Winters, Underriner Named Smith Award Recipients

July 5, 2017

Portland, OR – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Oregon announced today that Oregon State Senator Jackie Winters and Dave Underriner, Chief Executive for the Oregon Region of Providence Health and Services, have been selected as the 2017 recipients of the Gordon and Sharon Smith New Freedom Award.

Created by NAMI Oregon in 2009 to honor the mental health advocacy efforts of former United States Senator Gordon Smith and his wife, Sharon, the New Freedom Award is presented annually and recognizes  individuals for their leadership on mental health issues.

The annual awards dinner will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront. Sponsorships and individual tickets can be ordered online or by calling NAMI Oregon at 503-230-8009.

“Throughout her remarkable public service career, Senator Jackie Winters has served as a champion on behalf of individuals battling mental health issues, and Dave Underriner is regarded as a visionary leader in the mental health public policy arena,” said former Senator Gordon Smith.  “NAMI Oregon has chosen very wisely in recognizing them for the positive and life-changing difference they have made and continue to make. Sharon and I look forward to presenting Jackie and Dave with the award that bears our name.”

The award will be presented at a dinner to be held at the Portland Downtown Waterfront Marriott on October 3.  More information about the dinner can be obtained at or by calling (503) 230-8009.

Information on 2017 NAMI Oregon Gordon and Sharon Smith New Freedom Award Recipients

Senator Jackie Winters, R-Salem, is a longtime advocate for community mental health services and access to treatment. She was elected to the Oregon State Legislature as its first Republican African American state representative in 1988, and was elected as its first Republican African American state Senator in 2002. Sen. Winters began her governmental service in 1959. In 1969, she was recruited to be supervisor of the Office of Economic Opportunity’s New Resources Program at the request of Governor Tom McCall. In 1979, she was appointed Ombudsman, by Governor Victor Atiyeh. During this service, she helped create the Oregon Food Share Program, which grew in 2010, to include a statewide system of food banks serving most of Oregon’s neediest families.

Dave Underriner has been with Providence for over 30 years and served in many management roles. He has been in his current role as CEO for the Oregon Region for four years. Providence is the largest health system and largest private employer in Oregon.  Dave earned a master’s degree in health service administration from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University.

He currently sits on the boards of Oregon Association of Hospital & Health Systems, Volunteers of America – Oregon, University of Portland, All Hands Raised, and the Oregon Business Council, where he chairs the Poverty Reduction Strategy Task Force.

About NAMI Oregon

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Oregon (NAMI Oregon) is a statewide grassroots organization with more than 1,700 members in 14 affiliates; it is one of 50 state organizations that comprise the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  NAMI Oregon is the state’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to education, support and advocacy around mental illness and treatment. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit NAMI Oregon’s free education, support and advocacy programs.