Photo of Elena M Andresen, Ph.D.

Elena M Andresen Ph.D.

Elena Andresen, Ph.D., was trained in epidemiology and in health services research. Her research has been primarily in the areas of outcomes of chronic disease, disability and in aging. The particular focus of her research has been on assessing measures of patient-centered outcomes and health-related quality of life measures. She has been an active teacher and mentor to graduate students.

In June 2017, Dr. Andresen became executive vice president and provost of OHSU, Oregon's academic health center. In these roles, she oversees the education mission for the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Public Health, as well as other health care professional programs and initiatives.

She has served in a number of leadership roles at OHSU, including, from 2015 to 2016, interim dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, where she led the successful effort to secure accreditation.

Her work has been funded through the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Dr. Andresen has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and is the principal investigator for the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at OHSU, a five-year state grant funded by the CDC.

An internationally recognized scholar, Dr. Andresen has served on and led dozens of national and international committees for the CDC, AHRQ and the NIH. She is an elected Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and a member of the American Association on Health and Disability, American Public Health Association and the Society for Epidemiologic Research.

Before coming to OHSU in 2011, Dr. Andresen served on the faculty at the University of Rochester, Saint Louis University, and, most recently, the University of Florida, where she was the founding chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the newly accredited College of Public Health and Health Professions. She received her bachelor's, master's and doctorate from the University of Washington.

When not at OHSU, she enjoys gardening and spending time in the High Desert near Wamic, Oregon, for star gazing and birding.

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Areas of interest

  • Epidemiology
  • Health
  • African Americans
  • Public health
  • Quality of life
  • Disabled persons


  • M.A., History, University of Washington, Seattle 1977
  • Ph.D., Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle 1991


  • "Access to the US Department of Veterans Affairs health system" BMC Health Services Research December 1 2013
  • "Comparing the performance of health status measures for healthy older adults" Journal of the American Geriatrics Society  1995
  • "Performance of a Self-Administered Mailed Version of the Quality of Well-Being (QWB-SA) Questionnaire among Older Adults" Medical Care September 1998
  • "Disparities in chronic conditions and health status by type of disability" Disability and Health Journal October 2013
  • "Predictors of change in grip strength over 3 years in the African American health project" Journal of Aging and Health March 2010
  • "The intersection of public health data and rehabilitation practice" Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation July 2008
  • "Community-based surveillance of acute ischemic heart disease" Epidemiology  1993
  • "Underreporting of diabetes on death certificates, King County, Washington" American Journal of Public Health  1993
  • "Rating neighborhoods for older adult health" BMC Public Health  2008
  • "Association between childhood school segregation and changes in adult sense of control in the african american health cohort" Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences November 2013
  • "Disability and health status" Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health March 2000
  • "Age at disability onset and self-reported health status" BMC Public Health  2008
  • "Adverse housing and neighborhood conditions and inflammatory markers among middle-aged African Americans" Journal of Urban Health March 2010
  • "Test-retest reliability of subclinical status for functional limitation and disability" Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences January 2006
  • "Race and socioeconomic differences in post-settlement outcomes for African American and Caucasian Workers' Compensation claimants with low back injuries" Pain April 2005
  • "Falls among adult patients hospitalized in the United States" Journal of Patient Safety March 2013
  • "Limitations of the SF-36 in a sample of nursing home residents" Age and Ageing  1999
  • "Characteristics and health of caregivers and care recipients - North Carolina, 2005" Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report June 1 2007
  • "Effect of subclinical status in functional limitation and disability on adverse health outcomes 3 years later" Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences January 2007
  • "Rural disparities in receipt of colorectal cancer screening among adults ages 50-64 with disabilities" Disability and Health Journal  2015
  • "Association of blood cotinine level with cognitive and physical performance in non-smoking older adults" Environmental Research February 2013
  • "Reproducibility of physical performance and physiologic assessments" Journal of Aging and Health April 2005
  • "Performance of health-related quality-of-life instruments in a spinal cord injured population" Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation August 1999
  • "Health-related quality of life among older adults with and without functional limitations" American Journal of Public Health March 2012
  • "Examining modifiable health behaviors, body weight, and use of preventive health services among caregivers and non-caregivers aged 65 years and older in Hawaii, Kansas, and Washington using 2007 BRFSS" Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging May 2010
  • "Health-Related Quality of Life and Support Group Attendance for Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus" Journal of Clinical Rheumatology February 2004
  • "Urinary and fecal incontinence and quality of life in African Americans" Journal of the American Geriatrics Society October 2010
  • "Antecedents of global decline in health-related quality of life among middle-aged African Americans" Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences March 2009
  • "Cross-sectional and longitudinal risk factors for falls, fear of falling, and falls efficacy in a cohort of middle-aged African Americans" The Gerontologist April 2006
  • "Proxy reliability" Quality of Life Research  2001

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