2018 OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting

October 8 & 9, 2018
Oregon State University - Corvallis, OR 

2018 Keynote Presentations

Monday, October 8

Heather D. Boonstra
Director of Public Policy, Guttmacher Institute

"Taking Stock of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in the Trump Era"

Throughout President Trump’s first year in office, social conservatives in the administration and Congress mounted an all-out assault on people’s ability to obtain comprehensive reproductive health care in the United States and abroad. Despite coming up short in many respects, social conservatives have undercut critical advances for health insurance coverage, destabilized the family planning safety net, bolstered abstinence-only programs and threatened abortion access. Even as the administration pushes its ideologically motivated policies, however, courageous states can cement their role as a bulwark against these attacks. Oregon is one such state that has adopted measures to expand access to contraception, abortion, comprehensive sex education and other high-quality reproductive health care.

Heather Boonstra is the Director of Public Policy in the Guttmacher Institute’s Washington, DC office. She oversees the Institute’s advocacy efforts to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, which are designed to bring evidence to bear on policy and program development in the United States and globally. Ms. Boonstra is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Institute’s policy journal, the Guttmacher Policy Review. She joined Guttmacher in 1999 as a Senior Public Policy Associate, after working with the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and as a consultant with the Center for International Health and Information, Save the Children and the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health. Ms. Boonstra graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon and holds an MA in religion from Yale University, where she studied medical ethics.


Tuesday, October 9

Catherine Barber
Director, Means Matter
Research Manager/Senior Researcher, Harvard School of Public Health's Injury Research Center

"Partnering with Gun Owners to Reduce Suicide"

Why does reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal means of suicide save lives? After all, if a person wants to die, eventually they can find a way. This talk explains why “means matter,” why firearms matter in particular, and how the public health field can move beyond a “docs vs. Glocks” paradigm to partner with gun stakeholders on reducing suicide. Barber outlines an approach that embraces gun owners as part of the solution rather than as part of the problem when it comes to suicide. Similar to “friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” the “11th commandment of gun safety” urges owners to be alert to signs of suicide risk in friends and family and to help keep firearms from those at risk until they have recovered. In many parts of the country, firearm instructors, gun shop owners, shooting sports enthusiasts, and gun rights advocates have joined together with public health practitioners and researchers to find common ground, learn from one another, and promote a new social norm.

Catherine Barber is a senior researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Research Center where she led the effort to design and test the pilot for the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System. She is the founding director of Means Matter, a project to disseminate research and interventions aimed at reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal suicide methods. She is the recipient of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Allies in Action Lifetime Achievement Award. Recent work focuses on collaborating with gun owner groups on suicide prevention initiatives.

Closing Plenary

Tuesday, October 9th from 3:15-4:30pm

Investing in Population Health through a Modern Public Health System

Moderator: Dr. David Bangsberg, MSc, MD, MPH, MS
Founding Dean of the joint Oregon Health & Science University – Portland State University School of Public Health
Member of the Oregon Health Policy Board and the Public Health Advisory Board


State Representative Dan Rayfield, JD
House District 16 – Corvallis

Commissioner Scott Hege
Wasco County 

Commissioner Kevin Cameron
Marion County

Carrie Brogoitti, MPH
Public Health Administrator, Union County Center for Human Development

Lillian Shirley, BSN, MPH, MPA
Director, Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division

Session overview: 
Through legislative direction in the 2013 (HB 2348), 2015 (HB 3100) and 2017 (HB 2310) sessions, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and local public health authorities have been working to create a modern public health system. A modern public health system:

  • Assures that basic public health protections are in place for every person in Oregon, regardless of where they live;
  • Is effective and efficient; and
  • Is accountable for improvements in health outcomes.

During this session, panelists will share their perspectives on the value of investing in population health, and talk about how the 2017-19 legislative investment in public health modernization is being used to address Oregon’s population health priorities. Elected officials and public health leaders will describe how their communities are using the 2017-19 investment to meet core public health system functions for communicable disease control through strengthening local capacity and establishing regional approaches. Panelists will discuss efforts underway to build support for increased investment in public health modernization during the 2019 legislative session.

Learning objectives: 

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the value of investing in public health interventions to improve population health.
  2. Describe county investments in public health to support local achievement of core public health system functions, as defined in the Public Health Modernization Manual.
  3. Describe how the governmental public health system is using the 2017-19 legislative investment for public health modernization for new systems for communicable disease control.
  4. Identify opportunities to engage in local efforts to improve population health and support public health modernization in 2019.


OPHA Communications Booth

Stay tuned for details