OHSU-PSU School of Public Health  

Portland,  OR 
United States
  • Booth: 105

Two of Oregon’s leading universities have joined forces to train the next generation of public health leaders. We focus on community-engaged learning and scholarship that puts the student and researcher out in the world, in real communities. With our students, we work to find enduring and sustainable solutions to today’s public health problems, and are committed to educating students of all backgrounds who want to enter the public health field and improve lives in their communities.

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Sunday: 1:00–2:00pm and 5:00–6:00pm
Monday: 10:00am–12:00pm and 1:00–2:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am–12:00pm and 2:00–3:00pm

 Press Releases

  • Five proposals have been selected for the inaugural OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowships, funding faculty-led efforts that align with the School’s Anti-Racism Initiative, focus on advancing social justice, and support institutional change.

    “The Faculty Fellowship program is one of several ways in which we can advance public health with our antiracism initiative,” noted Dr. David Bangsberg, Dean. “By providing these resources we will enable faculty to develop, implement, and extend antiracism efforts within the school of public health and beyond, with their scholarship, pedagogy, and service.”

    With funding from the School of Public Health’s Philanthropic Advisory Board, SPH plans to award up to $500,000 over three years beginning July 1, 2021 as part of the school’s antiracism initiative. These awards are intended to support faculty efforts to advance antiracism, decolonizing, and social justice through research, teaching, and service. Specifically, this funding will provide support for faculty seeking to develop and implement projects that will concretely advance antiracism as it relates to the School’s mission.

    “Advancing social justice and anti-racism at SPH must be led, in large part, by our faculty. But often that burden has fallen to those faculty who themselves are from currently and historically marginalized and oppressed groups,” said Dr. Dawn Richardson, Associate Dean for Social Justice.  “Because of this inequity in labor, our institution must re-distribute resources to concretely support the social justice efforts of those from the most impacted communities. We are confident that these new fellowship awards, which will financially support tangible and impactful faculty-led ideas and efforts, are a major step towards achieving institutional change at SPH.”

    The five inaugural Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowships include the following:

    Expanding Equity and Inclusion: Asian-American & Pacific Islander Studies at Portland State University

    More than 13% of PSU students identify as AAPI. Yet, they remain grossly underserved in terms of curricula, including the absence of AAPI Studies within the School of Gender, Race, and Nations. This proposal will address this gap in culturally responsive, anti-racist pedagogy for AAPI students through course development, strategic planning to establishing AAPI Studies, and programming that highlights AAPI perspectives.

    The project is led by faculty, staff, and students from across campus (Dr. Betty Izumi, School of Public Health; Dr. Marie Lo, Department of English; Dr. Sri Craven, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Dr. Kai Hang Cheang, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Dr. Alma Trinidad, School of Social Work; Dr. Lisa Weasel, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Bree Kalima, PIAAA Student Center; and students Motutama Sipelii, Ava Kupperman), along with Duncan Hwang, representing APANO (Asian Pacific Network of Oregon), the state’s leading AAPI grassroots advocacy organization.

    Imagining a Healthy and Equitable Future for Childbirth: A Novel Public Health Framework

    US childbirth outcomes are poor by international standards and marred by persistent racial/ ethnic inequity. This proposal asks whether the established public health research tools and frameworks that we use in studying birthing health could be part of the problem. What could childbirth research look like if time and space were devoted to defining and implementing justice-centered processes and values? In this project, Dr. Jonathan Snowden and Dr. Melissa Cheney , his Oregon State University collaborator, explore the intersections between imagination, data science and ethnography to re-envision an alternate way of being, doing and disseminating birth justice research.

    Funding Ongoing Service in Gender Minority Health by a Transgender Faculty

    Dr. Alexis Dinno has been organizing, leading and supporting community-centered and participatory work to justly and accurately represent gender minorities in the clinic and in research. Her collaborators have included local and state health departments, medical professional associations, and gender minority advocacy groups. This proposal further funds her outreach and work on behalf of gender minority health, including a collaboration with the National Hemophilia Foundation to prioritize research in service of gender minority access and quality of care in the blood disorders community and an ongoing collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority and their work to standardize measures of sexual orientation.

    Incorporating Data Equity into Biostatistics Curriculum

    Data equity refers to the consideration, through an equity lens, of the ways in which data are collected, analyzed, interpreted, and distributed. It is a practice needed for all public health researchers and practitioners. Given that biostatistics plays an important role in virtually every step of the “data life cycle,” teaching these concepts to students is a critical component for an antiracist and inclusive biostatistics curriculum. Seven School of Public Health faculty members (Dr. Rochelle Fu, Dr. Byung Park, Dr. Thuan Nguyen, Dr. Janne Boone-Heinonen, Dr. Jodi Lapidus, and Amber Lin) will work to address these gaps, with a goal to identify and organize data equity training materials for Biostatistics (possibly all SPH) faculty; develop a one-credit inter-professional experience course on data equity for Biostatistics and other SPH students; and review and strengthen the overall Biostatistics curriculum on data equity.

    The People’s Social Epi Project: P S E P PDX

    Drawing from critical race, decolonizing, and Black feminist theory literatures, this proposal is a portfolio of three projects developed to “center the margins” and co-create counternarratives to traditional health equity research processes that enact epistemic oppression and erasure. The projects, developed by Dr. Ryan Petteway, represent a mix of YPAR, visual art, music, and poetry—all as embodied expression of racial health equity knowledge.

    The three projects include the yHEART Decolonizing Data Hub (yHEART), an ongoing program in collaboration with Self Enhancement Inc (SEI) in which a cohort of 10 youth researchers will be trained to lay the groundwork for a decolonizing data hub. The second project, the Public Health MixTape Project, will build upon Petteway’s ongoing work to explore more inclusive pedagogies for learning about/analyzing population health inequities within public health classrooms. The final project, the Public Health Poetry project will, in collaboration with SEI, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, and Word is Bond, build upon Petteway’s pathbreaking and award-winning work at the intersections of poetry and public health. The project will include a series of youth poetry competitions related, broadly, to health equity and community health.

    The Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowship Selection Process

    The request for proposals for the Faculty Fellowships was released in December 2020 with a deadline of mid-March. The School received nine applications across three funding tiers for review. Thirty-five faculty, staff, students, and community members from across PSU, OHSU, the School of Public Health, and community stakeholders engaged in a 3-week application review process, with approximately seven reviewers provided per application. Assessment rubrics and scoring spreadsheets were developed and finalized with support and guidance from volunteers with evaluation expertise. After considering scores and review comments, five applications were selected for funding.

    “We are grateful for the engagement, enthusiasm, and collective energy of these reviewers, who were all volunteers,’ said Richardson. “Without them this process would not have been possible.”

  • Study of Black youth will address health disparities and advance health equity

    Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, recently appointed Associate Dean of Research at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (OHSU-PSU SPH), is one of three Principal Investigators (MPI) on a collaborative health disparities study which, it was announced today, has received a $9,023,523 grant from the National Institute of Health’s “Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity” program.

    “Increasing Financial and Health Equity Among Low Income Black Youth and Young Adults” is a collaboration between OHSU-PSU SPH, the University of California at San Francisco, and MyPath (a community-based non-profit dedicated to building economic pathways for youth). The study is a five-year trial to examine how guaranteed income paired with financial capability training can impact the financial, mental, and physical well-being of low-income Black Emerging Adults (BEA), ages 18-24, during their critical period of transition to independence.

    “This study will provide the critical data needed to understand the potential of guaranteed income for Black youth,” said Lightfoot,” and how to maximize its impact on health at a time when multiple municipalities, counties, and states are considering legislation to support such programs.”

    BEA in the U.S. experience higher levels of poverty, illness, and discrimination than White youth. These exposures to harm, coupled with the lack of supportive services to address and mitigate poverty and structural inequities, result in health inequities. BEA experience high mental health service needs, but much less service utilization than White youth, have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and less access to family planning. Disrupting the social determinants of poverty that systematically affects BEA, can have a transformative impact on a healthy transition into adulthood during a critical time in their development. Guaranteed basic income (GBI) is an economic strategy that could redress financial inequities and transform the mental and physical health outcomes of BEA, which has shown tremendous promise in adults populations and youth in families receiving income, but little is known about how GBI programs would work when cash is transferred unconditionally and directly to Black emerging adults and what critical supports would be needed to ensure GBI is most effective.

    This study includes implementation and evaluation of an innovative, multilevel intervention to address these health inequities by providing GBI and access to financial coaching, peer-support, and real-time monitoring of needs and referral to services. The project will provide critical data needed to understand the potential of GBI for Black youth and how to maximize its impact on health with targeted programming at a time when multiple municipalities are considering GBI legislation.

    “Dr. Lightfoot’s critical study on increasing financial and health equity among Black youth reflects the core mission of the School of Public Health and the commitment of our faculty to advance antiracism and social justice through our research, teaching, and service,” said Dr. David Bangsberg, Dean of SPH. “I look forward to working with her to focus on the public health and social justice impacts of our faculty’s research.” 

    About the NIH Transformative Research Initiative

    The Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity initiative is a trans-NIH effort managed collaboratively by the NIH Common Fund, Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Tribal Health Research Office, and the National Institute of Nursing Research.  

    The NIH Common Fund developed the initiative to support highly innovative, translational research projects, which if successful will prevent, reduce, or eliminate health disparities and advance health equity. Additionally, this initiative is expected to increase the competitiveness of investigators and expand the research base dedicated to health disparities research at minority serving institutions (MSIs). The new Common Fund initiative supports the goals of NIH’s UNITE, an effort aimed to end structural racism and racial inequities throughout the biomedical research enterprise. 

    The grants of this initiative are innovative because the applications focused on the significance of the research problem, the novelty of the idea or approach, and the magnitude of the potential impact rather than on preliminary data or experimental details. The hope was to attract bold new ideas and new perspectives to health disparities research.

  • Interviews provide important interpretive data, including the “why” behind what’s happening

    Not long ago, most of the research on sexual and gender minority health was conducted using convenience sampling, for instance in bars or at Pride parades. With that methodology, you’re going to get a very biased sample.  Unsurprisingly, research conducted on people in bars and parades demonstrates that they drink a lot and like to parade. This, however, is less about sexual and gender minorities than it is about conducting research in a bar or an event.

    For Jae Downing, PhD, good data — probability data or administrative data — is key. Their research centers on improving health and health care for transgender and gender diverse individuals.

    One of Downing’s current projects finds that the health of children born to same-sex and different-sex couples are similar – even though pathways to pregnancy differ. With birth certificate data, the team can determine which children were born to same-sex couples and reduce the bias that attends surveys.

    “National data, or administrative data like birth certificate data or claims data, is so useful because it provides a more complete picture — it’s an image of the full population,” said Downing, assistant professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. “We can say something about what’s truly happening without worrying about self-reported bias.”

    Mixed methods research: By us and for us

    Data can reveal what is happening, but not why it is happening.

    A mixed methods approach, where qualitative data like interviews and questionnaires are used to shed light on the numerical data, can yield a more complete picture, a more human picture than is possible with just numerical, or quantitative, data.

    Downing’s community at OHSU, and Portland’s transgender and gender diverse community, have made sense for Downing’s research. They consider John McConnell at the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness an important mentor, particularly for his expertise with the Oregon’s Medicaid Program. An added bonus has been the opportunity to work and become friends with people in the Transgender Health Program — Amy Penkin, Geolani Dy, Kara Connelly, Christina Milano and others across OHSU.

    Recently, Downing was writing a paper on surgery with Dy, an assistant professor of urology, and doctoral student Kimberly Yee, and they found that the hair-removal process prior to surgery — a required step — creates a roadblock that can push the wait time for surgery up to two years. When the Oregon Health Plan began covering hair removal —more than a year after gender-affirming surgery received coverage in 2015 — there were no approved providers. This acute problem persists today.

    Listening to the community during the course of this research resulted in a January 2021 JAMA Dermatology paper.

    “We need more than good data to really understand what is happening,” said Downing. “In one study, we find trans women and trans men in Oregon’s Medicaid program are using PrEP, an HIV prevention intervention, at much higher rates than cisgender people, or people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth. The data also showed that trans women have lower adherence to PrEP, but we can’t answer with this data is why — what is coming up for folks?”

    Social justice and science are intertwined for Downing. Solid information, including whether coverage of gender-affirming care is cost-effective in the long run, can have important policy implications.

    “The cost of no coverage is high — rates of suicide are so high, as well as depression and substance use,” said Downing. “And we’re essentially giving people care that they deserve. Hormones are very cheap and they can change people’s life, including providers’ lives, who I believe care strongly about their patients.”

    Downing is committed to social justice, and believes good science is one important trajectory of achieving that justice.

  • Social justice is the bedrock of public health. Public health researchers have well-established partnerships with members of BIPOC communities and are beginning to untangle and reverse disparities. Students and faculty members in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health bring this value to the center of what they do. Their work has been essential this year – with the thunderous cry for racial justice and the COVID-19 pandemic being just two areas of response.

    In this recent panel discussion hosted by OHSU, SPH faculty and students discussed how anti-racism and health equity are helping to train tomorrow’s public health activists, and how students are holding the school accountable along the way.

    Watch the video: Health Equity Symposia

  • The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is recruiting for an Executive Specialist!

    Apply HERE

    Department Overview

    The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) is aligned with the American Public Health Association in declaring racism a public health crisis, and our School is committed to becoming an antiracist SPH. We are working to center social justice in our internal and external work as a school and are committed to addressing structural and institutional racism, and to holding ourselves accountable to this work.  

    Function/Duties of Position

    Reporting directly to the Associate Dean for Research, this position in the SPH will support the SPH Dean’s office in four key areas:

    1. Administrative support for two Associate Deans

    • Maintains calendars and scheduling of appointments for the Associate Dean for Research and Associate Dean for Social Justice
    • Generates correspondence and email for internal and external meetings; compiles and distributes materials for meeting attendees; provides support for in-person; distance tele-meetings, or combined formats including communications and technology for engagement across diverse members and constituents.
    • Serves as administrative support person for recruitments related to the Associate Deans’ direct reports including student positions.
    • Makes purchases, arranges travel, processes reimbursements, disbursements and expense reconciliation related to Associate Deans’ activities.
    • Anticipates needs of the Associate Deans’ and facilitates actions to achieve objectives and incoming tasks.

    2. Administrative support for two Associate Dean’s Committees

    • Provides administrative support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC), Community Engagement Committee; and Research Committee.
    • Schedules and participates in preparatory meetings; sets the agendas prior to meetings
    • Confirms all speakers/presenters of upcoming meetings
    • Collects and distributes meeting materials in a timely manner
    • Takes notes and transcribes minutes for committee meetings
    • Supports the chair(s) and Associate Deans in prioritizing deadlines; establishing and upholding administrative policy and procedure for their committees

    3. General Administrative support for Dean’s Office, as a member of the Dean’s office administrative team

    • Answers the main phone line; directs inquiries; explains and clarifies processes and procedures; relays messages
    • Collects and distributes internal and external mail
    • Maintains physical space, including kitchen, shared spaces
    • Coordinates facilities maintenance requests
    • Assists with room scheduling
    • Assists in development and maintenance of office and administrative policies and procedures
    • Maintains inventory and anticipates future needs of office supplies
    • Perform cross-coverage support for other administrative team members as needed
    • Provide front-desk coverage as needed

    4. Event Support

    • Assists with the organization and delivery of events within the portfolios of the Associate Dean for Research (ADR) and the Associate Dean for Social Justice (ADSJ) and School-wide
    • Schedules events, oversees RSVPs, manages catering orders, space and AV needs

    Required Qualifications

    • An Associate’s degree or certificate in office occupations or office technology and three years of secretarial or executive assistant experience;
      OR A Bachelor’s degree and two years of secretarial or executive assistant experience;
      OR Four years of secretarial or executive assistant experience;
      OR An equivalent combination of training and experience.
    • Demonstrated commitment and experience advancing equity and diversity in a workplace or community setting
    • Ability to build and nurture relationships across OHSU and PSU to bridge the institutions
    • Prior experience in supporting an executive including managing calendars, events, and correspondence.
    • Excellent computer skills including strong experience and working knowledge in Outlook, Word, Power Point, Excel and Adobe Acrobat and Google Suite
    • Experience dealing with sensitive, highly confidential information.
    • Experience with explaining and disseminating policies, processes and procedures.
    • Experience establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds and levels in an organization.
    • Experience working independently as well as a member of a team.
    • Experience in event planning/conference organization.
    • Experience learning complex, matrixed procedures and systems and articulating relevant information to necessary parties in a comprehensive manner.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • A Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Management, Public Administration or a closely related field.
    • Ability to see the ‘big picture’ while concurrently managing details with accuracy – in scheduling, travel, meeting, and other daily business operations.
    • Demonstrated experience with organizational and prioritization skills
    • Experience in higher education or an academic health center environment.
    • Experience with AV systems and virtual meeting platforms.

    Additional Details

    Working conditions:

    Conduct activities during normal SPH work hours (8 hours between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, to be determined by supervisor and managers). Non-traditional work hours may be occasionally required for event support.

    Workspace will be at the Vanport Building in Downtown Portland – onsite work is a requirement of the position with part-time telecommuting options to be determined by manager.

    Physical demands & equipment usage:

    Extended desk and computer work are required for this position. Groups and individual interactions in person, by phone, or video conference will be routine activities for this position.

    All are welcome

    Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or aaeo@ohsu.edu.


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