Healthcare conference



Healthcare has become a four-letter word in our country. If you have it, congratulations! If you don’t, best to keep quiet and tread carefully. Accusations abound as we call one another selfish or socialist or sucker. All because we just want to go to the hospital when we’re sick!

But surely there’s a better way to talk about healthcare, right? Especially Christians, who are called to care for those in need, ought to be able to discuss these matters with civility and respect. We invite you to do just that at The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins’ Healthcare conference on October 19 at Multnomah University (8435 NE Glisan St.; Portland, OR 97220). Join us for open conversation, learning about the vast healthcare needs of our community and efforts to address them. Speakers, ranging from political leaders to medical professionals to community activists, will share about the current state of healthcare in the United States, proposals to improve it, considerations for which such proposals must account, and examples of systems around the world that effectively provide for the healthcare needs of their communities. This will help those in attendance to understand how Christian faith bears upon the pressing healthcare needs of those in our community, cultivating a comprehensive approach to public health as we seek to be good neighbors advocating for the common good.



Schedule for website


Registration & Cost


How Can I Help? How Our Family Changed in the Aftermath of a Health Crisis

Phil and Shonna Berlin

In this workshop, you will hear how Phil & Shonna Berlin’s family fell into financial disarray following their daughter’s long hospital stay, the steps their family is taking to recover, and practical suggestions the Berlins have discovered first-hand for supporting your friends and loved ones who face similar circumstances.

Bioethics: Complexity and Cost in End of Life Decisions

Daniel Somboonsiri

Every day in hospitals life and death decisions are made. Who lives? Who dies? Who decides? Bioethicists must make practical decisions with life hanging in the balance. Come join in a conversation where you will learn more about the role of bioethics in health care. We will engage a difficult case study and determine together how to respond. What should be done when physicians and families disagree? Should cost and resources be a factor?

Vulnerable by Social Exclusion, Resisting to Transform

Maria Antonia Sanchez and Sandra Hernandes

Do you consider healthcare to be a human right? Have you already taken into consideration that all human beings are vulnerable by nature? Though have you ever asked yourself if “vulnerable populations” has become a concept to define certain groups who might not have access to basic social services, such as healthcare?  If these are some of the burning questions you are facing, come and join us for collective action! Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and games and experiential education activities will take us to our social justice journey towards human rights!


DembrowRep. Michael Dembrow is state representative for Oregon House district 45, which includes Northeast Portland, the city of Maywood Park and the Parkrose area.  He serves as Chair of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.  He is a member of the House Rules Committee and the Energy and Environment Committee.

Michael is an English instructor at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus in North Portland, President of the PCC faculty union for 16 years, and co-director of Cascade Festival of African Films. He was the chief co-sponsor of two health care reform bills in this last session, one of which was signed into law by Gov. Kitzhaber last August.

PeredniaDr. Doug Perednia is a Portland internist, dermatologist, and author.  A former NIH-funded researcher, he has devoted the past 20 years to investigating more efficient and effective ways of providing and paying for healthcare services.  He is the author of Overhauling America’s Healthcare Machine: Stop the Bleeding and Save Trillions, published in 2011 by Financial Times Press.




GormanDr. Paul Gorman is Associate Professor of medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology at the OHSU School of Medicine. His research interests include patient safety, evaluation of health information systems; and EMR use by health professionals. He has been active in health care reform for many years and is a member of the Portland Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.




BerlinsPhilip & Shonna Berlin, natives of Northeast Portland, have been married 14 years, and have two daughters. They serve at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in North Portland. Phil serves as a young adult life group leader, as well as coordinator of the Juniors for Christ program in Children’s Ministry, while Shonna serves on the the worship team. They have been part of the Multnomah University community since 2002, where Phil as completed his Bachelor of Arts majoring in Pastoral Ministries with a minor in Hebrew, and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree.

Daniel SomboonsiriDaniel Somboonsiri is a student at Multnomah University where he is completing a Masters of Divinity degree. His studies are focused on philosophy of religion, Christian ethics, theology of culture and the Hebrew Scriptures. He is fascinated by how the universal gospel fits into particular cultures. He and his family fellowship at PDX mission church, a place of worship for the urban homeless, where he shares the Word of God.

SanchezMaria Antonia Sanchez is a Community Health Worker certified by Multnomah Health Department, Oregon. She works with Nuestra Comunidad Sana and One Health Community (Clinica Del Carino) as Community Health Promoter (Promotora de Salud), Hood River and Wasco Counties. She has lived in the Mid-Columbia since 1988, primarily conducting outreach, education and assisting with screening access for Hispanic women.  Toña started working in health care as a small child, assisting her godmother (the village healer) in collecting medicinal herbs and treating the sick in Mexico.  Upon arriving in the United States, Toña performed farm labor, but also served her community by volunteering to help others access health and social services.  She is a highly respected member of the Latino community. She is a The-TREE Institute Board of Directors and CHARLA Collective Advisory Board.

HernandesSandra Hernandes  is Theatre of the Oppressed Artist- Joker, Political and Experiential Educator, and Jungian Psychologist. She is currently pursuing her MBTI Master Practitioner. Sandra created a version of the Theatre of Transformation based on Pedagogy of the Oppressed social theory and Theatre of the Oppressed and elements of Jung’s psychological development offered to middle and high schools students, educators, and community groups since 2006. She consults and presents on Personality Type for individuals, educators and organizational institutions. She creates workshops and seminars presenting at national and international conferences engaging educators, students, psychologists, activists, business professionals, youth and young adults for over 18 years. She also acts as an adult and student mentor in some of these programs. She travels nationally and internationally and had presented in such countries as South Africa, Germany, Canada, United States, and Brazil. She is the co-founder of The TREE Institute (2006) and Spect-Actors Collective (2013).

HomolaMilan Homola is an alumnus of Multnomah Biblical Seminary and executive director of Compassion Connect. The mission of Compassion Connect began with these questions: “Could members of an American community provide free medical and dental care for the underinsured of their own community? Could churches work together to reach out to their neighbors? What would happen if the churches acted as the Church in a neighborhood?” The organization now helps churches to organize free health clinics, serve schools, mentor homeless families, and attack human trafficking. Compassion Connect clinics are being successfully run throughout the Northwest and even internationally in Rwanda.


ChiChunhuei Chi is Associate Professor, at the OSU College Of Public Health and Human Sciences. He is Coordinator of the OSU MPH program in International Health. His fields of research include sustainable health development for low-income nations; health system financing; national health care systems, and universal health care.






Kevin Foley holds a undergraduate degrees in history and medical laboratory science, a certification as a medical technologist (MT-ASCP), and a PhD in clinical pharmacology. Kevin fulfilled his requirements for a fellowship in laboratory medicine at the Mayo Clinic, earning certification from the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (DABCC). After working as the interim Department Chair for the College of Clinical Sciences at Northern Michigan University, Kevin accepted a position with Kaiser Permanente Northwest in 2009. He is currently the director of chemistry, toxicology, POC testing, referred testing, and immunology for the Northwest region. He has published over 25 peer reviewed papers, numerous online CAP competency courses and educational articles. He is an adjunct clinical professor at Oregon Health Science University. Kevin has a keen interest in laboratory medicine in the developing-world and also consults on issues pertaining to proper laboratory utilization and stewardship. Kevin lives in Troutdale with his wife and 2 children.

PLM streetcarPaul Louis Metzger is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. He serves as New Wine’s catalyst for cultivating a community of people brought together around a shared vision of bearing witness to Christ in contemporary culture. The New Wine, New Wineskins framework is integrated into Dr. Metzger’s courses at Multnomah Biblical Seminary, where he serves as Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture. Dr. Metzger is editor of the journal Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture, which is a publication of The Institute for the Theology of Culture. Dr. Metzger is the author Connecting Christ and numerous other works.