OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Statewide conference to focus on rural health, Latino public health issues

10/05/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A two-day Oregon Public Health Association conference will be held Oct. 18-19 at Oregon State University’s LaSells Stewart Center, bringing public health officials, researchers and the public together to address health concerns of Oregonians.

Topics to be addressed include H1N1 in Oregon, a report on Oregon’s public drinking water, the sexual and reproductive health of Oregon’s rural Latino community, health disparities based on gender and sexual orientation, and an analysis of Oregon’s home daycare providers.

“Oregon, now more than ever, needs to come together to engage on the critical public health needs of our state and our region,” said Marie Harvey, professor of public health at Oregon State University and co-chair of the conference along with Charlie Fautin at Benton County.

Dr. Melvin Kohn, public health director for the state of Oregon, will open the conference with a keynote address on “The State of Public Health in the State,” at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 18.

Dr. Carmen Rita Nevarez, vice president of external relations and preventive medicine adviser at the Public Health Institute, will give Tuesday’s keynote address at 9:30 a.m., speaking on “Working to Prevent Chronic Disease: A Role for Many.”

Nevarez is president of the American Public Health Association and is past chair of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. Her areas of expertise include women's reproductive health, community based strategies for chronic disease prevention, and social media for public health.

Researchers will present findings on a variety of topics. Employees from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will discuss results of a quantitative assessment of risk to infants from environmental contaminants in human milk. Marc Braverman will lead a discussion on OSU Extension Service’s role in advancing public health research, education, and practices in Oregon. And Nancy Findholt from Oregon Health & Science University will lead a discussion on childhood obesity prevention research in rural Oregon.

The conference is open to the public and media are welcome to attend. For registration information, go to http://www.oregonpublichealth.org

The OPHA conference is sponsored by OSU’s Department of Public Health, Northwest Health Foundation, William Love O’Leary & Powers, Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials, CareOregon, Family Care, Samaritan Health Foundation, Community Health Partnership, Oregon Master in Public Health Program, Corvallis Family Medicine, Lower Columbia Clinic, University of Washington Extended MPH Program, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, and Salem Hospital.