Oregon Office of Rural Health

Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon

Sunny picture of Oregon coast and May dates for 2022 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 its 6th Annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon May 16-18, 2022 in Seaside, Oregon. Registration details coming in February 2022. 

As we all know, the Covid-19 situation is constantly evolving. We put your safety and that of the people you serve above all else. If necessary, we will pivot to a virtual Forum and will keep you informed about any changes immediately.

Providing Specialized, Emergency Care to an Aging Rural Oregon Population Through Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation

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 learn about the process and benefits of GEDA.


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

October 21, 2021

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


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


CEU Information

Virtual Forum Session CEU Information

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.

By attending the Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon offered by the Oregon Office of Rural Health, participants may earn up to 1 ACHE Qualified Education Hours toward initial certification or recertification of the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) designation.


Stepha Dragoon | 971-263-4751

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 awards of $697,883 , with 50% 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/acknowledgehrsafunding