In September of 2015, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)’s Campus for Rural Health (CRH) launched in Klamath Falls and Coos Bay with the vision to become a national leader in developing innovative approaches to optimize the health of individuals who reside in rural communities in Oregon and beyond. Last fall sites in La Grande and Enterprise were established in NE Oregon, enabling the CRH to expand into new frontier areas of the state. OHSU’s School of Nursing – La Grande Campus and the Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC) share offices at Eastern Oregon University. The collaboration between CRH, the La Grande Campus, and NEOAEHC exemplify the kind of integrated partnerships that occur within OHSU and rural communities.
OHSU’s long standing relationship with the Klamath community is supported by a 25 year history with Cascades East Family Medicine Residency, Cascades East AHEC (Area Health Education Center), Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), Sky Lakes Medical Center, and of course, OHSU’s School of Nursing -- Klamath Campus making it a natural location for the flagship program. Prior to the CRH, the South Coast served Surgical residents and a handful of OHSU students year round. The early commitment from North Bend Medical Center and veteran preceptors like pediatrician Dr. Jenni Deleon made the development of the South Coast seem almost effortless. Last year the OHSU Residency Program established new housing in Coos Bay for Internal Medicine residents, who are now in community for four-week experiences.
The CRH is an interprofessional initiative serving students from OHSU’s School of Dentistry, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, the Physician Assistant Program, Radiation Therapy Program, Human Nutrition Program, and the Oregon State University (OSU)/OHSU College of Pharmacy. Students share living accommodations, enroll in the Rural Interprofessional (IPE) Community Project course and work on a community-based project while accomplishing their own clinical requirements in Klamath, the South Coast, and NE Oregon.