New Life Breathed into Upstream Public Health

For the time being, a volunteer working board is in charge.

Upstream Public Health is on the verge of being revitalized following an earlier decision to close it down because of financial difficulties.

Its volunteer-run board is determined to keep this public health advocacy group alive. “We’re at a critical juncture, given what’s occurring at the federal level, and public health needs all the voices it can muster for the health of Oregonians,” Robb Hutson, the board’s vice chair, told The Lund Report.

During the next six months, the board intends to work diligently to rebuild the organization while focusing exclusively on public health issues rather than getting involved in technical contracts.

“We’re putting our financial troubles behind us and starting fresh,” added Hutson, who anticipates Upstream will be able to hire administrative staff within six months.

Jill Thompson Hutson, CEO of the Rede Group, and a long-time public health professional is the new board chair. Other board members include:

  • Caryn Wheeler, a public health professional and assistant professor of Practice for OSU Extension in Jackson and Josephine Counties,
  • Marcus C. Mundy, of Mundy Consulting LLC and former member of the Oregon Health Fund Board, and president of the Urban League of Portland
  • Danna Drum, with the Public Health Division at the Oregon Health Authority,
  • Daniel Morris, research director at Our Oregon, and
  • Dr. Jimmy Unger, MPH, a Pediatrician with Northwest Permanente Medical Group.

“Clearly, these are perilous times; especially for those in our communities who are struggling with poverty and systematic oppression. I believe Upstream has a critical role to play in advocating for health and safety in Oregon,” said Thompson Hutson.

“I’m very excited about the new Board members, and for the strong show of support from the community. This bodes well for Upstream’s future as a vital part of Oregon’s public health network that is focused on improving the health of people across the state,” said Craig Mosbaek, a former and founding Board Member of Upstream. Upstream faces the challenges of starting over as a volunteer based organization. Thompson Hutson noted, “We are beginning again to build up our partnerships and our funding base to become a strong advocacy and grass roots organization in the State of Oregon. We look forward to working with the people of our state and the public health community to become a powerful voice for a healthier Oregon.”

Upstream Public Health, was founded in 2003 to promote the social, economic, political, and community conditions that improve the health and well-being of all Oregonians.

Diane can be reached at [email protected].

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