Our Team

Oregon State University Center for Health Innovation

Sandi Phibbs, Ph.D., MPH
Interim Director
Faculty profile page

Sandi leads OCHI’s team, who connect Oregon State University faculty and students with external community, industry, and government partners, in order to create new and expanded opportunities to partner on innovative public health and human sciences workforce development, practice and research.

She has worked at OSU as a graduate instructor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the Graduate School since 2018. Prior to this, she was an Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health Science and Recreation at San Jose State University. Sandi completed post-doctoral training with Dr. Karen Hooker at OSU (2015-2017), focusing on the health effects of ageism and mental health among older adults.

Oralia Mendez, MPH
Community Health Worker Program Training Coordinator & Instructor
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Oralia joined the Center in 2019. Prior to her role, she served as a Health Navigator, also known as a Community Health Worker (CHW), for the Benton County Health Department.

Oralia received her bachelor's and MPH in Health Management and Policy from OSU.

She is originally from Nyssa in Eastern Oregon.

Abbey Martin, MPH
Program Coordinator for Coast to Forest

Abbey Martin received her MPH in health promotion and health behavior in 2020 after earning her bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship in 2018. She has significant experience in facilitation, program implementation and collaborating with community partners to ensure equitable public health solutions. During her graduate program, Abbey created a program plan to reduce substance use disorders and support mental health needs among Portland-area chefs.

Most recently, she served as the community-based organization liaison for Clackamas County Public Health. In this role, she partnered with community organizations to create population-specific COVID-19 vaccine events and co-develop mass media materials regarding health, safety and mental well-being.

Abbey believes that empathy and respectful listening are the driving forces behind effective community solutions, and she aims to bring this to her role as program coordinator for Coast to Forest.

Nicole Breuner, MPH
Program Coordinator for OSU-OHA Surge Bench

Nicole Breuner has a BS in animal science from the University of California, Davis and an MPH from the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University.

She began her career in public health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a biologist. She researched transmission dynamics of newly emerged vector-borne pathogens and has contributed to several papers and presentations on the subject.

Prior to coming to OSU, she worked for the Umatilla County Health Department as their disease prevention specialist before becoming their communicable disease program manager. In this position, she managed case investigations conducted for all diseases reportable in the state of Oregon, including COVID-19. She continues to support COVID-19 response efforts in her role as a program coordinator for the OSU-OHA Surge Bench.

Araceli Mendez, MPH
Program Coordinator for OSU-OHA Surge Bench

Araceli Mendez received her MPH in health systems and policy from Oregon State University.

In her prior role, she worked for Benton County Health Department as a school health navigator, also known as a community health worker. In this role, she worked with an interdisciplinary team to facilitate access to community resources for families. She also worked on COVID-19 response efforts and collaborated with various partners to reach vulnerable populations.

In her new role as a program coordinator for the OSU-OHA Surge Bench, she will continue to support COVID-19 response efforts.

Steve Spurgeon
Program Coordinator

OCHI Program Coordinator Steve Spurgeon is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served as a Health Care Specialist and Field Medic in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His work at OCHI focuses on partnering with veterans and veterans’ organizations to improve health outcomes for their community.

Steve holds bachelor’s degrees in communication (University of Cincinnati, 2012) and public health management and policy (OSU 2022). Steve is a former OCHI intern who has previously worked for OSU Extension Family and Community Health and Benton County Mental Health Department.

In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family exploring all that Oregon has to offer.

Coast to Forest Project

Ivan Estrada
Graduate Assistant
Coast to Forest Project

Ivan Estrada is a doctoral student at Oregon State University studying global health with an emphasis on mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention. He is also a Graduate Research Assistant with the Coast to Forest Project, a collaboration between the OSU Extension Family and Community Health Program and the OSU Center for Health Innovation.

Before his involvement with OSU, Ivan spent time working as a drug, suicide, and gambling prevention coordinator for a local county health department. He is also a certified and active Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainer.

Erika Carrillo
Graduate Assistant
Coast to Forest Project

Erika Carrillo was born in Guatemala and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a first-year MPH student in the Global Health Program and holds a BS in Public Health from California State University, Los Angeles.

Currently, Erika works as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Coast to Forest Project at OSU. Erika’s bring much experience from her previous work as a field research interviewer at the Behaviour Health and Recovery Studies program in Los Angeles.