“You want to stop the outbreak as quickly as possible to minimize the number of people who get sick,” Bill Keene

Bill passed away today.  Over the past 20 years, Bill solved or helped solve many outbreaks, gaining the respect of his peers across the country and bolstering Oregon state’s stature as a leader in identifying tainted food outbreaks.  Here is a recent profile on Bill in the Oregonian.

As I said more than a few times if Minnesota or Oregon had ill people in an outbreak it was always one or the other state that would figure it out.

Minnesota has Team Diarrhea, Oregon just had Bill – and, that was enough.

Bill will be missed.

Dear Public Health Division staff:

I have some very sad news to share. On Sunday afternoon, our friend and colleague Bill Keene  died after a brief illness. Bill had worked as an epidemiologist at the Public Health Division since 1990.  Bill was highly respected both internationally and here in our community as an expert in foodborne disease outbreak investigations. He was known for his extraordinary intelligence, dry wit, and quirky personality.

We are planning a celebration of his life, and will share that information as soon as we can. We are so fortunate to have known Bill; he will be sorely missed.


Katrina Hedberg, MD, MPH
State Epidemiologist & Acting Health Officer
Public Health Division
Oregon Health Authority