The OPS Team
If you hover on our photographs, you’ll see how easily children become adults. Learn more about our backgrounds, our vision for children, and something we read when young that stuck with us.
Membership & Operations Manager
Membership & Operations Manager
“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
― A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Cheryl is responsible for membership and all the little things that keep Oregon Pediatric Society rolling along, day in and day out. She has a knack for seeing how all the pieces fit together, and with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and a natural problem-solving ability, she is always looking for ways to do things just a wee bit better.
Before coming to OPS, Cheryl dedicated herself to raising her family and to community involvement. She is deeply committed to volunteerism and spent time working with Impact Northwest; the Community Cycling Center; Girls on the Run; Special Olympics; and Metropolitan Family Services. With a focus on strengthening children, families and the communities who support them, Oregon Pediatric Society feels like home.
Cheryl believes that everyone needs a friend like Piglet at their side, and the wisdom of Pooh in their pocket.
“‘Once upon a time,’ he said out loud to the darkness. He said these words because they were the best, the most powerful words that he knew and just the saying of them comforted him.” ― Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
Joanna facilitates Oregon Pediatric Society’s continuing medical education events, coordinates outreach and communication, and supports OPS’s advocacy work.
Before OPS, she earned her undergraduate degree from Linfield College. She spent her first two post-college years in France and China, where she taught ESL classes in elementary and high schools. She returned to Portland with increased confidence, flexibility, and a desire to keep pursuing new experiences. Most recently, she worked within Oregon’s food system, educating farmers on sustainable growing practices and helping underserved community members gain better access to local produce. As a lifelong Oregonian who grew up in a rural, agrarian town, it was gratifying to support her community’s health in this setting.
Joanna believes in the resiliency of children and families, especially when they are supported with solid health resources and education. She thinks some of the most powerful words are “once upon a time” because sharing one’s personal narrative is an integral part of healing and can lay the foundation for new stories about the future.
“Now listen, and I’ll tell you something: the day may come when the lions get sick. And if you don’t help the other animals now, the lions may find themselves left all alone when they are in trouble. That often happens to proud people.” ― Hugh Lofting, The Story of Doctor Dolittle, 1920
Julie brings to OPS professional work experience in nonprofit management; health research and promotion; marketing and public affairs; international video production; and children, youth and adult experiential learning, mentoring, and psycho-social training. She attended Lewis & Clark College and U.C. Berkeley for undergraduate studies and went to graduate school when she returned to Portland.
Julie’s goal is for people of all ages and backgrounds to make healthy, informed, and effective decisions by accessing internal and external sources of support. She advocates for positive attachments and resiliency in children to build strong human foundations, and she knows it is possible to overcome adverse childhood experiences. Her professional toolbox includes relationship building and collaboration, training and coaching, strategic planning and communication, enthusiasm, stories, and the power of the imagination.
Julie wishes she remembered what made her child-self smile in delight. The ice cream truck? Her grandmother’s arrival? Or perhaps she was imitating Jerry Lewis!
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me … anything can happen, child, anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein, Listen To the Mustn’ts
Amber manages Oregon Pediatric Society’s behavioral health project and clinical quality improvement work. She did her undergraduate studies in Spokane and received her Masters of Social Work and Public Health in Portland. Amber also has worked with Oregon’s Department of Human Services and WIC program, medical emergency preparedness, and as a lactation consultant.
Amber’s passion for addressing health disparities was ignited in rural Honduras when a complicated delivery promoted her from translator to impromptu birth assistant. As she rode in the bed of a truck holding an IV bag in one hand and a newborn baby in the other, Amber knew her life’s work would involve advocating for social justice and health. She has worked with families from Oregon to Central America and Syrian refugee camps. Amber believes no matter where you are in the world, the hopes for our children’s futures are universal and can be turned into action, building a child’s ability to rise to life’s challenges and thrive.
Amber has always revered strong women, though she has learned it isn’t necessary to wear glasses just like Grandma’s to show her admiration. Amber is teaching her own children to dream big and not take no for a final answer…unless, of course, mother is the one who said it.