Pat Allen, Oregon Health Authority director, joins a daily standing meeting with the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems on Monday, April 20. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Allen held two daily meetings with the group but that has since been reduced to one. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

One in three Oregonians get their health care through Pat Allen’s agency, the Oregon Health Authority.

Now, Allen is playing a key role in helping Oregon through the global pandemic, overseeing state restrictions, assessing public health needs, and advising the state’s leaders.

As with other government executives, Allen has had to adapt, relying more on videoconferences and phone calls. He now works from his agency’s Portland office, forsaking the daily trip to the Health Authority’s headquarters in Salem, four blocks from the Capitol.

Allen’s expertise was in economics and economic development at the time he was named director of the Health Authority in 2017. He worked for the state’s economic development agency and then was director of the state Department of Consumer and Business Services for six years before sliding over to an agency that now employs 4,300.

Seating in a meeting room at Oregon Health Authority's Portland office has been adjusted for social distancing, with X's blocking out every other seat. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon Health Authority director Pat Allen and Holly Heiberg, government relations director, talk between phone meetings on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon Health Authority director Pat Allen, Holly Heiberg, government relations director, and Matthew Green, senior policy analyst, participate in a daily briefing with congressional staff on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Pat Allen, director of Oregon Health Authority, works in his office in Portland on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Pat Allen, Oregon Health Authority director, jokes with state epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger, left, and Oregon Department of Justice attorney Shannon O'Fallon on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Pat Allen takes a phone call in his office on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Pat Allen, Oregon Health Authority director, leads a daily leadership meeting on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Pat Allen, Oregon Health Authority director (third from left) leads a daily leadership and incident response meeting on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Oregon Health Authority director Pat Allen sits in his office on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The view from a window in Pat Allen's Portland office on Monday, April 20. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

PREVIOUS LEADER 'SHADOWS'....

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett

Salem-Keizer School Superintendent Christy Perry

NOTE: Salem Reporter is providing free access to its content related to the coronavirus as a community service. Subscriptions are vital to continue this so please sign up today.

Contact Salem Reporter at [email protected]