OHSU Community Research Across Oregon

There are five regions  (Central OregonSouth CoastNorth CoastSouthern OregonColumbia River Gorge) where the Community Research Liaisons have developed targeted strategies that will sustain research activities in those communities. Partnerships in Eastern Oregon are also in development. 

What's new - Liaison regions:

  • The Gorge:   Chelsea Ruder (Gorge CRL) has been supporting a new nonprofit called Columbia Gorge Postpartum Support(CGPS). This nonprofit serves women and families through lactation consultation and postpartum doula support. She has been supporting them in several ways through project planning and management and grant writing. Together, they have applied for three grants and have been awarded for two. Through the Community Project Assistance Program, the groups were connected with Christina Jaderholman OHSU-PSU School of Public Health PhD student who works with CORE. Christina will eventually help CGPS design a research project and evaluate the effectiveness of the doula model.

    Community stakeholders in the Gorge were connected with the OCTRI Evaluation Core to conduct a regional infant feeding needs assessment. Organizations planned to have patients fill out surveys while waiting for appointments, but the team had to readjust outreach strategies to capture more responses, specifically from Latinas. Chelsea wrote and won a grant for additional incentive funds to help reach more Latina participants. They were able to get an addition 25 surveys completed by Latina women, which ensured a good representation of community members. The OCTRI Evaluation Core will be analyzing results and producing a final report in the next quarter.   For any questions or information contact Chelsea

Bright yellow orchard in Columbia River Gorge area with rolling green hillsides behind
Gorge Region

North Coast:    Tillamook County Wellness (TCW) in Tillamook County and the Community Health Advisory and Resource Team (CHART) in Clatsop County are busy formalizing plans to bring in training and facilitators to educate community members on matters of diversity equity and inclusion and look at how our existing systems are impacting the social determinants of health.  For any questions or information contact Steven                      

Large bridge and old pylons in a bay near the North Coast of Oregon
North Coast

South Coast:   Through the Project Assistance Program, the South Coast Equity Coalition (SCEC) was introduced to the Oregon Health Equity Alliance, which led to the opportunity of being connected to other groups focused on regional equity work around the state. These connections have helped identify next steps for the newly formed coalition. Sylvia, also a member of SCEC, led a sub-committee to compile existing data on health inequities in Coos County. Due to gaps in existing data, SCEC decided to collect additional data on SCEC priority areas. Results will be available December 2020 along with a marketing and outreach plan to introduce the new coalition to the community.

In her CHE role, Sylvia Miller is working with Paige Farris and Rachel Crist of CORE to conduct Interviews for Knight Cancer Center’s Research Capacity Project. The purpose of this study is to understand the regional landscape in terms of resources, barriers and facilitators to support cancer prevention and control research and trials in Coos and Curry Counties. They have expanded interviews to non-medical organizations to give a “big picture” view of cancer research and prevention in the South Coast Region. Next steps consist of data analysis and forming focus groups. More to come!  For any questions or information contact Sylvia

White lighthouse on the South Coast of Oregon at sunset
South Coast
New Liaison Regions Map
Sparks Lake
Central Oregon

Central Oregon:   As a result of COVID-19, the Council on Aging (CoA), made reassurance calls to their existing clients (those on their Meals on Wheels, community dining, and home care services programs). Their Client Services team received highly positive feedback from the older adults. They reached out to Sara Mishalanie (Central Oregon CRL) for support expanding, improving, and evaluating the program. The overarching goal of the program is to reduce feelings of social isolation and loneliness among older adults in Central Oregon. The Community Research Team worked with CoA to conduct a literature review on effective components of calling programs, make recommendations for evidence-based improvements to the program, and develop an evaluation plan. This project is funded by Deschutes County and the Oregon Health Authority.

In collaboration with the OCTRI Evaluation Corewe are undertaking a four-year project to evaluate the long-term impacts of A Smile for Kids’ braces program on the health and equity outcomes of the youth in the program and their families. We put together a four-year project evaluation complete with a literature review and grant search support. 

The launch of the Central Oregon Health Data website on Sept 29th 2020, offers a way for people to access data updated at least yearly, that is free and online, instead of waiting for a new health assessment every four years. This site will track current and previous Regional Health Improvement Plan priority area measures. There are 250 demographic elements viewable at the state, county and zip code level, including population, housing, economic, education, transportation and occupation data from numerous sources. In October and November, the data website team (consisting of Sara, the Central Oregon Health Council, Deschutes County Public Health, and Conduit) conducted 3 live well-attended educational webinars on how to best utilize the site.  For any questions or information contact Sara             

Southern Oregon:   Lynda Crocker Daniel is a member of the Klamath County Public Health workgroup focusing on addressing infant mortality. This quarter she worked with the group to develop a strategic plan and outreach materials for safe sleep, smoking during pregnancy, SIDS, and nutrition.

Lynda is working with Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT)professors on submitting a grant to improve workforce development for mental health professionals in the region. The proposal involves the Marriage and Family Therapy Program developing training for behavioral health professionals and medical clinic doctors and staff on suicide and depression screening and referral through telehealth platforms.

As part of her role with the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence (NNACOE), Lynda is working with Dr. Katie Martin to develop a student rotation block for those interested in working in tribal clinics. The curriculum for the block includes books, films, reports, personal presentations from a native perspective with regard to history, historical trauma, social determinants of health, and colonialism, among others  For any questions or information contact Lynda

Aerial view of Klamath Falls at sunrise in Southern Oregon with foothills in the background
Southern Oregon