The Oregon Health Authority has named Oregon Health & Science University members Derick Du Vivier, M.D., M.B.A., Kelly Gonzales, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S., and Kalani Raphael, M.D., to its COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee, which will provide guidance on vaccine sequencing for phases 1b, 1c and 2 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.
“COVID-19 has intensified the disproportionately adverse public health impacts that have long harmed groups including tribal communities, communities of color, aging adults and those of lower socioeconomic status,” said OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. “OHSU is proud of the shared strengths these faculty offer, and will provide to such an essential committee that will help ensure that the people of Oregon, especially those who are disproportionately affected, are vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
The committee, whose goal is to advance health equity and counter unjust COVID-19 inequities, will:
- Advise OHA on the ethical principles that should guide decisions on sequencing of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Review data on COVID-19 and immunization inequities.
- Advise OHA on which workers, high-risk groups or critical populations should be sequenced at what time, taking into consideration where they are located across the state.
Du Vivier serves as co-chair of the Oregon Health Equity Committee, which is responsible for reviewing health policy and leading efforts to develop best practice policies that improve health equity in Oregon. He was named senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at OHSU in September 2020. In this role, he provides executive leadership and vision in the administration of services, policies and procedures related to institutional diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as OHSU’s efforts to address structural racism. Du Vivier also is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.
Gonzales, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is an associate professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. She also serves as affiliated faculty in the School of Gender Race and Nations, is a member of the PSU Native Caucus, the Committee of Committees, the SGRN curriculum committee, and is a former member of the OHSU-PSU SPH Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. Gonzales developed the Indigenous Health concentration for PSU undergraduates, and is co-investigator of the Higher Education Coordination Committee grant between the PSU Department of Indigenous Nations Studies and the Native American Youth and Family Service. She engages in research and scholarship and uses these tools to advance health equity. Gonzales serves on Oregon's Racial Justice Health Committee workgroup, the Native American Council Advisory Council, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women coalition of Portland, the Future Generations Collaborative, and the BIPOC Decolonizing Data Council.
A Native Hawaiian, Raphael is passionate about health equity for members of the Pacific Islander community, which has some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in Oregon and across the U.S. He serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Oregon Pacific Islander Coalition, or OPIC, a consortium of community-based organizations that support Pacific Islanders in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Additionally, Raphael is an associate professor of nephrology and hypertension in the OHSU School of Medicine and the Portland VA Medical Center. He is internationally recognized as a leader in the area of acid-base balance in chronic kidney disease.
The committee held its first public meeting Thursday, Jan. 7. Additional information is available here.