Longtime advocate for patient care through both clinical work and public policy advocacy brings health expertise to Multnomah County
Chair Jessica Vega Pederson announced today that Dr. Richard Bruno, a trained family and preventive physician, has been named the Multnomah County Health Officer. Bruno was most recently the senior medical director for primary care for Central City Concern, a Portland nonprofit agency serving the unhoused community.
He replaces interim Health Officer Dr. Teresa Everson, the deputy Health Officer who has served since April 2023 and will return to her role.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Bruno to Multnomah County at this critical time,’’ said Chair Vega Pederson. “The Health Officer is the people’s doctor, the public health expert who guides everyone in our community to better health. Dr. Bruno’s work in family and preventive medicine and public health, especially with vulnerable populations, has prepared him perfectly for this role.”
The Health Officer works to provide medical and public health support internally to the county and to numerous other partners including other public agencies, school districts, hospitals and long-term care facilities. Their work includes helping manage individual cases of illness and addressing health threats to the community. Finally, they support changes to address the social determinants of health. They are particularly interested in understanding and addressing the root causes of poor health using scientific methods and evidence-based practices.
A graduate of Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, Bruno completed his residency in family medicine and preventive medicine, along with a Master of Public Health, at Johns Hopkins University in 2015. He is board certified in family medicine and preventive medicine, having been awarded a fellow of both the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine, and he has served on the board of directors of both of these national organizations, collectively representing over 130,000 physicians and students in the United States. Bruno began practicing as a family and preventive physician in Baltimore before returning to Oregon and Central City Concern.
Bruno has always advocated for patient’s health, both in the clinic and through public policies at different levels of government. He has served as a fellow at both the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During his time in Baltimore, Bruno advocated for under-resourced communities, helping draft legislation for banning plastics in personal care products, and providing free Cooking with the Doc classes at senior centers and recreation centers.
As an OHSU student, Bruno completed rotations at various organizations supporting Portland’s houseless population, including Central City Concern. In 2021, Bruno returned to Portland as Central City Concern’s senior medical director for primary care.
“I’m extremely honored to join the experts at the Multnomah County Health Department, bringing my passion for public health to help address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including houselessness and addiction,” said Bruno. “Everyday, I see the challenges our community members face in trying to prioritize their health, and I’m committed to promoting everyone’s ability to live healthier lives.”
In addition to his work at Central City Concern, Bruno has continued advocating for healthcare public policy in Oregon. In 2022, he was appointed to the Oregon Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which is responsible for recommending cost-saving measures for the state.
Bruno lives in Southeast Portland with his wife and two children who attend public schools. They enjoy hiking, biking, cooking and playing music together.