Introducing OPCA’s Data Specialist

Name, title, and preferred pronouns: Sarah Heppler, Data Specialist, she/her/hers

What are 2-3 things we should know about you as a person? I’m still deciding on whether or not to call myself an Oregonian. I grew up in a large suburb of Sacramento, California, and made my way up north to attend college at the University of Oregon (go Ducks!). I ended up falling in love with the Pacific Northwest and have now been living in Portland for a little over three years. I enjoy living in Portland because of the close proximity to outdoor activities and the amazing food scene in the city.

What are 2-3 things we should know about your role at OPCA? Most of my work in 2020 has been focused on COVID-19 and social determinants of health data. I spend a lot of time in Excel and Tableau looking at data and trying to think of creative ways to visualize that data.

What OPCA value do you identify with most and why? OPCA values are social justice, integrity, collaboration, innovation, data driven. The OPCA value I identify with the most is social justice. I believe that that the work that we do at OPCA truly makes a difference in transforming health care to become more accessible and equitable.

What excites you about the work you do at OPCA? I get excited whenever OPCA staff, health centers, or health center staff make the news. It makes me so proud to be a part of this organization. Also, it’s pretty cool that some data requests that get fielded my direction have the audience of senators, the state government, and lawmakers. It really encourages me to do the best job I can.

Anything else you want to share? During the pandemic, I’ve been trying to sharpen my culinary skills—I love to cook! Pre (and hopefully post) pandemic, I am an avid traveler. My life goal is to make it to all Seven Wonders of the World. I have visited one, so I only have six more to go!

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