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This Is Public Health

Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health

We are excited to share the many events the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health has planned to engage and celebrate National Public Health Week (NPHW).


National Public Health Week is the biggest week of the year for the Public Health field, as it gives us the chance to showcase the critical work we do to promote the health of individuals, families, communities and populations.

This year’s NPHW theme is “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.” As public health educators, researchers, practitioners, and advocates, this theme gets to the heart of the work of public health. It links us to partners across our city, state, and beyond, all of us working collectively to advance public health. This celebration of collaboration, cooperation, and partnerships in improving public health reflects our core values here in the OHSU-PSU SPH.

Public Health Week Events & Features

Below are the different activities we have planned each day of NPHW. We encourage you to participate in and promote these events and features, exploring the NPHW daily themes, and gaining a better understanding of what public health is, why it matters, and how it impacts our daily lives.

Public Health Week Features

Public Health Practice

KOIN Everyday Northwest, April 1st @ 9:00am – Jonathan Snowden

Dr. Jonathan Snowden is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. He also leads a collaborative Public Health Practice with the Oregon Health Authority and other public health agencies, in which they place graduate students with public health officials to work on real-world health problems in our community.

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Oregon Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health and Aging

KOIN AM Extra, April 2nd @ 7:00am – Walter Dawson

Dr. Walter Dawson is the Co-director of the Oregon Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health and Aging, and Assistant Professor of Neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine and Health Systems Management and Policy in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.

Oregon’s population is rapidly aging. With this shift comes an increasing need for access to behavioral health resources, including support for substance use disorders and serious mental illness. But these resources are often inaccessible and underutilized as the state’s aging population encounters barriers to services and supports. To address these barriers, the Center will focus on developing the aging behavioral health workforce, conducting translational research, and policy analysis.


Gun Violence As A Public Health Crisis

KOIN AM Extra, April 3rd @ 7:00am – Kathleen Carlson

Dr. Kathleen Carlson is a Professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health in Epidemiology and Environmental Systems and Human Health. Trained as an injury epidemiologist, Dr. Carlson is serving as Chair of the OHSU-PSU Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Initiative and Director of the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center.

Compared to white Oregonians, rates of gun death are 150% higher for American Indians or Alaska Natives and 450% higher for Black Oregonians. To address this issue, in 2016 the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health launched Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Initiative, intended to promote public health solutions rooted in equity and social justice.

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NAEH Grant Addressing Homeless and Houseless In Multnomah County

KOIN AM Extra, April 4th @ 7:00am – Marisa Westbrook

Dr. Marisa Westbrook is an Assistant Professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health in Health Promotion and Community Health. Dr. Westbrook teaches and conducts research on topics of community health, housing and homelessness, program planning and evaluation, and health equity.

Dr. Westbrook, along with colleagues at the PSU Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative, was recently awarded a research grant from the National Alliance to End Homelessness focused on examining innovative approaches to permanent supportive housing that support the needs of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color communities in the Portland Metro area. Watch the full interview.


What Is Public Health?

KOIN Everyday Northwest, April 5th @ 9:00am – Dean Paul Halverson

Dr. Paul K. Halverson is the Dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH). Prior to joining SPH, Dr. Halverson was the founding dean at Indiana University’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, a former hospital administrator, the state health officer and director for the Arkansas Department of Health and held senior leadership roles at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including as the director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Public Health.


Explore More Public Health

Learn more about National Public Health Week by reading some of our other School of Public Health featured stories surrounding the work done to advance public health.