Who We Are

LJ Fagnan, MD

Lyle J. (LJ) Fagnan, MD, Network Director and Investigator

Dr. Fagnan received his medical degree from the University of Oregon Medical School and following a rotating internship in Hartford, Connecticut, he joined the United States Public Health, Indian Health Service and practiced in Bethel, Alaska, for three years. He completed his family medicine residency training in Boise, Idaho, at the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency of Southwest Idaho. In 1977, LJ founded a medical clinic, Dunes Family Health Care, in Reedsport, Oregon, which was funded as one of thirteen model rural practices with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Rural Practice Project. He joined the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in 1993. In 2002, LJ became the director of the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN). LJ maintains an active family medicine practice and was named as the "Family Doctor of the Year" by the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians in 2005. LJ's research portfolio includes studies and publications related to population-based health, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based medicine into practice, quality improvement, and rural health care systems.
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David Buckley, MD, MPH

David Buckley, MD, MPH, Investigator

Dr. Buckley received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque in 1993 and did his residency in the school's Department of Family and Community Medicine. From 1996 to 1998 he served as an attending physician at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in Keene, New Hampshire. In 1999 he joined Kaiser Permanente as an attending physician until 2001, when he joined the faculty of the Oregon Health & Science University as an Assistant Professor in Family Medicine. Dr. Buckley completed an NIH NRSA post-doctoral fellowship in primary care research, which included work on an MPH degree in epidemiology and biostatistics. He has been a research investigator with ORPRN since 2003 and serves as Vice Chairman of the Scientific Review Committee. Dr. Buckley is Co-PI of the ORPRN Preventive Services study in 2004 and is preparing to serve as PI on an ORPRN study examining the provision of preventive services to rural residents receiving chronic opioid therapy. He is also working with OHSU's Alzheimer's Research Center on a study of dementia screening in rural primary care practices. Back to top

Sankirtana Danner, MFT

Sankirtana Danner, MA, Senior Project Manager

Sankirtana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Prior to joining ORPRN, she worked in Seattle managing NIH funded research trials studying the dissemination of evidence based treatments to behavioral health clinicians. Sankirtana has a particular interest in the integration of mental and behavioral health treatment into primary care settings. In her role with ORPRN, she manages the execution of projects to ensure timely completion and standardized implementation. In her personal time, she volunteers with a community organization to promote health care accessibility to rural and urban populations in southern India. Back to top

Melinda Davis, PhD, CCRP

Melinda Davis, PhD, CCRP, Community-engaged Research Director

Dr. Davis spent four years in La Grande, OR, as a Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC) for ORPRN prior to accepting a position in Portland following the completion of her PhD in Social-Developmental Psychology from the University of Vermont in May 2010. Melinda uses participatory research approaches and mixed method study designs to explore health service delivery in community and primary care settings. Her work focuses on rural populations; interventions to facilitate healthy/optimal aging across the lifespan, addressing topics such as childhood obesity, mental health care, unmet dental needs, and management strategies for multiple chronic conditions; and evaluating effective strategies for supporting practice change. Melinda grew up in the beautiful rural Columbia River Gorge (Stevenson, WA), and she enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, and practicing yoga in her spare time. Back to top

Caitlin Dickinson
Caitlin Dickinson, MPH, Healthy Hearts Northwest Project Manager

Caitlin serves as project manager for ORPRN's Healthy Hearts Northwest (H2N) R18 project. Prior to joining ORPRN, she worked for OHSU's department of OB/GYN and coordinated career development (K12) programs and research projects focused on evidence-based medicine, comparative effectiveness, patient safety, and improving teamwork and leadership among healthcare personnel. Caitlin grew up in the Portland area. She holds a Bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Denver and a Master of Public Health degree from Oregon State University. In her leisure time, she enjoys cycling, swimming, reading, and relaxing with her family. Back to Top

Bruce Goldberg
Bruce Goldberg, MD, Senior Associate Medical Director

Dr.Goldberg is a family medicine physician with a long history in Oregon. He served two Oregon Governors in a number of roles including Director of the Oregon Office for Health Policy and Research, Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services, and led the formation of the Oregon Health Authority from February 2011 through 2013.  He guided the transformation of Oregon's Medicaid system to one based on a model of coordinated care, and headed efforts to establish Oregon's Healthy Kids program to provide health coverage for all children, improve Oregon's mental health system and transform the delivery of public human services to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.  Dr.Goldberg has been a practicing clinician in Oregon and in rural New Mexico, a teacher/academician, a county health officer, a medical director and a director.  He is a graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and completed his family medicine training at Duke University.  Back to top

Sonya Howk, MPA

Sonya Howk, MPA:HA, Research Associate

Sonya is a research associate with ORPRN. She manages study logistics and data collection, assists with qualitative data analysis, and supports the PERCs in their work with clinics. She has a Bachelor's in Political Science from University of Oregon, and Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from Portland State University. She is interested in program assessment and evaluation, and quality improvement in primary care settings. Sonya has work at the Oregon Office of Rural Health as an Information Coordinator, and as the Fellowship Program Coordinator for OHSU's Department of OB/Gyn.
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Alisa Jackson

Alisa Jackson, Administrative Coordinator

Alisa became ORPRN's Administrative Coordinator in 2015.  Prior to joining the world of Research, she worked in Social Services, supporting the community mental health agency Morrison Child and Family Services for over 10 years through various Human Resources and Administrative functions. She appreciates using her skill set to improve systems, and assist the efforts of those serving our communities. Alisa is a Portland native, has hiked 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, sings with the Portland Peace Choir, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre from Portland State University. Back to Top

McDonnell, Maggie

Maggie McLain McDonnell, MPH, Project Manager

Maggie earned a Master's degree in Public Health and Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.  Prior to joining ORPRN, she was curriculum development manager for OHSU's Healthy TEAM Healthy U employee wellness program and research coordinator for the Pregnancy Exercise & Nutrition pilot study. In her role with ORPRN, she serves as the project manager for a coordinated care project in eastern Oregon, among other projects. She is particularly interested in preventive care and wellness in primary care to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. Maggie grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, and enjoys singing, hiking, cooking, and traveling. Back to top

LeAnn Michaels

LeAnn Michaels, Network Manager

LeAnn became the ORPRN Manager in 2008. She holds a Bachelor's degree in nutrition, and worked as the Clinical Research Manager of the Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative (CORI) at OHSU prior to coming to ORPRN. Previously she coordinated clinical trials and received certification as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator with the ACRP. While working for CORI, LeAnn worked as the project manager for the Colonoscopy in Rural Oregon Practice (CROP) study, a joint project between CORI and ORPRN. As ORPRN Manager, she works with researchers to complete grant proposals, manages the ORPRN team and oversees Network operations. She received her degree from North Dakota State University. Back to top

Margaret Spurlock

Margaret Spurlock, MPH, Research Associate

Margaret serves as a project manager for ORPRN's community-engaged research program. Prior to joining ORPRN she worked for the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness at OHSU coordinating a statewide behavioral health needs assessment in South Dakota. Previously she worked for the National Indian Child Welfare Association, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children and families. She holds a Bachelor's degree in anthropology from Columbia University and a Master of Public Health degree from Portland State University. Back to top

Elizabeth Waddell, PhD

Elizabeth Needham Waddell, PhD, Senior Study Director

Dr. Waddell joined ORPRN in 2014 after serving 9 years as a Research Scientist and Unit Director at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. At ORPRN, Dr. Waddell leads multiple projects that focus on practice transformation and integration of primary and behavioral health care.  She received a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in NIDA's Behavioral Sciences Training Program in Drug Abuse Research.  Dr. Waddell served as principal investigator on the NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Manhattan Lupus Surveillance Project, and has directed multiple research and programmatic collaborations between government and academic partners.  At OHSU, Dr. Waddell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health & Preventive medicine and is committed to mentoring students on projects that bridge public health research and practice. Back to top


Practice Enhancement Research Coordinators (PERCs)

Kelsey Branca

Kelsey Branca, MPH, Columbia-Willamette Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC)

Kelsey Branca joined ORPRN in 2014 with the role of Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator serving the Columbia-Willamette region. She earned a Master's degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor's degree in health education from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining ORPRN, she coordinated research studies with older adults at the University of Pittsburgh and spent several years working with LGBT communities in behavioral health and social services settings. Kelsey was born and raised in Humboldt county, which is located on northern California's Redwood Coast. Back to top

Mark Remiker, MA

Mark Remiker, MA, Oregon Pacific Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC)

Mark started with ORPRN in October 2012. Before joining ORPRN, Mark worked as a research coordinator for the Wisconsin Research and Education Network (WREN), a PBRN based at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His past research experience focused on implementing evidence-based guidelines for chronic kidney disease in primary care settings and validating EHR selection criteria for asthma and diabetes. Mark holds a BA in psychology from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a MA in biological anthropology from Washington State University. He is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Back to top

Ann Romer

Ann Romer, MS, Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC)

Ann is a PERC serving the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) practices throughout the State of Oregon. She holds a Master’s in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University, and a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Ecology from the University of Arizona. Her previous work experience includes several years in biomedical research at Providence, focusing largely on the therapeutic potential of adult bone marrow-derived stem cells, as well as a brief stint as an Office Manager at PSU. Ann has lived in Oklahoma, Ohio, Arizona, Germany, and the Philippines, but now calls Portland home. She enjoys raising her daughter, advocating for social justice, and learning new things with her husband. Back to top

Beth Sommers

Beth Sommers, MPH, CPHQ, Portland Metro Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC)

Beth is a Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator serving the Portland-Metro area. She received her Masters of Public Health from Portland State University and her Bachelors of Science in Physical Anthropology from Oregon State University. Her previous experience with primary care transformation research includes development and evaluation of communication best practices of the Multnomah County Health Department’s patient-centered medical home model, Building Better Care, and evaluation of two OHSU primary care improvement demonstration projects centered around the care of patients with chronic health conditions.
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Chou Xiong

Chou Xiong, Eastern Oregon Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC)

Chou is the Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator serving the eastern Oregon region. Prior to joining ORPRN, Chou worked as a Community Engagement Representative with the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UCSD, where she worked to educate community members to increase their health research literacy. Chou also spent several years working with a community-based health organization in Merced, California to eliminate the disproportionate health disparities in the local Hmong community. Chou is passionate about preserving cultural arts and practices. She also enjoys sewing and discovering new things. Back to top