Oregon Office of Rural Health

Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

Note: The Forum on Aging has transitioned to become the Forum on Population Health and Health Equity.

2023 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

The final Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon was held May 15-17, 2023 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. The Forum on Aging has now transitioned to become the Forum on Rural Population Health & Health Equity, which will happen virtually on June 12-13, 2024.

Questions? Please contact Stepha Dragoon | Dragoon@ohsu.edu.

This event is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award of $697,883 , with 25% funded by HRSA/HHS under grant number U2WRH33327. The contents are those of the author(s) and presenter(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/grants/manage/acknowledge-hrsa-funding

Join the Aging in Rural Oregon Online Community!

ORH has launched an online community on the Slack app, where professionals in the field of aging can connect, share resources and opportunities, and engage with one another. While this group is focused on rural Oregon, it is open to all Oregon professionals in the field of aging and gerontology.

Click here to join the community!

What is Slack?
Slack is a communication platform that can be used on a web browser, a computer application or a phone app. Once you log into the community (called a "workspace"), you can join and start groups that are focused on specific topics (called “channels”), send direct messages to other group members, attach documents and share links to websites, among many other capabilities! While Slack is designed to support communication within organizations, it is a great tool for online community-building as well.

How do I join the community?
To request to join this online community, please fill out this form. Once you submit the form, ORH staff will invite you to the community, and you will receive an email from Slack to join. Follow instructions found here and watch the ORH how-to video here.

Past Forum Presentations

2023 Forum Agenda Table

2023 Full Forum Agenda

A Community-Based Approach to Address SDOH in Patient Care Coordination, presented by,  Seema Rathor | Comagine Health, and Alex Topper, MPH | Comagine Health

Accelerated Aging in Our Communities: Identifying Risk and Areas for Opportunity, presented by,  Laura K. Byerly, MD | OHSU

Advance Directive Community Awareness Campaign: An Innovative Model for Reaching Underserved Communities, presented by,  Lorena Sprager, CHW  | The Next Door, Inc. 

Advocacy Workshop: Pathways to Informed and Effective Policy and Advocacy for Oregon's Older Adults and People with Disabilities, presented by,  Dr. James Davis 

Bridging the Gap: The Behavioral Health Needs of Rural Older Adults, presented by, Nirmala Daar, LCSW | Oregon Health Authority, Walter Dawson, Dphil | OHSU - Portland State University, and Maureen Nash, MD, MS, FAPA, FACP| Providence ElderPlace PACE Oregon 

Building an Online Community for Aging Services Professionals, presented by, Stepha Dragoon, LMSW, MPAff | Oregon Office of Rural Health

Circles of Care Hood River: A Case Study in Standing Up a Reciprocal Volunteer Program With a Senior Center or Community-Based Organization, presented by, Amy Mallett | Hood River Adult Center, Scott McKay | AGE+, and Rita Rathkey | AGE+  

Climate Emergencies and Resources for Building Resilience, presented by, Nicki Holmes | Aging and People with Disabilities, Dani Himes | Institute on Aging, Portland State University, Jacklyn Kohon, PhD | Institute on Aging, Portland State University, Chad Knowles | Office of Resilience and Emergency Management, and Stephanie Sheelar | Senior and Disability Services, Lane Council of Governments 

Collaboration in Action for Person-Centered Care, presented by, Elizabeth Johnson, MA | The Peaceful Presence Project , Erin Collins MN RN CHPN | The Peaceful Presence Project, and Angela Franklin | Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative 

Community Health Workers: Models to Improve Care for Rural Elders , presented by, Oralia Mendez, MPH, CHW | OSU Center for Health Innovation 

Dementia in Rural Oregon: Envisioning Support Across the Care Continuum, presented by, Dr. Walt Dawson DPhil | OHSU School of Medicine and PSU, Institute on Aging, Rod Harwood MDiv, MA | Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc., and Dr. Beth Mastel-Smith | The University of Texas at Tyler 

Emergency Preparedness & Older Adults: Special Considerations for Preparedness and Recovery,  presented by, Teresa Mutschler | Douglas Public Health Network, and Vanessa A. Becker | Douglas Public Health Network 

End-of-Life Doulas in Rural Oregon: Improved Support for Living with Advanced Illness,, presented by, Erin Collins, MN RN CHPN | The Peaceful Presence Project, and Elizabeth Johnson, MA | The Peaceful Presence Project 

Expanding Parkinson's Education for Rural Providers Through Project ECHO, presented by, Suvi Neukam, DO | OHSU

Generations Together: A Collaborative Network for Change, presented by, Stephanie Hooper | AGE+, Bandana Shrestha | AARP Oregon, and Peggy Maguire | Cambia Health Foundation

Health Literacy and Systemic Ageism: Achieving Better Outcomes for Older Adults Through Clear Communication, presented by, Cliff Coleman, MD, MPH | OHSU

Let's Talk About Sex, Sexual Health and Aging, presented by, Jessica Wright PA-C | OHSU, and Nick Kinder, AGNP-C | OHSU

LGBTQ+ Older Adult Survey – What’s Next? Addressing Survey Gaps, presented by, Deb McCuin | Oregon Department of Human Services, Office of Aging & People with Disabilities

Moving Advance Care Planning Upstream: Using Serious Illness Conversations to Promote Goal-Concordant Care and Increase Patient, Family, and Clinician Well-Being, presented by, Annette Totten | OHSU

Out Here on My Own: Using Creative Engagement to Reduce Loneliness and Isolation, presented by, Kera Magarill, MA | Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services, and Ann McQueen, PhD | TimeSlips Creative Storytelling 

Strengthen Your Body: A Muscle-Building Checklist for Older Adults, presented by, Erin Fredericks, MScN | FAMILIAR Foods 

Suicide Prevention: OHA Initiatives with Older Adults Living in Rural Areas, presented by, Debra Darmata, M.S. | Oregon Health Authority, and Nirmala Dhar, LCSW, ACSW | Oregon Health Authority 

Supporting Person Well-Being of Oregon’s Direct Care Workforce in Assisted Living and Residential Care, presented by, Raeann Voorhies, MBA, MSN, RN, AL-C | Vanda Health, Paula Carder, PhD | Institute on Aging, Portland State University, and Leah Brandis, MPH, RDN |Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network

TalkOregon: Empowering Clinicians to Excellence in Compassionate Communication, presented by, Katie H. Stowers, DO | OHSU Center for Ethics in Healthcare; OHSU Palliative Care, Briana Ketterer, MD, MS | OHSU Palliative Care; OHSU Center for Ethics in Healthcare, and Jared Chiarchiaro, MD, MS | OHSU Pulmonary & Critical Care: OHSU Center for Ethics in Healthcare

The Big 3: Aging, Housing and Behavioral Health Supports, presented by, Randi Moore | Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, and Lucy Zammarelli| Lane County Health & Human Services 

The Scam Landscape: Staying Safe as Scams Soar - and a Talk About How We Talk About Victims, presented by, Carmel Perez Snyder | AARP Oregon, and Suzanne Knight | AARP Oregon 

2022 Forum Agenda

Contact us if you would like to receive PDFs of any presentations. Email Laura Potter.

Contact us if you would like to receive PDFs of any presentations. Email Laura Potter.

A Conversation About Resilience in Native American Communities,  presented by Kerri Smith Slingerland, LCSW, MS, CBIS, CADC III, Darin Smith, MPH, MSW and Derek Smith, MSW, MPH.

Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults and Their Caregivers, presented by Lauren Kraemer, MPH | Assistant Professor of Practice | Oregon State University Extension Service.  

Let’s Talk About Dementia – What it Is, How Caregivers are Impacted, Risk for Abuse and Resources for Support, presented by 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,  presented by Ann McQueen, MS, PhD | Community Services and Supports Manager | Aging and People with Disabilities Program | Oregon Department of Human Services. 

Providing Specialized, Emergency Care to an Aging Rural Oregon Population Through Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation, presented by Dr. Crystal Bowman, PhD, RN, MSN-Ed, CHSE, CNE, CNE-CL | Director of Nursing & Allied Health | Oregon Coast Community College.  

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

Volunteers in Action, presented by Britta Wilson, MA | Volunteers in Action Program Coordinator, Providence Hood River. 

Working Through the Challenges – Complex Geropsychiatric Intervention and Management, presented by Tim Malone, LCSW | Private Practice Geropsychiatric Social Worker and Terry Schroeder, MA | Civil Commitment Coordinator, Oregon Health Authority. 

Contact us if you would like to receive PDFs of any presentations. Email Laura Potter.

Assistive Technology: Programs, Devices, Applications, and More, presented by Kevin Roebke | Oregon Public Utility Commission and Brian Sacre | Access Technology Inc.

Filling the Day with Meaning, presented by Rod Harwood, MDiv, MA, QMHP-C , Greater Oregon Behavioral Inc.

Hospice & Long-Term Care in the Year of the Virus, presented by Dr. Michael Knower |St. Charles Hospice and Lee Garber |Regency Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of Prineville. 

LGBTQ+ Older and Aging Adult Cultural Competency 101 – Tools to Improve Patient Communication, Care and Outcomes, presented by Liz James, Former CEO, Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston, Inc. Member, Oregon Statewide LGBTQ+ Aging Coalition Co-Chair & Presenter, 2019 SO LGBTQ+ Health & Wellness Summit Volunteer Leader, Southern Oregon AARP Community Action Team Member, RVCOG SDS Senior Advisory Council 

Policy Matters, presented by Andrea Meyer, Director Of Government Relations, AARP Oregon and Joyce DeMonnin, Communications Director, AARP Oregon. 

Positive Approaches to Care — 10 Steps to De-escalate a Crisis, presented by Rod Harwood, MDiv, MA, QMHP-C, Older Adult Behavioral Health Coordinator.  

Scams & Financial Exploitation Targeting Rural & Frontier Elders

Contact us if you would like to receive PDFs of any presentations. Email Laura Potter.

A Hidden Crisis – The Rise of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Oregon, presented by Keren Brown Wilson, PhD, Jessie F. Richardson Foundation CEO, and Stephanie Hooper, Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, President

Blue Zones Project - Purpose Workshop—Parts I & II, presented by Jessie Hecocta, Relationship Manager, Blue Zones Project, Klamath Falls

Clinical Considerations for Cannabis Use, presented by Danielle Backus, PharmD, BCGP, Pacific University, and John Begert, PharmD, Pacific University

Community-Based Palliative Care in Rural Oregon, presented by Donna Becker, MSW, PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Palliative Care, & Stephen Kerner, DO, PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Palliative Care

Depression, Suicide, & Aging in Rural Communities, presented by Patrick Arbore, EdD, Director and Founder, Elderly Suicide Prevention & Grief Related Services at Institute on Aging

Empowering Advocates and Navigators to Facilitate POLST Discussions in Their Community, presented by Valerie Jimenez, Executive Director, Oregon POLST Program

Empowering Communities through the LiveWell Method™, presented by Barbara Kohnen Adriance, Founder of The Malden Collective, and Lisa McKerlick, MSN, RN, RN Facilitator/Lead Trainer, Providence Portland Medical Center

Every Brain Needs Music, presented by Larry S. Sherman, PhD, Professor in the Division of Neuroscience at the Oregon Primate Research Center

Healthy Aging through Community and Exercise: A Case-Study of Strong Women Programs in the Columbia River Gorge, presented by Lauren Kraemer, MPH, Assistant Professor of Practice, Oregon State University, Strong Women Ambassador & Master Trainer, Claire Culbertson, Strong Women Leader & Oregon State University Extension Service Community Volunteer, and Ann Dow, Strong Women Leader & Oregon State University Extension Service Community Volunteer

Independence, Rural Communities, and the Stigma of Social Services, presented by Rebecca Arce, MPP, DHS Aging & People With Disabilities, and Ashley Carson Cottingham, JD, Director, DHS Aging & People With Disabilities

Introduction to Older Adult Mental Health First Aid, presented by Lois Orner, LCSW, Clackamas County Social Services Volunteer Connection Program Manager

MOVE-ing Toward Person-Centered Care: Practical Tools for Caregivers, presented by Leah Brandis, Lead project manager for the Oregon Nursing Home Resident Safety Collaborative at Health InSight Oregon, and Serena Hasworth, MPH, Research assistant and project manager in the Portland State University Institute on Aging

Navigating Rural Healthcare for Advanced Age Patients in the Years to Come, presented by Michael Knower, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM, St. Charles Hospice, and Chris Kelley, RN, MHL, Mt Bachelor Memory Care

Oregon’s Medically At-Risk Driver Program, presented by Kristopher Kyes, Medical Programs Coordinator, Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Positive Approaches to Care—Normal Aging/Not Normal Aging, presented by Janet Holboke, MSW, LCSW, Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialist, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc., and Rod Harwood, MDiv, MA, BCC, Older Adult Behavioral Health Specialist, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.

Pruning the Pills: A Deprescribing Strategy for Addressing Polypharmacy, presented by Lisa Honsvik, RN, DNS, WIllowbrook Terrace, and Michael Knower, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM, St Charles Hospice

Supporting the Long-Term Care Workforce: The Use of the Project ECHO Model to Build Knowledge and Skills in Nursing Home Staff, presented by Maggie McLain McDonnell, MPH, Senior Program Manager, Oregon Echo Network, and Nirmala Dhar, LCSW, ACSW, Older Adult Behavioral Health Services Coordinator for Oregon Health Authority's Health Systems Division

The Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon: Connecting You to Community Resources, presented by Monica Sandgren, Oregon DHS-APD, Community Services & Supports, and Lacey Hanson, ADRC Program and Technical Specialist

The Experience of Grief and Loneliness, presented by Patrick Arbore, EdD, Director and Founder, Elderly Suicide Prevention & Grief Related Services at the Institute on Aging

The Online Doctor Will See You Now: Health Resources for Rural Elders, presented by Michele Spatz, MS, All of Us Research Program Community Engagement Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, PNW Region, University of Washington

When a Guardian is Appointed: What Happens Next? The Role of a Fiduciary, presented by Jerry Rainey, Certified National Guardian, and cofounder of Cornerstone Services

Contact us if you would like to receive PDFs of any presentations. Email Laura Potter.

Accessible Healthcare and Age-onset Disabilities: Rights & Responsibilities Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, presented by Michael Richardson, MPA.

Care of Native American Elders in Indian Country, presented by Rex M. Quaempts MD Clinical Director, Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center (YTHC)

Challenging Behaviors: Working with Individuals Who Have Brain Injury, Stroke and Other Neurological Changes, Sherry Stock, ABD/PhD MS CBIST Executive Director - Neurogerontologist Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon

Coming OUT across the Ages: Providing Dignity-Affirming Care for Elder Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT+) Individuals in Rural Oregon, presented by Melissa Adams, MSW, LCSW.

Geriatric Polypharmacy, presented by Kim Lovato MS, PA-C Assistant Professor Pacific University.

Geriatric Traumas, Trauma Transfers & the Role of the POLST System in Trauma, presented by Jessica Ballou, MD, MPH Resident, General Surgery, OHSU.

Healthy Communities: A Framework to Achieve Inclusion of Elders and Persons with Disabilities, presented by Angela Weaver, M.Ed. Program Manager Oregon Office on Disability and Health, OHSU,  Darrin Umbarger Founder/CEO Clearveiw Disability Services, Robert Rankin, MPH Healthy Communities Coordinator Umatilla County Health, and Joseph Lowe Program Analyst DHS: Aging and People with Disabilities

How to Address Firearm Safety with the Rural, Suicidal Patient, presented by Laura Pennavaria, MD FAAFP and Susan G. Keys, Ph.D., St. Charles Health System.

Innovative Services for Rural Elders: Two Projects, presented by Nora A Healey, FNP, BC.

Interprofessional Team Approaches to Reducing Falls In Rural Communities, presented by Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH Glenise McKenzie, PhD, RN OHSU.

Meeting Aging Adults Where it Hurts in Rural Oregon

Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of Isolated Older Adults: Two Pilot Projects 

Non-Emergent Medical Transportation in Rural Oregon, presented by Angie Peters and Connie Guentert, Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, Inc.

Oral Health of Older Adults—Present Status, Future Challenges and Opportunities, presented by Dr. Richie Kohli, BDS, MS (DPH) Diplomate, American Board of Dental Public Health Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community Dentistry, OHSU., Karen Phillips, MPH, RDH, EPP Oral Health Program Analyst, and Eli Schwarz KOD DDS, MPH, PhD, FHKAM, FCDSHK, FACD, FRACDS, OHSU.

Providence ElderPlace & the PACE Model of Care

State Planning to Support Older Adults, presented by Kirsten Aird, MPH Cross Agency Systems Manager Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section Public Health Division. 

Supporting Rural Caregivers: Telehealth Delivery of Powerful Tools for Caregivers, presented by Leslie Congleton and Anna Tollenaar.

The ABCs of Adult Foster Homes, presented by Lynette Caldwell, Adult Foster Home Program Manager, DHS, and Mike Warner, Licensing Supervisor, District 12 – Umatilla and Morrow County.

The Latino Experience in Social Services, presented by Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck, PhD, MPH, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, OSU.

The Meaning of Health and Health Care for Older Adults in Rural Oregon, presented by Darcy Mize EdD, RN, and Tamara Rose PhD, RN, OHSU.

The Rural Medical Practitioner: Using Technology to Bridge Gaps in Care, presented by Melinda “Mel” Riter, MD PhD Assistant Professor, OHSU Dermatology.

Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center’s Community Wellness Program, presented by Carrie Sampson Interim Community Wellness Director, Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center.

Contact us if you would like to receive PDFs of any presentations. Email Laura Potter.

Achieving Person-Centered Age-Friendly Care, presented by Sarah H. Kagan PhD, RN School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA USA.

Caring for Caregivers: An Overlooked Problem, presented by Marcy Cottrell Houle, MS, and Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH

Community-Based Palliative Care in Florence, presented by Dr. Stephen Kerner and Donna Becker MSW

Fighting Ageism

Innovative Programs Serving Elder Communities

Lessons to be Learned: Elders in Hispanic and Native American Communities, presented by Joel Pelayo & Ma. Antonia Sanchez

Oregon’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program - Rural Provision Implications, presented by Todd Steele, MPA Deputy State LTC Ombudsman, District 6 State of Oregon, Office of the LTC Ombudsman

Policy Solutions: A Brainstorming Session

Rural Resources for the Older Patient

Rural Retirees: There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills! 

Share the Care: Organizing to Support Caregivers, presented by Claire Culbertson, MPH Volunteers-in-Action Advisory Board Member Providence Hood River Hospital

The Homecare Workforce: How Can You Get Involved?

The Whys and How-Tos of Creating an Age-Friendly Community, Margaret B. Neal, Ph.D., Portland State University Institute on Aging