On October 18, 2022, at the 78th OPHA Annual Conference and Meeting, Phyusin Myint, PhD, Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer of Health Share stepped into the role as the new President of the Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA). Members of the association voted electronically to elect Dr. Myint in 2022 and the vote was announced at the association’s annual conference on October 12, 2022.
The 78th OPHA Annual Conference & Meeting is the premier educational and networking event for more than 400 public health professionals throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Attendees include public health practitioners, physicians, administrators, dental professionals, nurses, educators, policy makers, community leaders, researchers, non-profit leaders, CCO leaders and partners, and public health students.
The organization, which is an affiliate of the American Public Health Association, the largest public health association in the nation, advocates for policies that protect and promote health and health equity for everyone in Oregon. Recent advocacy issues include racism as a public health crisis, climate change, water fluoridation and public charge. OPHA also provides learning, collaboration and leadership opportunities for public health professionals and the community.
Myint has been serving on the OPHA board for nearly four years. She joined the Board as Region 3 Board Director representing six counties across Oregon including Washington, Columbia, Yamhill, Lincoln, Tillamook, and Clatsop.
“I have been here to witness OPHA’s journey, and I had the pleasure of serving as the Co-Chair of our first Equity Committee which was led by our past presidents. I was also here as the Region 3 Board Director in 2020, when OPHA began convening the Oregon Health Equity Task Force, comprised of leaders and community-based organizations.”
This task force led the effort to get the Oregon Legislature to declare racism a public health crisis. The bill provides initial funding and directs OHA to establish a Mobile Health Unit Pilot Program and establishes a new advocacy commission to ensure the ideas to end institutional racism and strategies for building health equity are directed, informed, and endorsed by BIPOC community members.
As a Board, Myint is honored that OPHA pursed anti-oppression and deep understanding of our internal biases throughout our organization by engaging in ongoing learning through EDI trainings, and consulting with other organizations and experts to develop and implement transparent internal policies, that actively promote equity. OPHA has been around for nearly 80 years, and has approximately 600 members including students, health educators, doctors, nurses, dental professionals, public health professionals, researchers, professors, community leaders and citizens who are committed to improving public health in Oregon.
Myint is an immigrant from Burma and identifies as an inclusive leader- one that values diversity and lived experiences of staff and is open to multiple perspectives.
“Many people in my community and many folks who have had life journeys similar to mine, rarely have the privilege and opportunity to hold leadership roles such as this. It was not an accident or coincidence that I am here today. I am here both in part of my own tenacity and hard work as much the commitment, love and support from my community, my family, and other leaders who have uplifted me. I am proud to represent these identities, and I am keenly aware of what the significance of my leadership means for so many of young professionals and public health students."