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Mission Statement

ORPRN's mission is to improve health outcomes and equity for all Oregonians through community partnered dialogue, research, coaching, and education.

Diversity Commitment

ORPRN is committed to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist organization. We do so by evaluating how we develop and support our workforce, the partnerships we uphold and how we engage in community-partnered dialogue, research, coaching and education throughout Oregon.

Message from the Director

Giving Thanks As We Approach a New Year

Melinda Davis
Melinda Davis, PhD. Photo by Christine Torres

As we approach 2023, I find myself reflecting on things I’m grateful for: the return of rain and early snow fall; time with my dog, family, and friends; and warmth, housing, and food. I’m also grateful for the resolve of ORPRN staff, leadership, and our clinic and community partners. Now more than ever, our team continues to support primary care and public health as they address the challenges of our time. 

The last few years haven’t been easy. Many folks wonder how best to move forward while acknowledging the collective trauma we’ve been through. Within ORPRN, our team has been resilient through rapidly shifting project foci, methods, and timing in response to changing regional and national contexts – key lessons of which appear in this recent Annals of Family Medicine publication. ORPRN collaborations strive to navigate this recovery process via dialogue, research, coaching, and education with primary care and community organizations. 

ORPRN priorities and projects are anchored by our advisory board, chaired by Kate McKenna, MD, MPH (One Community Health, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital). Work advances the legacies left by Drs. Fagnan and Elder, and is led by a skilled leadership team that includes Anne King, LeAnn Michaels, Maggie McLain McDonnell, and Alisa Jackson. Two members of our leadership team recently received special recognition:  Anne King was honored with the 2022 Oregon Public Health Association Lifetime Achievement Award in October and LeAnn Michaels received the 2022 North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Outstanding Research Coordinator Award in November.

Currently our team of more than 50 staff members and core and affiliated investigators are engaged with more than 300 clinics and communities across the state on nearly 20 active projects. Projects align with many of the opportunities for primary care as identified in the recent National Academies report on Implementing High-Quality Primary Care: Rebuilding the Foundation of Health Care and priorities outlined in the HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Care.

For example, current projects focus on payer-clinic partnerships supporting preventive care outreach related to substance misuse, behavioral health, unmet social needs, or cancer screening. The recently completed Accountable Health Communities project screened more than 25,000 people for social needs and helped connect folks with regionally based resources. The Oregon ECHO Network continues to expand its reach across the state, proving interactive educational and community-building experiences around long COVID, adult mental health, substance use,  foster care and more, offering 15 programs in Fall 2022 alone. In partnership with the Meta-network Learning and Research Center (Meta-LARC) ORPRN also leads studies nationally and internationally to figure out how lotion impacts the development of atopic dermatitis and to compare methods for implementing advance care planning. Our technical assistance and coaching activities happening throughout the state are too numerous to list! 

In all this work, ORPRN maintains a central commitment to sustaining relationships beyond individual projects. As we approach the new year, I’m thankful for growing collaborations with the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI), OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Oregon Health Authority and with other partners that strengthen our ability to support regionally based staff, foster conversations, and enable co-design of technical assistance and research programs.

May you also find gratitude and anchoring with your teams as you move into 2023.