About three hundred mental health professionals and advocates welcomed Pamela A. Martin PhD, the Oregon Health Authority’s new director of the Addictions and Mental Health Division at Oregon Health and Sciences University August 1. The event was hosted by the Mental Health Association of Portland and co-sponsored by over twenty agencies concerned with treatment for persons with mental illness and addiction.
The event opened with a shoulder-to-shoulder reception hosted by Empowerment Initiatives and drumming by the NARA NW All Nations Drum Group. Representatives from dozens of organizations renewed old friendships and found new allies. Inside the auditorium Jackie Mercer and Philip Archambault of NARA NW presented Pam with a ceremonial welcoming blanket with “NARA” spelled out in bright red letters over a green background. Philip and Jackie then invited everyone in the audience to come to the front of the room and welcome Pam personally. We all did.
Jason Renaud the Mental Health Association of Portland welcomed the audience to the tenth annual general meeting of the organization. Derald Walker, CEO of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare warmly introduced Pam, who then spoke and answer questions for about 40 minutes.