December 17, 2020 | Oregon’s Pioneering Approach to Addiction: An Upstream Perspective

Oregon voters made history in November by approving ballot measures decriminalizing street drugs and legalizing psilocybin in licensed therapeutic environments. Watch the recording of our recent webinar to unpack what this means for substance use disorder treatment and prevention, and for law enforcement, noting that Oregon ranks fourth-highest for substance use disorder prevalence and near the bottom nationally for access to addiction treatment. Hear from experts on Oregon’s new addiction paradigm.


Dawn Richardson, DrPH, MPH, is a social epidemiologist whose research examines the role of structural racism as a driver of health inequities via chronic stress. Her work is influenced by community-based participatory research principles, and she engages with communities to advance health equity through upstream interventions and policy change efforts. Her most recent research efforts focused on maternal health and includes a project examining the role of documentation status on immigrant women’s health, an evaluation of paid family leave policies on family health, and the impact of racism and discrimination on Latino chronic stress. Richardson serves as the Associate Dean for Social Justice at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.

Dawn Richardson can be contacted at


Bobby Byrd, Twenty seven years ago, Bobby was convicted for a drug offense when no drugs were on him. Since then, Bobby has struggled to find jobs and housing because of his criminal record. Bobby works to change this cycle. Today, Bobby serves as a community organizer with the Drug Policy Alliance. He worked as a community organizer on the Yes to Measure 110 campaign, which recently passed in Portland, OR in November, and is a PAC board member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Bobby Byrd is a father and a grandfather.

Bobby Byrd can be contacted at


James Schroeder, PA-C, MPAS, A primary care clinician by trade, Schroeder has focused his career on serving others through direct care, innovation, and collaboration. He began his career as a primary care clinician, serving patients in rural, underserved areas of Nevada and Idaho.

Schroeder has held various executive roles for Kaiser Permanente, including Vice President of Safety Net Transformation and Executive Director of Medicaid. In addition to his medical background and Medicaid expertise, he has a track record of collaborative leadership through his role as Executive Director of Healthcare Systems at CareOregon, as well as through various executive-level positions including CEO of Family Health Services — a Federally Qualified Health Center based in Idaho —and as founder and CEO of Neighborhood Health Center in Portland, Oregon. Schroeder is a medical officer in the Oregon Air National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and is the commander of the Group Medical Unit on the Portland Air Base.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska. Additionally, he has completed the Community Health Leadership program at the University of Washington, and Kaiser’s Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

James Schroeder can be contacted at

Dr. Eric Geisler, M.D., specializes in alcohol and drug treatment at Serenity Lane Treatment Center since 2016 and now serves as the Director of Medical Services. Geisler teaches as an affiliate assistant professor in family medicine at OHSU and serves on the American Board of Addiction Medicine. In 2019 Geisler won the Health Care Professional in Addiction award, and is published in the Eugene Register Guard Editorial, Lane County Medical Society Newsletter, Serenity Lane-Coburg, and more.

Dr. Eric Geisler can be contact at


Dan R. Primus, J.D., Daniel Primus is the Umatilla County District Attorney.  He graduated from law school at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 2007 and then went into private practice in Salem until a position came open in his hometown of Pendleton, Oregon.  He was an Umatilla County Deputy District Attorney for three years before being appointed District Attorney on August 3rd, 2011 and will start his third term in January. Among other duties, he serves on the Oregon District Attorney Executive Board, member of the Violence Against Women Act Review Committee, member of the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA Executive Board, Treasurer of the Guardian Care Center (child abuse assessment center), the Chair of the Multi-Disciplinary Team, Prison Advisory Committee for EOCI and TRCI, and the Vice-Chair of the Local Public Safety Coordinating Counsel.

Dan Primus can be contacted at

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