January 18, 2021 | Legislators Take the Stage: 2021 Session Preview

Explore Oregon’s upcoming legislative session with the elected officials most engaged in health policy. Policymakers will share insights on health care policy priorities, answer audience questions, and illuminate the road ahead for an uncertain and challenging 2021.


Becky Hultberg  is the President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, a position she’s held since December 2019. In that role, she works closely with local and national policymakers, health care and business stakeholders, and local communities to improve health care access, quality and affordability.

Prior to her current role, Hultberg served as President and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. Past roles include serving as Commissioner of the State of Alaska’s Department of Administration, Regional Director of Communications and Marketing for Providence Health and Services Alaska, and as Press Secretary in the Office of the Governor. Hultberg has served on the Alaska Retirement Management Board, the Alaska Health Care Commission, and the Board of Directors of Covenant House Alaska. She currently serves on the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.

Hultberg holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Abilene Christian University, with minors in economics and public service and an MBA in health economics, policy and administration from Ball State University.

Becky Hultberg can be reached at rhultberg@oahhs.org.



Rep. Rachel Prusak (D) has over 20 years invested in nursing across a multitude of settings including the last 12 years as a family nurse practitioner. She currently works for House call Providers where she provides primary care, palliative care and hospice care to the homebound and chronically ill members of her community. She was previously an ambassador for the National Health Service Corps where she was dedicated to serving families in rural areas of the country with limited access to care. Rachel serves as Chair of the House Health Care Committee and serves as a member of the Task Force on the Resolution of Adverse Healthcare Incidents where she brings her public health lens to the issues at hand. She chairs the ‘Access to Primary Care Work Group’ which will develop a set of policy considerations for the legislature in its effort to achieve universal access to adequate level of high-quality health care at an affordable cost.

Rep. Rachel Prusak can be contacted at Rep.RachelPrusak@oregonlegislature.gov.

Sen. Deb Patterson, (D) has more than twenty years of experience in health advocacy and education, serving as the Executive Director of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center – now the Westberg Institute. Through the IPNRC she worked with more than 15,000 RNs in 23 countries, helping people gain access to needed healthcare in partnership with hospitals, medical schools, nursing schools, and faith communities. She holds a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Deb was the founding Vice President of the Deaconess Foundation, a children’s health philanthropy, where she researched and funded programs to improve children’s health, including early childhood interventions, school-based programs, and services to children in the foster care system.

Deb has been appointed by the Marion County Board of Commissioners to serve as Chair of the Health Advisory Board, and was named by Governor Kate Brown to serve on the Oregon Nursing Home Administrators Board, and as a Commissioner on the Oregon Disabilities Commission.

Sen. Deb Patterson can be reached at Sen.DebPatterson@oregonlegislature.gov

Rep. Cedric Hayden (R), Cedric is a dentist, business owner, and an Oregon State Representative for District #7.  Now completing his second session as State Representative, Cedric serves as the Vice-Chair for the House Committee for Health Care and is also a member of both the House Early Childhood and Family Supports; and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services. In 1994-2009 Cedric created Oregon’s first statewide oral health network, together with his brothers providing dental service in 35 out of the 36 Oregon counties. In 2007-Cedric founded Caring Hands Worldwide, an international public health charity for the uninsured and poverty stricken. In 1994, he graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry after attending undergraduate school in Walla Walla, Washington and joined the family dental practice.  He now resides in Fall Creek, Oregon with his wife Julie and their five children.

Rep. Cedric Hayden can be reached at rep.cedrichayden@oregonlegislature.gov.


Rep. Maxine Dexter (D), Maxine Dexter, MD, grew up in a working-class family and is the first in her family to go to college, where she realized her dream of becoming a doctor with the support of her community, a union job and a strong drive to succeed. She is a pulmonary and critical care physician and a mother. Rep Dexter previously was a healthcare business leader as the Chair of the Board at Northwest Permanente until December 2019. She now serves as Oregon State Representative for HD33 since June 2020.

Rep. Maxine Dexter can be reached at Rep.MaxineDexter@oregonlegislature.gov.


Rep. Rob Nosse (D) lives in SE Portland with his husband Jim. He has worked his entire life to drive social change for students and working families.

For almost twenty years, Rob has stood up for working people as a union representative and helped raise the bar for middle class families. Currently, Rob works at the Oregon Nurses Association. He brings nurses together with a strong, united voice to advocate for themselves and their patients.

As Vice Chair of the House Health Care Committee, Rob cares deeply about expanding access to health care services, and making it more affordable. In 2019, he carried SB 770 during the debate on the floor of the House. This bill creates a workgroup to study how Oregon could implement single payer care in the future. Short of universal coverage, his number one legislative priority is lowering the cost of prescription drugs. HB 4005 was a bill that Rob championed in 2018 to create drug price transparency.

Rob has served as a board member of Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC helping to elect pro LGBTQ candidates to elected office and worked tirelessly to bring marriage equality to our state. As a union representative for Oregon nurses, he helps to ensure contracts include provisions that ensure same sex couples receive all the same benefits available to straight married couples.

Rep. Rob Nosse can be reached at Rep.RobNosse@oregonlegislature.gov.

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To share your ideas or if you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Robin Moody at robin@oregonhealthforum.org.