Rev. Dr. Deborah L. Patterson is an ordained clergywoman in the United Church of Christ, who recently served an historic rural Congregational church in the Mid-Willamette Valley. She represents District 10, which includes South and West Salem, Monmouth, and Independence.
Prior to her return to active ministry, she was Executive Director of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, which equipped RNs to provide health care advocacy and education around the world. Deb also served as Executive Director of Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries, based in Portland, and was vice president of a children's health philanthropy. She has also been employed on the senior management team of a multi-hospital health system in the Midwest.
Deb has served on a wide variety of governing boards for health and human service organizations, including hospitals, transitional housing, residential care, and outdoor programs, and community-based services. She was Chair of the Marion Council Health Advisory Board, served on the Oregon Disabilities Commission and Oregon Nursing Home Administrators Board.
Current legislative committee assignments include: Chair, Senate Healthcare Committee; Co-Chair, Ways and Means Subcommittee on General Government; and member of Senate Business and Labor and Senate Housing. She also was appointed to the Oregon Commission on Women, the Governor's Commission on Senior Services, the Oregon Hunger Task Force, the Oregon State Capitol Foundation, and Oregon's Autism Task Force. Previous legislative committee assignments included Senate Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery, and Veteran's Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.
Deb holds Bachelor's and Master's degree in Music, a Master of Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and master's and doctorate degrees from Eden Theological Seminary. She is a strong advocate for healthcare for all, for access to quality education for all ages, and for social justice, including climate justice. During her second term in office, she will continue to work to make healthcare, housing, and childcare more affordable, and will work to expand employment options, from expanding apprenticeship opportunities, to helping small businesses recover from the pandemic's challenges, to growing clean energy jobs that pay living wages.
Deb is the Mom of two young adults, one of whom has special needs, and is married to Dr. Stephen Patterson, who holds the George H. Atkinson Chair of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University.