Oregon Office of Rural Health

Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

2021 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

The Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon is an event where people discuss their experiences, learn from one another and bring forth new ideas to move forward solutions that improve care and services for elders. The Forum connects Critical Access Hospitals, coordinated care organizations, local public health departments, and private and rural health clinics with state and local aging-related stakeholders and community members. Attendees include health care providers and leaders, aging program specialists, policymakers, community members, family caregivers, elder care professionals, philanthropists and anyone interested in making it easier to age in place in rural Oregon.

The Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) will host the 2021 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon as a virtual learning series. Please join us the third Thursday of each month from 2-3 PM for our Upcoming 2021 Sessions.

Rural Trans Health in Oregon

Please join us Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 2:00 - 3:00 PM (PST)

About This Session

This conversation will help to foster an awareness of physical and behavioral health care access and barriers for trans people in rural Oregon.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the challenges that trans people (including binary and nonbinary individuals) face when accessing health care in rural Oregon.
  • Explore ways that trans people often navigate and respond to these barriers.
  • Gain an understanding of how to advocate with and care for trans communities.
  • Learn about trans educational resources, including Southern Oregon University’s Certificate in Transgender Studies and Trans and Queer Training program opportunities.


  • Carey Jean Sojka, PhD (they/them/theirs or she/her/hers) | Assistant Professor, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies | Southern Oregon University
  • Kylan Mattias de Vries, PhD (he/him/his or they/them/theirs) | Associate Professor & Program Chair, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies | Southern Oregon University

If you need a reasonable accommodation (e.g., American Sign Language (ASL), closed captions, or a language other than English) to attend or participate in this event, please contact Sarah Andersen, no later than 7 business days prior to the webinar. (An accommodation will not be assured if a request is not made in a timely manner.)

November 18, 2021

Older adults require specialized emergency care, especially in rural communities. Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital in Lincoln City, Oregon, has committed to delivering appropriate, safe, patient-centered care to the aging population by becoming an accredited Geriatric Emergency Department (GEDA). Attendees will learn about the process and benefits of GEDA.

Speaker: Crystal Bowman, PhD, RN, MSN-Ed., CHSE, CNE, CNE-Cl | Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital

December 16, 2021

Aging and sexuality: discussing sexual health and sexual risks in the older adult population; developing a comfort level around discussing sexuality with older adult clients; connection to resources; awareness of the link between sexual fulfillment and quality of life; and identifying the functional, psychosocial, cultural, and cognitive issues that can affect expression of sexuality.

Speaker: Britta Wilson, MA | Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital

Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults and Their Caregivers

September 16, 2021

Older adults face unique challenges preparing for and in the aftermath of natural disasters. This population can be among the hardest hit by hurricanes, floods, winter storms, heat events, and extended power outages. Learn the many reasons older adults are at a particular disadvantage during disasters and how to help them and their families think through and prepare for a variety of scenarios.


Lauren Kraemer, MPH | Assistant Professor of Practice | Oregon State University Extension Service


Volunteers in Action

August 19, 2021

Learn about Volunteers in Action and consider how to use volunteer community caregiver programs to promote aging-in-place and combat social isolation. Learn program facets such as eligibility requirements, volunteer roles and best practices, opportunities to engage young people, and the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the program.


  • Britta Wilson, MA | Volunteers in Action Program Coordinator, Providence Hood River


Working Through the Challenges – Complex Geropsychiatric Intervention and Management

June 24, 2021

With a great deal of information to cover this session will be 90 minutes! Presenters discuss the challenges and possible approaches that can be taken with aging patients/community members who may be determined to lack capacity and are uncooperative with current services. These individuals often have multiple complex co-existing concerns and complaints lodged against them. Many of these individuals are unable to be placed and may not be eligible for a mental health hold, and cannot be admitted to the hospital—thus often ending up in jail, homeless and uncooperative with caseworkers.


  • Tim Malone, LCSW | Private Practice Geropsychiatric Social Worker
  • Terry Schroeder, MA | Civil Commitment Coordinator, Oregon Health Authority


Let’s Talk About Dementia – What it Is, How Caregivers are Impacted, Risk for Abuse and Resources for Support

Thursday, June 17, 2021

May was Mental Health Awareness month and we are continuing the conversation into June. Please join us to discuss symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, resources for your loved one and for caregivers, and what to do when abuse is suspected.

After attending this session, participants will have:

  • Knowledge of symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias
  • Knowledge of dementia and elder abuse
  • Information on resources for your loved one and for family caregivers


  • Nirmala Dhar, LCSW | Mental Health Lead, Older Adult Behavioral Health |Oregon Health Authority


Not Just Bureaucracy: Oregon’s Office of Aging and People with Disabilities and YOU

Thursday, April 15, 2021

You may not realize it, but the State of Oregon has a variety of programs and supports that can help keep older adults safe, independent, and able to choose how they want to live their lives. This presentation will cover many of the different resources, services and supports available to older adults through government programs, how to advocate successfully, and some of the innovative partnerships happening in rural communities. You might even learn some new acronyms along the way!


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the functions of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Aging and Disability Resource Connections (ADRCs) and how they benefit older adults
  • Discuss different long-term care settings and what distinguishes each type of setting
  • Understand how to advocate for passage of bills, how to participate in the rule-making process, and the role of the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services (GCSS)
  • Explain the role of Adult Protective Services (APS) and when to report suspected or witnessed abuse


  • Ann McQueen, MS, PhD | Community Services and Supports Manager | Aging and People with Disabilities Program | Oregon Department of Human Services


A Conversation About Resilience in Native American Communities

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The intent of this conversation is to foster cultural competency among health professionals to serve Native American Elders. A focus in this session is the Q&A.


  • Explore an overview of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) history to build understanding of intergenerational trauma, personal trauma, and mistrust of institutions which have resulted in health disparities.
  • Discover several models/tools/resources that can be used to provide services with more cultural humility to our AI/AN patients.
  • Use the Q&A forum to answer specific audience questions and share personal and professional experiences from three Native American professionals across the social work and public health fields.


  • Kerri Smith Slingerland, LCSW, MS, CBIS, CADC III
  • Darin Smith, MPH, MSW
  • Derek Smith, MSW, MPH



Accreditation: Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

Each session: OHSU School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

Other license holders may also use ACCME credits; it depends on the rules enacted by your licensing board. The Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers is one such entity.


Sarah Andersen | 503-494-5227