New Faces Emerge at Capitol
February 7, 2013 -- A very familiar healthcare lobbyist who’s always been reluctant to speak to the media is back in the State Capitol after retiring in early 2009.
Scott Gallant, who spent 28 years at the Oregon Medical Association as its chief lobbyist, and probably knows almost every legislator in the building by their first name, is now on the state’s payroll, having been hired temporarily by Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority.
According to Goldberg, Gallant’s been hired to teach his new director of legislative affairs and government relations – Courtney Thompson -- the ins and outs of the Capitol.
“He’ll help introduce Courtney to healthcare interests, to legislators, it’s a quick contract,” Goldberg said.
Thompson, meanwhile, is taking over from Jeremy Vandehey who left the Oregon Health Authority in early December to manage Kaiser Permanente's relationships with state and local lawmakers in Oregon and Washington.
According to David Northfield, public relations spokesman, Vandehey, will keep abreast of upcoming legislation, with a particular emphasis on state and federal implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
He had been one of the first employees hired by OHA, first as community engagement coordinator, and early was a practicing attorney; working as a public defender, as well as in private practice.
Thompson, meanwhile, was most recently the outreach director for The Center for Michigan, a statewide think and do tank that engages communities in policy discussions. Earlier, she served as Senator Jeff Merkley’s deputy campaign manager in 2007-2008, and later as a legislative assistant for the Senator from 2009-2011.
Raised in Lake Oswego and Salem, she received her BA in Political Science and Public Relations from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Administration from the George Washington University. Following her education she was a Capital City Fellow in Washington, DC, and then worked on statewide candidate campaigns around the country.