Who we are

The Oregon Public Health Institute is a nonprofit leader in building vibrant and healthy communities throughout Oregon. We work with a wide range of private and public partners to create innovative community-led solutions, focused on systems and environment changes that go beyond traditional healthcare strategies to enhance health, improve equity, and reduce disparities.

Since its inception in 1999, OPHI has been engaged in promoting equitable, health-positive policies around the state.  In 2014, OPHI launched a new vision for the organization that builds on its strong foundation, and seeks to implement long-term strategies necessary to improve the health of those experiencing the greatest disparities. OPHI leads the state on advocacy and policy initiatives; convenes and engages place-based work led by communities; develops innovative solutions and incubates projects; and provides in-depth program and project analysis and evaluation.

OPHI works with private and public partners to design and implement innovative and sustainable community-led solutions. 

We believe that long-lasting, meaningful change is possible here in Oregon. Through our work, we:

  • Advocate for strategies that advance equity and reduce disparities, whether leading or supporting the work of others.
  • Infuse our commitment to social and racial justice.
  • Look upstream, downstream, and midstream to identify solutions that go beyond existing healthcare strategies.

What we do

The OPHI team also provides technical assistance and develops and delivers trainings to local or state government entities, healthcare organizations, businesses, and health plans. OPHI is a national health impact assessment training center, providing trainings, workshops, and technical assistance to multiple public agencies, nonprofits, and private organizations interested in working together to conduct HIAs. 

We have worked with state agencies, hospitals, and other large employers to provide breastfeeding accommodations for mothers; helped local health departments and planning agencies develop strategies and work together to engage communities and support their efforts to improve opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating; and developed capacity in state agencies and school districts to promote physical activity and good nutrition in schools and child care settings.

A member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), OPHI is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit that leads Oregon’s movement for a sustainable public health agenda. We give Oregon’s public health system and its workforce an independent voice, and place cutting-edge research into the hands of policymakers and practitioners where it can do the most good.

Together, we make Oregon a place where the healthy choice is also the easy choice. We work to build a world where all Oregonians have equal opportunity for a life of optimal health.

Our Values

  • Partnerships – we connect government, community and business partner resources, bridge cross-discipline efforts, and connect systems and individuals to achieve greater results.
  • Leadership – we address emerging needs and opportunities, take responsible risks to initiate and model innovative approaches, and model leadership roles by ‘stepping up’ when appropriate and at other times ‘stepping back’ to allow space for community members and organizations to lead and be acknowledged for that leadership.
  • Integrity – we are a trusted source for public health expertise and use our skills, time, and resources wisely.
  • Excellence – our passion and commitment to the OPHI mission demands excellent performance, and in turn, we inspire and acknowledge others to advance the health of individuals and communities in Oregon.
  • Commitment to advance equity, honor diversity and reduce disparities – our goal remains to work in/with those communities who have experienced the greatest disparities and to embed an equity lens in our policy work.
  • Leverage – building on OPHI’s prior experience in food, tobacco, housing, built environment, and worksite initiatives will further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the community transformation work.

OPHI’s Impact

Our work addresses the interconnected systems that influence public health. We engage the collective strengths of many individuals, organizations and communities. Because of our work since 1999:

  • Children in public schools and childcare settings have more options for healthy food and physical activity during the day
  • Employers across the state are building a culture of health for their employees and their families
  • Civic leaders are spearheading policy and planning efforts to create healthy, equitable communities
  • Local breastfeeding coalitions around Oregon are networked and speaking out to promote, support and protect baby’s first food
  • Farmers and neighbors have come together to create farmers markets that bring healthier food to underserved communities
  • Community residents are realizing their vision for walkable, bikeable streets and thriving town centers that bring communities together