As clinicians, we urge the Oregon Legislature to pass House Bill 2005, a universal paid family and medical leave policy this session. This program would ensure everyone can take the time they need for treatment without jeopardizing their economic security, which is critical to the success of a strong health care system.

Currently our federal and state laws only provide access to unpaid family and medical leave, and still only cover a small minority of Oregon families. This disproportionately impacts women, people of color, single parents and low-wage workers—those already facing the highest barriers to care. As clinicians, we witness these unfortunate positions firsthand: Families must continue to work and leave their loved ones to recover from an illness or medical condition alone, or give up a paycheck so they can be together as a family. All Oregonians deserve time to recover from their own or a loved one’s serious illness and should have the opportunity to welcome a new child to the home.

Paid family leave is important for the overall health of both parents and children. As infants, we experience rapid rates of brain and nervous system development and form early bonds with our caregivers that set us up for success. Breastfeeding can increase bonding between the child and nursing mother, stimulate positive neurological and psychosocial development, and strengthen a child’s immune system. Women are more likely to breastfeed when they take maternity leave, and longer leave increases both the likelihood and duration of breastfeeding. Additionally, studies have shown that children whose mothers take time from work after childbirth are more likely to receive well-baby checkups in the first years of life, and have a greater likelihood of receiving all the recommended vaccinations.

Paid family leave has documented benefits for both children and parents. Both mothers and fathers who had access to family leave reported positive overall and mental health impacts. One study showed that fathers who were able to take family leave for the birth of a child were more likely to spend increased time with their children in the months following childbirth.

It is also imperative that we have a policy that goes beyond just parental leave—a truly progressive program must include a definition of family that reflects the diversity of our state, and allows Oregonians to take paid leave to recover from their own or a loved one’s serious medical event.

As clinicians, we know how devastating it can be to not be able to take time off work when you need to: guaranteed paid time off is not available for all workers, even within the healthcare industry. The United States is one of the only countries in the world without a paid family and medical leave program, and that means that people can only take time off to welcome a child or care for a loved one if they can afford to do so. It is time that all Oregoniansregardless of their circumstanceshave time to care. We hope you will join us by contacting your legislators to tell them to vote yes on H.B. 2015.


Nancy MacMorris-Adix, RN, MN, CNM,
Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH,
Katie Alton, MD, Clackamas
Jaekyoung Hong, MD, Medford
Louisa Chatroux, MD, Portland
Carrie Frederick Miles, MD, MPH, Portland
Colleen McCormick, MD MPH, Portland
Janae Brill, MD, MPH, Canby
Lisa Reynolds, MD, Portland
Marguerite Rodriguez, Portland
Vanessa Layoun, MD, MPH, Portland
Amy Caldwell, MD, Portland
Smitha R Chadaga MD FHM FACP, Portland
Emily Schloff, MD, Portland
Angie Reynolds MD, Portland
Molly Siegel MD, Portland
Alison Edelman, MD, MPH, Portland
Susan E. Cook, CNM, Portland
Jessica Lehrfeld, DO, Silverton
Michelle Berlin MD, Portland
Maxine Dexter, MD, Clackamas
Alyssa Colwill, MD, MCR, Portland
Carol Bunten MD, Portland
Britta Ameel, MD, Portland
Amie Leaverton MD, Portland
Anna Lobzova Saifi DO, Corvallis
Christine Guenzi, MD, Oregon City
Laura Van Houten, MD MPH, Portland
Paula Bednarek, MD, MPH, Portland
Jacqueline Dillon RN, Corvallis
Debby Phillips, PhD, PMHNP, Eugene
Kristin Harman RN, Portland
Kimberly Cabral, MD, Portland
Janet Hopkins RN, Roseburg
Mary Romanaggi RN, Seaside
Jessica Reid MD, Portland
Jackie Bohn, MD, Portland
Linda A Ramsey, Corvallis
James R. McLain Jr. RN ONA BOD, Portland
Melissa Busch RN, Warren
Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE-Retired, Tualatin
Diane N. Solomon, PhD, PMHNP-BC, CNM, Portland
Jen Barr, DNP, FNP-C, Portland
Travis Nelson, RN, BSN, RN-BC, Portland
Mandy McKimmy, DNP, FNP-C, Oregon City
Jacqueline Dillon RN, Albany
Margaret Ngai RN, BSN, Portland
Linda Ramsey RN, Corvallis
Lynn Schonbrod, R.N., Corvallis
Rachael Postman, DNP, FNP-C, Portland
Tina Walde, DNP, PMHNP, West Linn
Tara O’Connor DNP, PMHNP, Portland
Bruce Humphreys BSN RN, Bend
Sandra Kellogg, RN MSN, Keizer
Jordan Ferris MSN, RN, Portland
Danielle Morgan, RN, Portland
Kathleen “Kat” Chinn, MS, FNP-BC, Eugene
Larlene Dunsmuir, DNP, FNP, ANP-C, Oregon City
Caitlin Reid, RN, Portland, OR
Rachel Prusak, APRN, FNP, West Linn
Lisa M Logsdon BSN, CMSRN, Brownsville
Jodie Taylor, RN, BSN, Lebanon
Jody L. Paradis RN, Corvallis
Kendra Fehr RN, Corvallis
Amber Vermeesch, PhD, MSN, RN, FNP-C, CNE, Portland
Kay Carnegie RN MS, Salem
Rebecca Bolling MSN, FNP-C, Ashland
Christine Holden RN, Philomath
Shelby Lee Freed, MS, FNP-BC, Gresham
Tracy MacKenzie RN, Corvallis
Yvonne Perceval RN, Portland
Tabitha Robustelli RN, Salem
Karleah Scow RN, BSN, Portland
Maile Souza, RN, BSN, Portland
Paula Kirkpatrick RN, Eugene
Tiffany Carpenter RN, Portland
Sarah Williams, RN, BSN, Portland
Joan Carr LaPorte, MN,RN, Portland
Shana Issel, OB-RNC, Hermiston
Heidi Lavoie RN, Bend
Sasha Olszewski, RN, Portland
Deborah Riddick JD, RN, Wilsonville
Naomi Preston RN, Corvallis
Misty Gordon, RN, Keizer
Kathryn Johnson, RN, Beaverton
Andrea McKinnon RN, BSN, Eugene
Kristina Acord, RN BSN, Portland
Carol Pearce, RN, Eugene
Megan Chaffin, MSN, FNP, Bend
Christie Schreiber RN, Cottage Grove
Kathy Hargate, RN, Roseburg
Nicole Brooks, RN, Eugene
Paul Seer, RN, Portland
Samantha Allen RN, Redmond
Marie Gouz, BSN RN, Portland
Karyssa Booth RN, BSN, RRT, PCCN, Medford
Wendy Hounsel, MSN, FNP-BC, Eugene
Kyle Swantek RN, BSN, Bend
Shirley Kenney RN BSN CWCN, Portland
Amber Kuehnast, RN, Eugene
Melissa Pfleiger, RN, Albany
Beth Takahashi, RN, Beaverton
Heather Harding, RN, Bend
Mary Carter, BSN, RN, Portland
Danielle R. Gonzales BSN, RN, Eugene
Donna Gilman, RNC-OB, Albany
Kristin Applegate-King, BSN, RN, Portland
Edi Sachs RN, Medford
Margo Huntsman RNC, MSN, Klamath Falls
Elsa Wirkkala RN BSN, Seaside
Diane A Chase RNC, Medford
Kimberly Cleveland, RN, Corvallis
Cameron Fehr, Corvallis
Caitlin Humphrey RN, Corvallis
Kathy Hargate, RN, Roseburg
Christina Terkildsen RN, Corvallis
Kristen Thompson BSN RN, Corvallis
Debra A. Gray, MSN, RN, Beaverton
Jeanne Fratto, RN, Retired, Beaverton
Peter J Crooks RN (Retired), Springfield
Denise Gontiz, FNP-C, RN, MSN, Coos Bay
Elaine Rasmussen, RN, Eugene
Amanda Robb RNC-OB, Albany
Stefanie R. Edenburn, Happy Valley
Ashleigh LeBlanc CCP FPP, Portland
Julie Spencer RN BSN, Corvallis
Kristen Amstutz RN, Portland
Jackie Sammons, FNP-C, Beaverton
Jan R Koska RN, Welches
Maggie Schein, RN, Portland
Sarah West, CNM, Portland
Monica Arce CNM IBCLC, Hillsboro
Bessie-Jane Sully, RN, Astoria
Elizabeth Kavanaugh CNM, Portland
Rhonda d lowe,R.N, Oregon City
Laura Jenson, CNM, Portland
Elaine A Robinson RNC, Portland
Pa Vue, RN, Portland
Tatyana Dembrow, FNP, Portland
Mindie Alpert, CNM, Beaverton
Sara Wohlgemuth, FMP, Portland
Alison Appelhanz, RN, Portland
Lucille Glick, CNM, Portland
Lena S Wood, MEd, MN, CNM, Portland
Rosalind Elliott, CNM, Portland
Glynis Flanigan, NP, Portland
Carrie Lovgren McGuigan, ANP, Bend
Vicki Cohen, CNM, Beaverton
Christina Steurer, WHNP-BC, Portland

 Dr. Maria Rodriguez is an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the OHSU School of Medicine, however this is a personal opinion and does not represent the opinion of OHSU.