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Posted on: January 23, 2018

City’s Public Health Director Presents Vision to Council’s Health & Human Services Committee

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The City’s Public Health Director, Dr. Kolawole Bankole, outlined his vision and goals for the future of the department during last night’s Health & Human Services Committee meeting. Dr. Bankole envisions a responsive public health department, one that’s data-driven, mission-oriented and nationally recognized for creating communities where the public can enjoy health & well-being; a clean environment; protection from public health threats; and having access to quality health care. The vision includes a focus on public health policy and research, publications, and community training and public speaking. The department will also focus on integration of public health across all City departments, and they plan to develop and implement a Community Wellness Plan.


“Our three-year plan is to focus on building a solid public health department that’s an asset to our community and its health,” said Dr. Bankole. “As the regional experts on public health policy, programs and services, our team will concentrate on data-driven programming, surveillance, analyzing research and health indicator data and disseminating that through publications, community trainings, and public speaking opportunities,” said Dr. Bankole. As part of the plan, Portland Public Health will come up with a new Annual Health of Portland Report to inform the public and increase awareness of pressing public health issues among other purposes.


The team will focus on integrating public health across all City departments through 2020. They will also develop and implement a Community Wellness Plan, which will create a coalition of partners to outline community wellness initiatives, including programs and events that will help achieve a healthier population.


The department received its accreditation in 2016 from the national Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and recently had its one year accreditation report approved. This places Portland in the first 6% to achieve this distinction among more than 2,500 local public health departments across the country. PHAB, the non-profit, non-governmental organization that administers the national public health accreditation program, aims to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of the nation's state, Tribal, local, and territorial public health departments.


The City’s Public Health Department current programs and initiatives include:

  • Chronic Disease Prevention Programs:  including Substance Use prevention, Smoking & Tobacco Prevention, Obesity Prevention, and Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs
  • Family Health Programs:  including Maternal and Child Health, Family Violence Prevention, and Health Equity/Minority Health Program
  • The India Street Public Health Center:  including the STD clinics and Prevention Services, Needle Exchange Program, Portland Community Free Clinic and the Teen Clinic
  • Research and Evaluation Program:  including Public Health Informatics, and Research and Surveillance.

Public Health Department
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