Barton Robison

Barton (he/him) knows firsthand the healing powers of nature and is passionate about removing access barriers so that all Oregonians can know the benefits of time in green space. He’s the current Director of the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative, and his strengths include facilitation, strategy development, and communications.

Throughout his career, he has worked in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors on reducing achievement gaps and promoting equity. In addition to his work with the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative, Robison volunteers with groups like Outside In and Brown People Camping. He received his Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in natural resource management from Portland State University.



Emily Henke

Emily’s work focused on health innovations that bridge healthcare and public health. As the Interim Executive Director of the Oregon Public Health Institute, she leads OPHI’s work on the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative. She also manages the Consumer Confidence Project, supports OPHI’s HEAL Cities and HIA programs, and works closely with the Oregon Community Health Workers Association. Emily holds a Master of Public Health: Health Management & Policy and is fluent in Spanish.

Emily can help you:

  • Develop or advance upstream innovations that promote health and equity and bring new partners to the table

  • Create and implement person-centered health system transformation projects

  • Facilitate group processes, including issue prioritization and system redesign

  • Design, manage, and evaluate programs and projects

  • Connect to the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative



Arjun viray

Arjun Viray joined the Health & Outdoors Initiative as a Green Infrastructure Fellow in 2019, focusing on the intersection between health and green stormwater infrastructure. Building on their background in green roof research, they conducted a literature review around the social, economic, and environmental impacts of green stormwater infrastructure in public park settings, as well as a local policy scan about policies and programs that encouraged GSI in public parks.

The fellowship tied into Arjun’s deep interest and love for GSI, specifically green roofs and bioswales. A recent graduate with a BS in Environmental Science from Portland State University, Arjun has conducted studies on the benefits of green roofs, specifically looking at how patients, staff, and visitors behave and perceive hospital green roofs. Arjun is gearing up for a Masters program in Landscape Architecture, with which they plan to develop commercial projects prioritizing GSI in public spaces.


Yesenia Castro

Yesenia Castro is a certified Community Health Worker and currently serves as the Early Life Community Programs Coordinator at ORCHWA. She has worked in prevention for the last 10 years. Yesenia was awarded a national award for her prevention work in 2008 by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions Of America. Formerly she was the Mid-Columbia Health Equity Advocates Coalition Coordinator with Nuestra Comunidad Sana and The Next Door Inc. Yesenia has extensive experience working with different sectors in the Mid-Columbia Region to ensure Latino inclusion and voice in community initiatives related to education, housing, transportation, immigration, access to healthy food, and access to free or reduced physical activities. She is passionate about social justice and equity, and loves to be outdoors on her free time. She currently serves as a board member for Familias en Acción. Yesenia studied Public Health and Merchandising Management at Oregon State University


Bobby Cochran

Bobby is solidly committed to the fact that rose-colored glasses are cool. He uses that optimism to build community resilience – which means strengthening collaboratives, planning for natural/economic/social disruption, and creating innovations that help community leaders work with nature to improve our quality of life. Part of the community resilience work includes creating statewide funding for water infrastructure, connecting people to the health benefits of nature, and helping communities access the resources they need to create health equity.

Cochran is also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader and adjunct professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He has worked on collaborative and policy innovations for Defenders of Wildlife and the State of California, Clean Water Services, and for the Asian International Rivers Center in Yunnan, China. He received a PhD and master’s degree in urban studies/conflict resolution from Portland State University, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology and society with a minor in French studies from Cornell University. When he’s not working or teaching, he enjoys spending time in the mountains with his two daughters and wife and attempting to grow spicy chilies during Oregon’s summers.


Edna Nyamu

Edna Nyamu is the Deputy Director for the Oregon Community Health Workers Association (ORCHWA). Edna received her Master of Science in Global Health at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) from Portland, Oregon. She is also a certified Community Health Worker (CHW) by the State of Oregon, and a member of the Traditional Health worker (THW) Commission under Oregon Health Authority/ Office of Equity and Inclusion. Edna speaks three languages, Swahili, Maasai, and English, and does Swahili language interpretation. She has a deep understanding of cross-cultural practice and has years of experience working closely with immigrants, refugees, and people of color.

In her work with ORCHWA, Edna is able to use her position to advocate for CHWs and communities that experience health disparities across the state of Oregon. Edna is passionate about engaging her community and other people of color to learn about the benefits of health and outdoors activities.