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Malheur County Partnership Cited as Rural Health Care Model

04/05/10  Malheur County, OR

The collaboration between the Malheur County Health Department and Treasure Valley Pediatric Clinic (TVPC) has been cited by the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN) as a model partnership for addressing the health issues of at-risk populations in its area of the state.

The partnership was singled out at ORPRN’s recent convocation in Portland for its work on improving care for at-risk and newborn children. It was one of three rural partnerships recognized for contributions to improving health care in the state. The others were in Lincoln County and Baker County.

TVPC clinic care managers, through the publicly-assisted CaCoon (CAre COordinatiON), Babies First!, and Healthy Start programs, work closely with the Malheur County Health Department’s Community Connections Network (CCN), which is dedicated to improving care and services for children and young adults with chronic conditions or disabilities. In addition, TVPC representatives review and coordinate care for children being overseen by the county court system.

CaCoon aids families with special needs children. The Babies First! program offers services for infants and children facing long-term health and developmental problems because of premature birth, low birth weight, and exposure to drugs and alcohol and other reasons. Healthy Start is a countywide voluntary parenting and support program for first-time parents.

Sandra Dunbrasky, M.D., who leads TVPC and is an eastern Oregon native, was singled out for commendation at the convocation. She earned her medical degree and did her pediatric residency at Oregon Health & Science University.

About Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN)
ORPRN’s mission is to improve the health of rural populations in Oregon by conducting and promoting health research through partnerships with communities and health care providers across the state. Founded in 2002, the Network currently consists of 49 primary care practices in 37 Oregon communities. It collaborates with researchers and other health professionals at OHSU, public health agencies and community organizations to develop research studies and quality improvement initiatives. Current ORPRN studies focus on medication safety, chronic disease prevention, practice redesign, child behavioral health, dementia screening, preventive services, women’s health in pregnancy, and childhood immunizations.

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government). OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.