OPCA Awards of Excellence, 2019-20

Every year OPCA is proud to honor individuals and organizations who do outstanding work to advance health equity and care for the health of Oregonians experiencing poverty and marginalization. Reflecting the tremendous efforts occurring throughout Oregon, this year’s selection process was particularly competitive. OPCA received 21 nominations including a large number in the Health Equity and CHC Advocacy categories. This year, individuals or teams at six community health centers were recognized.

Congratulations to the following individuals who took home a 2019-20 OPCA Award of Excellence, which were presented at OPCA’s Annual Meeting, held virtually on May 15, 2020. Click here for the News Release

ADVOCACY AWARD
Nic Powers, Winding Waters
Nic Powers, CEO of Winding Waters, received a CHC Advocacy award for his tireless advocacy. In 2019, he was integral to efforts to pass Oregon HB 5030, providing $2.5 million for a new integrated health care facility in Enterprise, OR. Whenever Powers has spoken with state and federal policy makers, he sought to align his conversations with OPCA’s and NACHC’s policy goals. He has worked with state legislators, unions, and OPCA to seek solutions to state policy issues. 
Learn more: Q&A with Nic Powers in OPCA's blog

VALUE AWARD
Sarah Salisbury, Lane County Health & Human Services Department
This year’s CHC Value award went to Sarah Salisbury, Quality Coordinator at Lane County’s Health & Human Services Department, and the Data Heroes of the Community Health Centers of Lane County. Salisbury and colleagues developed the Data Heroes initiative to improve patient care. Sample achievements by Data Heroes include improving HbA1c values by 34% to 68%, and raising flu vaccination rates for patients over 50 years old from 200% to 400%. In 2020, Salisbury and the Data Heroes were recognized by the Lane County Administrator and Board of County Commissioners.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Sherlyn Dahl, Community Health Centers of Benton & Linn Counties
Sherlyn Dahl, Executive Director of the Community Health Centers of Benton & Linn Counties, received a Lifetime Achievement award for her steadfast leadership and innovative contributions to the community health center movement. Dahl, who is retiring in early summer, spent nearly 14 years with the organization. She brought vision, skilled strategic planning, and commitment to alignment of goals within local, state, and federal spaces. She led the organization through consistent growth and vast changes in the healthcare landscape, and initiated multiple partnerships across departments and counties. Dahl has held positions of influence and contribution to multiple committees and boards throughout the region and state, including committee and board leadership roles at OPCA. Dahl received the 2017-18 Innovation and Leadership in Transformation Award from OPCA, highlighting her career commitment to serving vulnerable populations, creating a dynamic work environment for staff, and leading communities to better health.

HEALTH EQUITY AWARD
Katie Thornton, Multnomah County Health Department
This year’s Health Equity award went to Katie Thornton, Regional Manager for Multnomah County Health Department’s North Portland & Northeast Health Centers, and Multnomah County Public Health Division’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Health (REACH) Program. Thornton facilitated a partnership with REACH whose first collaborative effort is to improve tobacco cessation and counseling for Black patients. She also created two equity teams that drive culture shifts and play key roles shaping the vision for each clinic. REACH has implemented evidence-based strategies to redress health inequities in the Black community, such as supporting Community Health Workers and patient navigators, implementing chronic disease management programs, and increasing access to social services.

INNOVATION & LEADERSHIP IN TRANSFORMATION AWARD
Matt Hogge, La Clinica’s Wellness Center
Matt Hogge, FNP/DNP, Medical Director at La Clinica’s Wellness Center, was recognized with an Innovation and Leadership in Transformation award. He has developed numerous programs, helped create partnerships with community providers to offer on-site services like physical therapy and nutrition education, and contributed to the development of new providers. A dedicated clinician who carries a large patient load, Hogge is beloved by patients and staff alike.
Learn more: Q&A with Matt Hogge in OPCA's blog.

GROWTH AWARD
Leadership Team at Valley Family Health Center
The leadership team at Valley Family Health Center was awarded a Growth award for their work stewarding unprecedented growth. The team consists of Tim Heinze, CEO, Dr. William Jackson, Chief Medical Officer, Irene Winters, Chief Nursing Officer, Ben Murray, COO, Sarah Ludovic-Young, Chief Quality Officer, and Zach Hodges, Chief Information Officer. Under their guidance, the organization assumed operations of a pediatrics clinic and an OB/GYN practice, added a medical and dental mobile clinic, and expanded services, resulting in a 77% net increase in patients.