The Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA) has recognized Washington County Public Health Division Manager Kathleen O’Leary with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to O’Leary during OPHA’s annual conference Oct. 15 in Corvallis.

O’Leary, who is retiring later this year, has served as Washington County’s public health manager since 2007. She has more than 30 years of public health experience at the state and local level.

“Kathleen has shown remarkable dedication and commitment to improving the public’s health and has created a positive difference for Oregonians,” said OPHA’s Alissa Leavitt. “By spotlighting these exceptional colleagues, it is OPHA’s aim to spark ideas and excitement and provide pathfinders for future leaders in public health.”

Under O’Leary’s leadership, Washington County Public Health has an approved strategic plan, is working toward national accreditation and is actively engaged in health reform.

The county’s epidemiology and chronic disease prevention programs have been developed under her tenure.

At the state level, O’Leary provided technical assistance to administrators and nursing supervisors around public health practice issues. As part of that work, she was one of three public health nurses who developed a Public Health Nursing Leadership Institute in Oregon to expand the quality and quantity of public health nurse leaders.

O’Leary recently concluded her term as a board member with Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. She is the immediate past chairwoman of the Conference of Local Health Officials in Oregon and recently served on the Governor’s Early Learning Design work group and the Oregon Public Health Advisory Board.

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