Emily Henke

Executive Director

Oregon Public Health Institute
Portland , Oregon
Class of 2021
See all honorees
Three words to describe me:
innovative, connector, strategic
The best part of my job:
bringing new stakeholders to the public health table
Something that would surprise others about me:
I'm an accomplished world music performer.

Focused on increasing investment in public health, forging cross-sector partnerships, and pushing for bold, upstream policy action that prioritizes equity, Emily Henke is a true difference-maker in her community. Over her career, Emily has helped guide Oregon’s Medicaid program toward a focus on member responsiveness, established cross-sector partnerships for public health and equity, and advised many organizations in the Pacific Northwest on how to incorporate community-driven equity strategies into their work.   

As the executive director of the Oregon Public Health Institute, Emily has played a key role in COVID-19 response in the Pacific Northwest. In 2020, Emily co-created the Tracing Health program with partners at the Public Health Institute to provide COVID-19 staffing services to public health and healthcare agencies in Oregon, Washington, and California; create jobs in communities impacted by health inequity, and develop a diverse public health workforce pipeline.  

 Emily holds an MPH from Portland State University and a BA from Lewis & Clark College. 

When done right, the investments we make in solutions to today’s emergencies can also be investments in long-term systems change for health equity. 

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