While I grew up on the east coast, I call Oregon the home I was meant for, and I have lived in NW Portland since 1991. My youngest child currently attends Macalester College in Minnesota, my middle daughter moved back home to Portland last year (we have been lucky to have her in our office as a Legislative Assistant for the 2021 Session -- you may have heard from her!), and my oldest and her partner make their home in northeast Portland. I am proud to call Senate District 17 home and I am grateful to live in such an amazing community -- you will often find me taking meetings in local coffee shops across Portland and Beaverton as we do not consistently have a district office. This allows me to support local businesses in my district and meet all of you much more frequently!
After receiving my undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and my medical degree from the University of Massachusetts, I moved to the great northwest where I completed my residency in Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
Occupation and Civic Involvement
When I'm not at the Capitol, I work at Oregon Health & Sciences University where I teach medical students and residents as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. While it is difficult for me to see patients during legislative session, I still maintain adjunct faculty status at OHSU, stay frequently involved with their work from both a medical and advocacy/policy perspective, and I often schedule my clinic hours during the interim (what we call the break between legislative sessions).
As a citizen, education remains one of my top priorities. While my children were in school, I frequently volunteered at their school. For many years, I served as a Girl Scout Troop leader and camp physician, and I have remained active with my congregation on the board or clergy search committees of Congregation Neveh Shalom since 2004. I have also been an active member of the National Council of Physician Legislators since before I was elected and am now Co-Chair. I also serve on the board of the National Association of Jewish Legislators.
In December of 2011, I was first appointed to the Oregon Senate. With strong support from my district, I returned to the Senate in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014 & 2018. My primary areas of expertise include creating an affordable, evidence-based healthcare system, improving education statewide, supporting a strong economy for small and local businesses, and building a balanced state budget. Some of my other advocacy work and professional development includes the CSG West (Council of State Governments) and NCSL (the National Conference of State Legislatures). I enjoy staying active in these national organizations by attending briefings on important issues, getting updates on what policy initiatives are working well in other states so we can bring them to Oregon, and attending annual conferences where we can network with other state elected officials to brainstorm on the best ways to serve our constituents.
The committees I currently serve on include: