not a opinion. It is evidence.

Climate change can harm the water supply, increase vector-borne disease and increase extreme weather events. Vulnerable populations such as communities of color, the elderly, young children, the poor and those with chronic illnesses bear the greatest burden of injury, disease and death related to climate change. As an APHA priority, we believe in the need for strong climate change strategies and interventions that protect people's health. The public health community plays a critical role.

Tell your members of Congress to oppose any efforts to delay or block the Clean Power Plan, which would reduce carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. And read "The Remarkable Inconsistency of Climate Denial."

Follow the conversation online using the hashtag #ClimateChangesHealth

Join APHA for the following events around Climate Change:

Click here to learn more about APHA's exciting work on this issue. 



JOIN THE MOVEMENT: April 3-9, 2017
Get Involved Today

Join APHA in celebrating National Public Health Week 2017 and become part of a growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation. APHA is celebrating the power of prevention, advocating for healthy and fair policies, sharing strategies for successful partnerships and championing the role of a strong public health system.




National Public Health Week Scholarship Opportunity:
Funding for Schools/Universities

Are you a student of health education or public health attending currently attending school and wish to be more involved with National Public Health Week 2017?

For a second year the Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA) Health Education & Promotion (HEP) Section is offering scholarships for National Public Health Week (NPHW) to health education and/or public health student groups at Oregon schools and universities to conduct educational outreach and activities relating to NPHW. These scholarships provide opportunities for students of health education and public health to conduct original and needed outreach and education activities within their defined community. These activities will relate to the NPHW themes for 2017: This scholarship is open to Oregon school and university health education and/or public health groups and will reimburse outreach and education activities conducted by these groups during NPHW.


  • Completed Scholarship requests must be received by March 1st, 2017. Awardees will be notified by March 15th, 2017
  • Events/Activities must occur during National Public Health Week (April 3rd-9th) and address a theme for the week
  • Upon approval, the organization must submit the event to be promoted on both the OPHA event website and the APHA NPHW website
  • Organization or Club will submit to OPHA HEP a final summary of the event including the number reached, success stories, and any photos/images of the activity.
  • Organization or Club will be reimbursed for expenses and provide OPHA HEP with receipts and description of expenses no later than April 20th, 2017.

Questions? Contact Sheri Lilli at


OPHA Capitol Visit Day
Registration now open!

WHEN: Friday, April 7, 2017 from 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
WHERE: Oregon State Capitol, Salem, Hearing Room 50

Join the Oregon Public Health Association for our 2017 Capitol Visit Day! You’ll learn about public health related bills that the legislature is working on and how those bills are faring. OPHA will be scheduling legislative appointments* for attendees, and you’ll have the opportunity to share your views with leadership from the Oregon Senate and House. Download event flyer

REGISTER HERE - Space is limited for this event.

*Please note: The availability of representatives is subject to change during the session, therefore appointments are not guaranteed. We will do our best to schedule appointments for those who have registered before March 27, 2017

We look forward to seeing you in Salem this year for another exciting legislative session! 

Click here to learn more about our endorsement process and how to request legislative support.


OPHA Health Education & Promotion

Come to the Radio Room for appetizers and join the HE&P section leadership team for lively discussion about ideas, goals, and priorities for the year ahead! Meet the section team and other OPHA members in our section. Find out how the Health Education and Promotion section organizes events and propose your own ideas for 2017 and beyond.

When: Thursday, March 9th from 6pm to 8pm
Where: Radio Room, 1101 NE Alberta, Portland


Questions? Contact: Allie Quady |

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