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Oregon Health Policy Board Members

The nine-member Oregon Health Policy Board (OHPB) serves as the policy-making and oversight body for the Oregon Health Authority. The Board is committed to providing access to quality, affordable health care for all Oregonians and to improving population health.

OHPB was established through House Bill 2009, signed by the Governor in June 2009. Board members are nominated by the Governor and must be confirmed by the Senate. Board members serve a four-year term of office. The Board is responsible for implementing the health care reform provisions of HB 2009.

Use Health Policy Board E-mail to contact Board members and staff. Please indicate in the subject line to whom your e-mail is directed. Board members receive public comments weekly.

Board member biographies

Chair - Zeke Smith, Portland

Zeke Smith  

Term ends December 31, 2017

Zeke Smith is the Chief Impact Officer of the United Way of the Columbia Willamette, where he leads the community impact strategy through grant-making, volunteerism, community convening and policy work. Previously, Zeke served as the Chief of Staff to Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith from 2007-2012. He was responsible for managing the executive leadership team, providing strategic planning leadership for the district and managing connections with community organizations, elected officials, and other jurisdictions. Prior to that, Zeke served as the director of community engagement for All Hands Raised (formerly known as the Portland Schools Foundation), where he built strong relationships with Portland Public Schools and a wide array of civic institutions and communities of color. He developed and implemented "Connected-By-25," a program designed to connect every Portland teen and young adult to school, work and citizenship by age 25 through a coalition of public and private organizations. Zeke's early work experience was in youth development and education, working for the Boys & Girls Club in Portland and Oakland, CA, the Youth Employment Institute - a local, community-based alternative school - and Worksystems, Inc., a local workforce investment board.

Zeke is also a Portland Public Schools parent. His two children attend Beaumont Middle School and Vernon Elementary.

Vice chair - Carla McKelvey, MD, MPH, Coos Bay

Carla McKelvey  

Term ends December 31, 2019

Carla McKelvey, MD, is a pediatrician in private practice at the North Bend Medical Center in Coos Bay, and is the former president of the Oregon Medical Association. Previously she served as Medical Director for Doctors of the Oregon Coast South, which manages the Oregon Health Plan for Coos County. Dr. McKelvey has a BA with honors in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. She completed her medical training at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 1993 and her pediatric residency there in 1996. She recently received her MPH in Health Policy and Administration from Oregon State University.

Oscar Arana, Portland

Oscar Arana  

Term ends December 31, 2017

Oscar Arana is a private and nonprofit consultant specializing in communications, grant writing, program and business development, and event planning. Oscar has 10+ years of experience working in Portland's premier, culturally-specific nonprofit organizations overseeing educational programs, as well as raising restricted and unrestricted funds. Oscar was the director of strategic development and communications for Portland's Native American Youth and Family Center, and the President of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Oscar was a television news producer in Central Washington and a print reporter in Mexico City. Oscar is a graduate of the University of Oregon's Journalism School and the Executive MBA program and is a member of the UO Alumni Association Board.

Felisa Hagins, Portland

Felisa Hagins  

Term ends December 31, 2017

Felisa Hagins is the political director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49. SEIU is the largest union nationally with over two million members and the largest union in Oregon with over 50,000 members. SEIU Local 49 represents over 7,500 janitors and health care workers who work in the private sector throughout the state of Oregon. Felisa has been with SEIU for seven years, prior to her experience with SEIU she has been a legislative aide, fundraiser and campaign manager. Felisa also served as a member of the Eligibility and Enrollment Committee of the Oregon Health Fund Board.

Brenda Johnson, Medford

Brenda Johnson  

Term ends December 31, 2017

Brenda Johnson serves as the Chief Executive Officer of La Clinica, a community and migrant healthcare organization in Southern Oregon. Brenda holds a MBA from Purdue University, a bachelor's degree in Nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University, and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Southern Oregon University. Brenda has more than 15 years of non-profit leadership experience in health care and community development.

Karen Joplin, MPA, Hood River

Karen Joplin  

Term ends December 31, 2018

Commissioner Karen Joplin has lived in the Hood River Valley since 1975. She holds a Masters degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Portland State University. Karen is a 2012 graduate of the Luke Center for Catalytic Leadership, Pacific Program.

Karen is a founding member of the Columbia Gorge Health Council, the regional CCO governance body and has remained Board Chair since inception. She is also a founding member of the 4 Rivers Early Learning Hub for Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, Wheeler and Gilliam County and is Board Chair of the regional CMHP, Mid-Columbia Center for Living. She has numerous years of experience in social service working with children and families and serving on the governing boards of service agencies. Karen has a passion for developing effective public policy and ensuring the wise use of public resources. She strongly supports the use of evidence based programming for justice-involved individuals and other vulnerable populations.

Karen and her husband, Todd Clay, have two children and have owned and operated Gorge Electric, Inc. since 1999 and more recently Gorge Audio Video, Inc.

Joe Robertson, MD, MBA, Portland

Joe Robertson  

Term ends December 31, 2016

Joe Robertson, MD, is the president of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Joe holds a bachelor's degree from Yale and an MD from the Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed an ophthalmology residency at OHSU and fellowships in retina and vitreous disease and surgery at OHSU and Devers Eye Institute, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. Joe has served as the director of the Casey Eye Institute at OHSU and as the chair for the Department of Ophthalmology. Prior to his becoming president, he served as dean of the OHSU School of Medicine. Joe also holds a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He and his wife, Patricia, live in a floating home on the Willamette River.

David Bangsberg, MSc, MD, MPH

David Bangsber  

Term ends December 31, 2019

David Bangsberg, MSc, MD, MPH is an Oregon native and the Founding Dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. He was previously a Professor at Harvard School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. After completing a Masters Degree in Philosophy of Science from Kings College London and MD at Johns Hopkins. He completed his medical residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in north Harlem to care for patients afflicted by urban poverty and HIV. Upon moving to the University of California, San Francisco and completing fellowships in infectious disease and AIDS prevention as well as Master's Degrees in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, he became the leading expert in HIV and homelessness. He then turned to sub-Saharan Africa to find that the poorest HIV-infected people in the world had some of the highest levels of HIV treatment adherence. His work was described by President Bill Clinton as the "nail in the coffin" on the debate as to whether HIV-infected people in sub-Saharan Africa would adhere to antiretroviral medications and neutralized the major criticism to providing multinational funding for global HIV treatment. As former Director of Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health, he brought together the expertise of Harvard and MIT to improve physical, mental, social and economic health to the poorest regions of the world in several signature areas, including: HIV care, disaster response, cancer care, and medical technology innovation. He received the Clifford Barger Mentoring Award, given annually to 5 of the 12,000 Harvard Medical School Faculty. He has published over 400 manuscripts and is a member of the Association of American Physicians.

Dr. John Santa, Portland

Dr. John Santa  

Term ends December 31, 2019

John Santa currently works for OpenNotes, based at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, where his focus is the national dissemination of OpenNotes. He lives in Oregon and has over 40 years of experience in clinical medicine and administration, having worked in leadership positions for hospitals, physician groups, insurers and state government. Before coming to OpenNotes, he was Medical Director for the Drug Effectiveness Review Project, one of the country's most robust comparative effectiveness programs, as well as the Director of the Health Ratings Center at Consumer Reports from 2008 to 2014. John practiced primary care internal medicine from 1976 to 1992 and 2003 to 2008. He has taught in multiple venues—introductory courses to clinical medicine, resident courses in public health and preventive medicine and health policy courses. His work has been possible because of the education and training he received at Stanford, Tufts Medical School, Portland Good Samaritan Hospital and Portland State University.

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