2018 OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting 

OPHA would like to give special thanks to the 
2018 Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors for their generous support!


Date: Monday, October 8th & Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Time: Doors open at 8:00 am; presentations begin at 9:00 am and run throughout the day.

Location: LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University
100 LaSells Stewart Center 
875 SW 26th St
Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3101


Early bird registration is now open until September 25th! 

Click HERE to register and learn more about our prices. 


The OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting is the premier public health event in Oregon. Since 1944 public health leaders, professionals, educators, advocates, students and stakeholders have come together to share the latest in research, programs, and information. Join us for this important, informative, and inspiring public health event! 

Download the 2018 OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting flyer

At OPHA 2018 you'll find the latest in public health research and trends, focused learning sessions, thought-provoking speakers, and plenty of networking opportunities. Highlights include:

Education: Over 80 presentations on key functional areas of public health; facilitated discussion forums to learn from your peers; and an interactive poster session.

***Continuing education credits will be available. Stay tuned for details.***

Networking Events: Connect with other public health professionals and stakeholders from around the Northwest during plentiful breaks, receptions, and evening events.

Association Awards: Join OPHA in recognizing Oregon's public health advocates and leaders. 

Professional Opportunities, Products & Services: Connect with OPHA Sponsors and visit the Exhibit Hall.

Attendees include: Physicians, Administrators, Dentists, Nurses, Educators, Policy Makers, Public Health Professionals, Researchers, Non-profit Executives and Students.

OPHA 2018 Keynote Speakers:

Monday, October 8th
Heather D. Boonstra

"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 9th
Catherine Barber


"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.

OPHA 2018 Closing Plenary Panel: 

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

Investing in Population Health through a Modern Public Health System

Moderated by Dr. Bangsberg, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

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 2018 Pre-Conference Workshop: 

Sunday, October 7, 2018, 1:00pm-4:30pm
*Followed by an optional social hour to continue the conversation

Legislative Literacy: How to make an impact on policy that affects public health

Session overview:
In this workshop led by experienced legislators, aides and public health advocates, participants will learn to become more effective in promoting state policies that improve public health. Using the Clean Energy Jobs Bill as a case study, attendees will explore Oregon’s legislative process and build skills for strategic written and oral communication with legislators.

Workshop format:
Short presentations, facilitated discussion and interactive exercises to apply best practices in legislative advocacy.


  • Oregon Senator Michael Dembrow, Co-Sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs Bill
  • Jana Gastellum, Climate Program Director at the Oregon Environmental Council
  • Tony Lapiz, Legislative Director for Representative Dan Rayfield 
  • Marion Ceraso, OSU College of Public Health and Human Services

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain key steps in state policymaking in Oregon;
  2. Describe strategies for effective public health policy work;
  3. Identify opportunities to leverage your role as a public health professional;
  4. Apply principles of effective communication with public officials, submission of written testimony and delivery of oral testimony on public health legislation;
  5. List principle elements of Oregon’s Clean Energy Jobs legislation and why it matters for public health.

Click here to REGISTER and learn more about this event!

Conference Sponsors & Exhibitor Opportunities

The 2018 OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting is the premier annual event for more than 400 public health professionals throughout Oregon. As an OPHA Conference Partner, you have the chance to showcase your organization with the decision makers responsible for crafting and implementing local and state-level policies and programs that directly contribute to the effectiveness and success of public health in Oregon.

Download the OPHA 2018 Sponsor-Exhibitor Prospectus & Application

Questions? Please contact Jessica Nischik-Long for more information.

ADA Accessibility

ADA accommodation requests should be directed to Alicia Dixon-Ibarra, at [email protected] or by phone at 814-934-0757. Requests for accommodation should be made at least 3 weeks prior to the event. OPHA will do it's best to accommodate requests made after September 17th, but we can not guarantee availability of all services.


The deadline for conference registration funds is Monday, October 1st. No refunds will be allowed after this date. For assistance with conference refunds, please contact Amy Wilson