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Government Relations Staff

Contact Government Relations here or contact individual staff members:

Deborah Riddick, JD, RN
Director of Government Relations
Phone: (503) 293-0011 ext 1317
Deborah Riddick has spent her career expanding patients' access to health care and bringing stakeholders together to raise communities' health standards. She has extensive experience practicing as a direct-care registered nurse and as a nurse educator. She has also shaped public health policy as an analyst and director of health policy for state and local organizations including the Michigan State Legislature, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and the School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan. 

Deborah is a licensed registered nurse in multiple states and a founding member of the HHS/OMH Great Lakes Regional Health Equity Council.

Deborah joined ONA in 2018. 

Chris Hewitt, BA
Deputy Director of Government Relations
Phone: (503) 293-0011 ext 1313
Chris Hewitt joined ONA in 2015 as Political Organizer, working to engage members in the political process around issues impacting nursing and patient care. Previously, Chris worked for the Oregon AFL-CIO as Lead Organizer for 5 years, assisting workers in organizing their workplaces to gain a stronger voice on the job. He helped lead successful workplace campaigns with transit workers, early childhood educators, postal workers and health care professionals.

Born and raised in Oregon, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon. After graduating, Chris worked as a Field Organizer at the Bus Project, coordinating volunteer recruitment and a grassroots voter contact program during the 2010 election. He currently serves on their board of directors. Chris lives with his wife Jessica in SE Portland where they enjoy exploring the Mt. Tabor area and spending time with family and friends.
Catie Theisen, BA
Political Organizer
Phone: (503) 293-0011 ext 1342
Catie Theisen joined ONA in 2015. Before that, Catie worked primarily on the implementation of affordable and accessible health care in Oregon with the Service Employees International Union. She worked first at SEIU traveling around the state to sign up home healthcare workers for affordable healthcare through their union, and then with Local 49 leading a team in East Portland to get folks in the neighborhoods enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan. She has experience working on a ballot measure campaign, running a State Senate campaign, and working in the legislature. Catie got her start at the Oregon Bus Project, registering young people to vote, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Willamette University in Salem.
Jack Dempsey, BA
Phone: (503) 358-2864
Jack Dempsey has lobbied on behalf of ONA since the Spring of 2008. Jack works with Congress, the Oregon Legislature and other decision-makers to make positive improvements for nurses and their patients. Prior to working with ONA, Jack worked in government relations at OHSU and in the Oregon Senate President’s Office.


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Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 200, Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)