Select a link to learn more about each member of the Public Health Leadership team:
- Director, Mel Kohn, MD, MPH
- Interim Deputy Director, Michael Skeels, PhD, MPH
- State Epidemiologist, Katrina Hedberg, MD, MPH
- Interim Administrator, Center for Health Protection, Dave Leland, MS, PE
- Administrator, Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, Jae Douglas, PhD, MSW
- Administrator, Center for Public Health Practice, Tom Eversole, DVM, MS
Director, Public Health Division & State Public Health Officer
Mel Kohn, MD, MPH is the Director for the Oregon Public Health Division and State Health Officer at the Oregon Health Authority. Previously he served as State Epidemiologist and administrator of the Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Epidemiology. He has worked in the public health sector since 1993, including two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Before joining DHS in 1999, Dr. Kohn was Medical Director for a Section of the Louisiana Office of Public Health in New Orleans where he was also an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Kohn received a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale (1981), took pre-med courses at Columbia University, received his M.D. from Harvard (1990), and received his Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (1997). He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital in Boston, completed a preventive medicine residency at Oregon Health and Sciences University, and is board-certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine.
Interim Deputy Director, Public Health Division
Michael Skeels, PhD, MPH, is the interim Deputy Director of the Oregon Public Health Division. Dr. Skeels has worked in public health since 1977. He is the Director of the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory and has held similar positions in the Montana and New Mexico state laboratories. From 1990 to 1994, he served as the State Public Health Director for Oregon, and is an alumnus of the CDC Public Health Leadership Institute.
Dr. Skeels holds academic appointments at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and the Portland State University School of Community Health and Department of Biology. He has authored numerous publications in the fields of laboratory practice, newborn metabolic screening and public health administration. He recently served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. He is a Past President of the Association of Public Health Laboratories and served on the Executive Committee of ASTHO. Throughout his career, he has worked actively on public health issues and policies.
Katrina Hedberg, MD, MPH, is the State Epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division. Dr. Hedberg received her undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1980, and her medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University in 1985. She completed her residency training at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Hedberg earned her Master's of Public Health Degree from the University of Washington in 1990, and is board certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Hedberg has been with the Oregon Department of Human Services for the past 20 years, and has worked in a variety of public health programs, including HIV/AIDS, Acute and Communicable Disease, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Injury Epidemiology, Chronic Disease Prevention, Tuberculosis, and Health Statistics. Dr. Hedberg is an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University.
Administrator, Center for Health Protection
Dave Leland, MS, PE is the interim Administrator of the Center for Health Protection. He is responsible for a wide array of programs that work with health care facilities, licensing, and environmental health and regulation to protect the health and safety of Oregonians.
Mr. Leland has worked in the Center since 1982, managing the Drinking Water program since 1990. He started his career in the Michigan Safe Drinking Water program in 1977, moving to Oregon in 1980 to work as a drinking water staff engineer with the Springfield Utility Board.
Along the way, Mr. Leland has been active in a variety of regional and national organizations, both on committees and on governing boards. He served as Chair of the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association and as President of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. Mr. Leland is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Environmental Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in Oregon in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Administrator, Center for Prevention and Health Promotion
Jae P. Douglas, PhD, MSW is the Administrator of the Center for Prevention and Health Promotion. Dr. Douglas has worked in the field of public health for 25 years and she has extensive knowledge, experience and expertise in working with communities addressing pressing medical, social, mental health, and environmental health issues.
Dr. Douglas received her BA in Theology from the University of Portland in 1986 and went on to receive her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Portland State University in 1988. She completed her doctorate in Social Welfare Research in 2001 and her post-doctoral fellowship in Health Services Research in 2003 through OHSU's Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the Kaiser Center for Health Research.
Throughout her career, Dr. Douglas has worked at the intersection of social work and public health, serving the people and communities of Oregon in many capacities. In 1988-2004, she focused her efforts on serving Oregonians living with HIV and AIDS, first as a clinical social worker, then as the founding Director of the Partnership Project, a statewide program providing clients with HIV and AIDS and their families with access to information, treatment and support services. She also served as the Director of Oregon AIDS Education and Training Center. In 2004, she joined the Public Health Division and assumed a leadership role in identifying, assessing and reporting on threats to human health from exposure to environmental and occupational hazards. Her work has always incorporated evaluation and research as a key component of ensuring quality and innovation in care and service delivery, organizational development, and evidence-based research and policy development.
Dr. Douglas has contributed to a variety of state, regional and national organizations and committees, including the Ryan White Title I Planning Council, co-chair of the Pesticide Analytical and Response Center (PARC) and as OHA's citizen advocate on the Governor's Environmental Justice Task Force.
Administrator, Center for Public Health Practice
Tom Eversole, DMV, MS is the Administrator of the Center for Public Health Practice. Dr. Eversole grew up in Virginia and earned a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech. He went on to earn his veterinary degree at the University of Georgia and a post-doc masters in veterinary surgery at Colorado State University, where he completed his residency in Large Animal Surgery.
Dr. Eversole served on the faculty at UGA and later went into private equine practice in Maryland. As the AIDS epidemic unfolded in Baltimore, he changed careers and went back to school to earn an MS in Counseling Psychology at Loyola University. While attending Loyola, he taught residential, court-ordered, severely emotionally handicapped youth at the University of Maryland psychiatric hospital. He also served as a national trainer in the fields of substance abuse prevention, multicultural leadership and organizational development. Upon completing his degree in 1989, Dr. Eversole worked as a psychotherapist in the AIDS Service at Johns Hopkins University Hospital under a project to integrate mental health and primary care. From 1992-1997, he worked with the American Psychological Association, directing its nationwide AIDS training program for psychologists.
In Oregon, Dr. Eversole has worked at Oregon Public Health Division, managing the HIV prevention program and later administering Oregon's HIV/STD/TB programs. As Benton County Health Administrator from 2000-2008, he was responsible for public health, mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and primary care programs. In 2008, Dr. Eversole began working at Oregon State University to lead the strategic development of a College of Public Health and Human Sciences. The new college was established June 9, 2011, and accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) anticipated in July 2014.
Dr. Eversole has served on the board of directors of the Community Health Centers of Linn and Benton Counties, as vice-chair of CLHO and as Chair of the Oregon Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB). He is currently president of the Oregon Public Health Association.