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City Club of Eugene: COVID-19: Where We Are, Where We Are Going

Program Date: Dec. 4, 2020

Air Date: Dec. 7, 2020

From City Club of Eugene:

As feared, the combination of colder weather and “pandemic fatigue” is producing a spike in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Oregon and around the country.  As daily infection figures in Oregon soared above 1,000 for the first time, Governor Kate Brown issued a two-week “freeze”— effective November 18— with additional restrictions on businesses and public and private gatherings.

This program, airing after the conclusion of the two-week period, will update the community on the current state of the pandemic. Presenters include some of the most accomplished and influential public health officials in the region. They will focus on the mental and physical toll COVID-19 has taken on the local community, particularly on the challenges faced by families and children.

While recent reports provide some hope for a safe and effective vaccine, questions remain about when it will be available to the public.

As we head into winter, no program could be more timely.

Patrick Luedtke, MD, is a Preventive Medicine and Primary Care physician. He serves as Lane County’s Senior Public Health Officer and as the Chief Medical Officer for the nine divisions and six clinics of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Luedtke earned an MD at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette University. He completed his preventive medicine residency and earned an MPH at the University of Utah and his internal medicine training at Naval Hospital Oakland (California).  Dr. Luedtke served 12 years as an active duty Medical Officer in the US Navy, practicing medicine and public health on all three of America’s coasts, as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America.  He then spent 11 years in Utah working at the State Health Department. There he served as the State Public Health Laboratory Director, Deputy State Epidemiologist, State Epidemiologist (acting), and Adult Medicine Director (Medicaid clinics).  At the University of Utah, he was a public health professor and course director for the MPH and PhD environmental health and toxicology programs.

James McGovern, MD, is Vice President of Medical Affairs for the PeaceHealth Oregon network. A former hospitalist and experienced physician leader, Dr. McGovern came to PeaceHealth in April 2019 from Wisconsin-based ThedaCare, where he served in several leadership roles, including system vice president of medical affairs. Since March 2020, Dr. McGovern has also served as Incident Commander for the network’s COVID-19 response and planning effort. Dr. McGovern graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin and did his internal medicine residency at St. Vincent Hospital in Indiana. He was recognized as a US News and World Report Top Doc while working in Baltimore, MD. His focus as leader has been on teamwork and collaboration among caregivers, departments, and divisions.

Leslie Pelinka, MD, has been part of PeaceHealth Medical Group Pediatrics since 2007. She completed her medical education at the University of Utah School of Medicine and her pediatrics internship and residency at University of California, San Francisco. Following residency, Dr. Pelinka remained in San Francisco for 3 years. She worked as an attending physician at San Francisco General Hospital. She is fluent in Spanish and has made an effort to serve the Latinx population wherever she has practiced medicine.  In addition to seeing patients in a primary care clinic at PeaceHealth, she works as a pediatric hospitalist at Riverbend Medical Center.

Ellen Thornton-Love, LCSW, has been the clinical supervisor for Lane County Behavioral Health Child and Adolescent program since 2015.  Ms. Thornton-Love has specialized training in child development and an interest in treating children and adolescents with trauma, complicated grief, attachment issues, and mood disorders.  Thornton-Love has post graduate training in play therapy, family systems therapy, family structural therapy, and child-parent psychotherapy.  She serves in several advisory groups, including the Systems of Care Committee, the Early Childhood Mental Health Committee, and Lane County’s Suicide Prevention Committee.  Ellen Thornton-Love earned an MSW in clinical social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as BAs in psychology and history.