Spotlight on Staff: Q&A With Simon Parker-Shames

Spotlight on Staff: Q&A With Simon Parker-Shames

Introducing OPCA’s Data Strategy Director

Share you name, title, and preferred pronouns:
Simon Parker-Shames, Data Strategy Director, he/his

What are 2-3 things we should know about you as a person? I have two kids, a 7-year-old and a 9-month-old, and we speak Mandarin Chinese and English at my home in Ashland, Oregon. I am an Irish traditional musician, playing accordion and penny whistle, and just at the beginning of a very long journey to learn the Uilleann pipes.

What are 2-3 things we should know about your role at OPCA? I come from over a decade working in and consulting with FQHCs around EHRs and data, with a public health-informed perspective. I believe that FQHCs are the most effective part of the U.S. healthcare system, and critical to delivering care that actually saves lives and reduces disparities. I see the essence of my role as facilitating the collaboration between members in the service of your shared missions, reducing the re-invention of wheels where possible, and leveraging the collective innovation of the network.

What OPCA value do you identify with most and why? OPCA values are social justice, integrity, collaboration, innovation, data driven. Maybe surprisingly for a data guy, it’s social justice that’s the core of why I’m here and eager to work as part of OPCA. I’m particularly interested in reducing lifespan inequality, and data and collaboration are my main tools to support work on this challenge, and innovation is what keeps the work exciting.

What excites you about the work you do at OPCA? Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of brilliant solutions to tough problems that all FQHCs face. The collective talent pool in Oregon members is immense, and the OPCA is uniquely positioned to assist clinics in pooling their efforts to solve some of the most pressing problems we face as a State. OPCA has been an effective partner over the years, yet the remaining potential for collective innovation is immense, and I’m thrilled to have a part in it.

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