Upstream is moving forward!

Portland, Oregon, 3/10/2017 -  On March 7, 2017 the Upstream Public Health Board of Directors voted to add three new board members and to continue as an organization working to keep our vision and mission alive to drive healthy changes, making Oregon a better place to live, work, study, and play, into the foreseeable future. 

In a February 27th communication, Upstream announced that we were facing financial challenges, and as a Board determined that we could no longer remain an independent organization.

Since that communication, as news of the challenges faced by Upstream became more public, a group of public health professionals reached out to the Upstream Board to see if there was any way to keep Upstream, and its mission and vision, alive.

After much thought, the Board determined that, while it isn't currently possible for Upstream to continue with the same model, it is possible to keep the name, mission, and vision alive with a core set of volunteers who will work to rebuild the structure and the funding base of the organization, while remaining true to our values of superior public health advocacy, and health equity, for our Oregon community.

On March 7th, the Board took action to begin a reorganization process under new Board leadership. Jill Thompson Hutson, CEO of the Rede Group, and a long-time public health professional was voted in as the new Board Chair, while Robb Hutson, a public health and communication professional from Portland and Caryn Wheeler, a public health professional and Assistant Professor of Practice for OSU Extension in Jackson and Josephine Counties were also added to the board. Current Board members Marcus C. Mundy, of Mundy Consulting LLC and former member of the Oregon Health Fund Board, as well as President of the Urban League of Portland, and Jimmy Unger, MD, MPH, a Pediatrician with Northwest Permanente Medical Group, will also remain on the board.

“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 am 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.

The Board of Directors wants to, again, emphasize our respect for the professional contributions of the former Upstream staff. If we could have found a way to keep them on board, we would have done so. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to do so at this time.

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’s Goals:

·       Promote policies within public, private, and community sectors that improve health

·       Reduce health disparities

·       Build community support to expand our reach

·       Promote broad understanding of the connection between public policy and public health

·       Be a vehicle for all people to improve their health and the health of the people they care about

·       Provide credible, accurate, and timely information about the health of Oregonians

Robert Hutson