Policy Offices

​Governor Kate Brown’s Opioid Epidemic Task Force is a statewide effort​ to combat opioid abuse and dependency. The Task Force consist​s of medical experts, drug treatment specialists, and government officials.  Their mission is to identify and implement efforts to address the growing opioid misuse and abuse across the state.
Among other things, the Task ​Force will prioritize reducing the number of narcotic pills in circulation, improving access to high quality treatment, facilitating data sharing and the promotion of cutting edge education efforts.
Members of the Governor's Opioid Epidemic Task Force are:
Judge Eric Bloch, Multnomah County Circuit Court
Since becoming a Circuit Court Judge in Multnomah County in 2003, Judge Eric Bloch has demonstrated keen interest, broad expertise and great compassion, regarding opioid-addicted individuals in our state's criminal justice system.  Judge Bloch has supervised two of our state's largest drug courts, he is a nationally recognized expert in drug court evidence-based practices, and serves as a reviewer of drug courts for both state and federal agencies. He currently serves as the President of the Oregon Association of Drug Court Professionals, and after being appointed by the Chief Justice to serve as an ex-officio member of the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, Judge Bloch was voted by his peer commissioners to serve as the Commission's Chair.
Rob Bovett, Association of Oregon Counties 
Rob Bovett currently serves as Legal Counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC), where he primarily works on policy matters relating to governance, elections, ocean issues, and drugs. He previously served as the elected District Attorney (2009-2014) and appointed Assistant County Counsel (1992-2009) for Lincoln County, Oregon. He is the author of many of Oregon’s drug laws, including those relating to meth lab control.
Mr. Bovett created numerous state and local initiatives that provide science-based solutions to problems caused by substance abuse, such as HOPE and other diversionary programs. He has authored many opinion pieces on drug policy, including those published by The Oregonian and The New York Times, has provided over 500 presentations regarding drug policy, and has appeared on numerous programs, such as Good Morning America, National Public Radio, and PBS NewsHour and FRONTLINE.
James C. Ferraris, Chief of Police, Woodburn Police Department
An Oregon law enforcement officer since 1978, Jim Ferraris currently serves as the Chief of Police for the City of Woodburn, having been invested on December 14, 2015.
Jim served as Deputy Chief of the Salem Police Department from 2011 to 2015. For nearly 28 years, from 1983 to 2011, Jim served the Portland Police Bureau, retiring to accept the positon with the Salem Police Department. Jim worked his way up through the PPB organization, holding every rank at PPB from Officer to Assistant Chief of Police. Jim started his law enforcement career in 1978 with the Beaverton Police Department as a Detective, Patrol Officer and Reserve Officer.
Jim’s background includes leadership experience at the line, supervisory and command level, including uniform patrol, criminal intelligence, internal affairs, narcotics and criminal investigations, crisis negotiations and emergency/tactical operations. Jim spent five years as a narcotics investigator for the Portland Police Bureau with several years attached to drug task forces with the DEA and FBI. Jim was the commanding officer of Portland’s Drugs and Vice Division oversaw drug investigations for Salem PD.
He has years of involvement with a variety of non-profit and civic organizations including Lines for Life, an Oregon non-profit dedicated to ending substance abuse and suicide. Jim has been a member of the Oregon/Idaho HIDTA Executive Board for the past 14 years.
In 2017, Jim launched a “Naloxone” program at Woodburn PD, training and issuing “Naloxone” to all sworn officers. Jim launched a similar program at Salem PD in 2015, training and equipping all Salem police officers with “Naloxone”.
Jim is a graduate of the Executive Leaders Program at the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management & Organizational Leadership from George Fox University. He is a graduate of the 201st Session of the FBI National Academy and the 75th Session of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.
Tim Hartnett, CODA
For more than 30 years, Tim has worked with vulnerable and under-served populations, from incarcerated juveniles to homeless persons suffering from severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders. He has worked as a school teacher, direct-service worker, program director, research partner and state policymaker. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University’s School of Social Work and is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Queen’s University School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tim joined CODA in 2002 and has served as a member of the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, as president of the Oregon Prevention Education and Recovery Association (OPERA), and as a member of the executive and steering committees of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. Prior to joining CODA, Tim was director of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Recovery for the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He received his Master of Social Work from University of Connecticut and his Master of Health Administration from Suffolk University in Boston.
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, MD has served in the Oregon State Senate since her appointment in 2012. She ran for office to work towards making Oregon the healthiest state in the nation. In her tenure as a legislator, she has dedicated much of her time to creating accessibility, affordability and transparency in the health care system, has worked hard to integrate mental health access into Oregon’s primary care systems, and most recently, has taken on big tobacco by decreasing access for minors to tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems. In her off-time from the Legislature, Elizabeth is an adjunct associate professor at OHSU, and spends one day a week at Gabriel Park Clinic. She’s also a mother of 3, and lives in unincorporated Multnomah County, where she represents Senate District 17.
Dr. Katrina Hedberg, Oregon Health Authority
Health Officer and State Epidemiologist, Oregon Public Health Division
Dr. Hedberg received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, and medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. She completed her residency training at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Hedberg earned her master's degree in public health from the University of Washington, and is board certified in public health and preventive medicine. She is an Affiliate Professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Dr. Hedberg has been with the Oregon Health Authority for the past 25 years, and has worked in a variety of public health programs, including infectious disease prevention, injury epidemiology, chronic disease prevention, and health statistics. Her recent focus areas include addressing Oregon’s opioid overdose epidemic, and evaluating the public health impact of retail marijuana sales. Dr. Hedberg is a native Oregonian, and enjoys spending her spare time hiking and skiing in Oregon’s great outdoors.  
Dwight Holton, Lines for Life
Dwight Holton is the Chief Executive Officer of Lines for Life, a suicide and substance abuse prevention nonprofit that promotes healthy communities through prevention, advocacy and public policy.
Dwight served as U.S. Attorney for Oregon in 2010-2011.  Dwight chairs the Oregon Coalition for Responsible Use of Meds (OrCRM), a task force to reduce prescription opioid abuse, misuse and overdoses.
As U.S. Attorney, Dwight convened the first statewide Prescription Drug Abuse Summit in the nation bringing together leaders to shed light on the epidemic of Rx abuse and build solutions.  He later worked with U.S. Attorneys around the nation to convene their own Rx summits.  In 2011, Oregon Health Sciences University honored Dwight for his work on Rx abuse.
At Lines for Life, Mr. Holton is leading expanded work in prevention of suicide and substance abuse,
Dwight lives in Portland with his wife, Mary Ellen Glynn, and their children.
Dr. Amy Kerfoot, Northwest Permanente
Amy Kerfoot is a board-certified Occupational Medicine physician for Northwest Permanente (Kaiser), primarily treating work-related injuries and illnesses.  A native of Redmond, OR, she completed her undergraduate degree in Human Biology at Stanford University, followed by a Master’s degree in Biomedical Informatics from OHSU.  She earned her medical degree at Albany Medical College (NY), and completed residency training in Preventive Medicine and Public Health at OHSU.  During residency, she became involved in regional efforts to address the opioid epidemic, through clinical practice guidelines and through coordinated policy efforts to expand access to medication-assisted treatment.
Aaron Knott, Oregon Department of Justice
Aaron is the legislative director for the Office of the Attorney General. Previously, he served six years as a deputy district attorney for Multnomah County. Aaron also served as committee counsel for the Oregon House and Senate Judiciary Committees during the 2011 legislative session. He has worked as an attorney in private practice and for MercyCorps. Aaron obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law.
Dr. Safina Koreishi, Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization
Safina Koreishi MD, MPH is the Medical Director of Columbia Pacific CCO. She is also an adjunct associate professor of Family Medicine at OHSU, and sees patients at OHSU Scappoose clinic. Dr. Koreishi completed the Clinical Innovations Fellowship through the Oregon Health Authority in 2016. She is board certified in both family and preventive medicine, and has spent her career practicing family medicine and providing clinical leadership in safety-net clinics, at Neighborhood Health Center and Rosewood Family Health Center in Portland, OR.  She has a passion for public health, underserved medicine, serving the community, and improving/transforming the systems of care for patients as well as for those who work within it.
Dr. Paul Lewis, Multnomah County Public Health
Paul Lewis, MD, MPH serves as the Multnomah County Health Officer and the Tri-county Health Officer for Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties in Oregon. He moved to Oregon to join the OHSU Pediatrics faculty in 1996 where he focused on virology laboratory research and launched the region’s first pediatric HIV clinic. In 1997 he became the OHSU hospital epidemiologist beginning a pivot toward population health that led to joining the Oregon Public Health Division in 2004 to work on bioterrorism clinician education, communicable disease epidemiology and pandemic flu planning. In 2008, he moved to local public health to work under Gary Oxman as the health officer for Washington and Clackamas Counties. In 2014, he became the Multnomah and TriCounty Health Officer. He is a practicing pediatrician and a member of the OHSU faculty; he is board certified in Preventive Medicine, General Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases; he has special interests in social determinants of health, developmental origins of disease, health communication, and good government.  His current projects include decreasing opioid-related deaths, planning the EMS system for the next generation, and improving air quality through health-based regulation. He and his wife, obstetrician Ann Scott, nurture three teenagers, a variety of animals, and fruit trees in SE Portland.
Senator Dennis Linthicum
Kevin Russell, Samaritan Health Services
Kevin works in Corvallis, Oregon as the Outpatient Pharmacy Operations Manager for Samaritan Health Services.  Kevin is currently serving as President of the Oregon State Pharmacy Association.  Kevin has a background in health-system ambulatory care, chain pharmacy management, and independent pharmacy.  Past state service includes the PBM Workgroup and the Drug Utilization Review Board.  Kevin is currently collaborating with Oregon State University on a statewide naloxone training for pharmacists to prevent death from opioid overdose.
Jeffrey Rhoades, Office of Governor Kate Brown
Jeff Rhoades, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Brown- Opioid Epidemic, OLCC and Gaming.
Jeff graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2010.  During his tenure at Lewis & Clark, Jeff worked as an intern in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Unit.  There, he was principally responsible for prosecuting violations of restraining orders.  After graduation, Jeff became the judicial clerk for Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Eric J. Bloch.   As part of his work, Jeff both assisted in complex civil litigation and worked in an experimental drug treatment court.  He then rejoined the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office in July of 2011.   As a Deputy District Attorney, Jeff worked to prosecute gang and violent crimes, felony property crimes, drug crimes and felony DUII charges.  He was instrumental in the creation of a new “restitution unit,” aimed at the vindication of a crime victim’s constitutional rights.  During the 2015 legislative session, Jeff worked as committee counsel for the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.  He also served as lobbyist for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office during the 2016 legislative session.  Jeff joined Governor Brown’s office as a Senior Policy Advisor during the summer of 2016.
Dr. James G. Shames, Jackson County Health and Human Services 
Dr. Jim Shames has lived and practiced in Southern Oregon since 1973. He is Board certified in Family Medicine as well as Addiction Medicine.  He was the founding physician and Medical Director of the Siskiyou Community Health Center in Josephine County, and also worked for La Clinica in Jackson County during its founding years.  He also served as the Medical Director of Allied Health Services, providing Medication Assisted Therapy for individuals with opioid use disorder, from 1990-2017.
He has been the Medical Director and Health Officer for Jackson County since 2002. In response to the growing epidemic of opioid overdoses (prescription pills and heroin), Dr. Shames has been instrumental in the formation of Oregon Pain Guidance (OPG - formerly Opioid Prescribers Group) which is a collaboration of health care providers in Southern Oregon that facilitate the appropriate and safe treatment of chronic pain.  The OPG has created guidelines for safe prescribing as well as having created a website for both professionals and the public (www.oregonpainguidance.org). In 2012 Dr. Shames was awarded the Doctor–Citizen of the Year Award by the Oregon Medical Association for this work. 
Currently Dr. Shames is a consultant for the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Medical Board, and is Health Officer for Jackson County.  In his spare time Dr. Shames enjoys traveling the world, photography, gardening, and spending time with his family.

Dean E. Sidelinger, MD, MSEd, FAAP
Dean Sidelinger is the Health Officer and State Epidemiologist for the Oregon Public Health Division. In this role he supports public health practice, programs, and staff.
Prior to joining the Oregon Health Authority, Dr. Sidelinger served as the Child Health Medical Officer and Interim Deputy Public Health Officer for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). In this role, he helped provide strategic direction for HHSA programs that impacted children and public health through the County’s vision, Live Well San Diego, to help all County residents be healty, be safe, and thrive. He worked across programs in behavioral health, child welfare, early childhood, eligibility operations, and public health. In addition, Dr. Sidelinger worked with multiple partners in the community from the education, health, and social service sectors.
Dr. Sidelinger obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry and medical degree from Georgetown University. He completed pediatric internship and residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and a fellowship in Community Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. He also has a Master’s in Education from the University of Southern California.

Representative David Brock Smith
Representative Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson, who currently serves as the Majority Leader in the Oregon House of Representatives, has spent her life dedicated to fighting for her fellow Oregonians. After working as an attorney in private practice, she advocated for Portland State University and then worked for Oregon’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. As a member of the House of Representatives, Jennifer has been a leading advocate for criminal justice reform, women’s health care, and working Oregonians and their families. She attended the University of Oregon and received her J.D., cum laude, from Willamette University.

Future Meetings

November 21, 3:00-4

State Library
250 Winter St., Salem - Room 103

​​​Past Meetings