Melinda M. Davis, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Family Medicine, School of Medicine
  • Associate Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
  • Director of Research, OR.Oregon Rural Practice Research Network


Melinda Davis, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and Director of Research for the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network. Dr. Davis is a participatory implementation scientist who collaborates with patient, community, and health system partners to identify and address health disparities in rural and underserved settings. Dr. Davis spent four years working in as an ORPRN practice facilitator prior to the completion of her PhD in Social-Developmental Psychology from the University of Vermont in May 2010. Dr. Davis leads a portfolio of research and technical assistance contracts funded by the National Cancer Institute, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Cancer Society, and National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities to implement evidence-based interventions into practice. Dr. Davis conducts her work in ORPRN, often in partnership with the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance (CHARA), Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), and other state and national partners. Dr. Davis brings topical (cancer prevention & control) and methodologic expertise (qualitative, mixed-methods, participatory research, implementation science) to these interdisciplinary collaborations. Dr. Davis grew up in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge (Stevenson, WA). She also enjoys rock climbing, trail running, and practicing yoga. Link to NIH Biosketch. Please contact Dr. Davis directly to explore internships in her lab.

Education and training

    • M.A., 2006, University of Vermont
    • Ph.D., 2010, University of Vermont
    • M.C.R., 2018, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Fellowship

    • Fellow, Grant Generating Project, Department of Family Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University
    • Fellow, NIH Funded Mentored Training in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (MT-DIRC), Washington University in St. Louis
  • Certifications

    • Certificate, Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Summer Institute, University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University
    • Certificate, Human Investigation Program, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon

Memberships and associations:

  • Co-Lead, Community Health Advocacy & Research Alliance (CHARA)
  • Member, Central Oregon Research Coalition
  • Member, North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG)
  • Member, American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Member, Academy Health
  • Founding member, Society for Implementation Research Collaboration (SIRC)
  • Co-Chair, International Conference on Practice Facilitation (ICPF)

Areas of interest

  • Improving health and health care delivery in rural and vulnerable populations through dissemination and implementation research
  • Use of participatory research, qualitative methods, and practice-facilitation to improve cancer prevention and control and to facilitate clinic-community linkages

Honors and awards

  • Emerging Leader Award, Oregon Public Health Association, October 2016
  • George W. Albee Graduate Student Award in Community Psychology, University of Vermont Psychology Department, May 2009
  • Ronald Suiter Prize, University of Vermont College of Arts & Science, May 2009
  • Travel Mini Grant, University of Vermont Graduate Student Senate, 2008-2009
  • McNeil Prevention & Community Psychology Graduate Student Research Travel Support, University of Vermont Dept. of Graduate Psychology, January 2008
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Whitman College, May 2002
  • Sigma Xi, Whitman College, May 2002
  • OHSU Distinguished Faculty: Outstanding Teaching Finalist, School of Medicine, April 2018


Selected publications

  • 1.  Wheeler SB & Davis MM. “Taking the Bull by the Horns”: Four Principles to Align Public Health, Primary Care, and Community Efforts to Improve rural Cancer Control. Journal of Rural Health. 2017. doi:10.1111/jrh.12263.
  • 2.  Davis MM, Gunn R, Gowen K, Miller B, Green L, Cohen D. A Qualitative Study of Patient Experience of Integrated Care in Behavioral Health and Primary Care Settings: More Similar than Different. Translational Behavioral Medicine. In Press.
  • 3.  Pham R, Cross S, Fernandez B, Corson K, Dillon K, Yackley C, Davis MM [senior author]. “Finding the Right FIT”: A Community-led Mixed Methods Study of Rural, Low-Income Patient Preferences for Fecal Immunochemical Test Characteristics. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. September-October 2017; 30:632-644; doi:10.3122/jabfm.2017.05.170151
  • 4. Davis MM, Howk S, Spurlock M, McGinnis PB, Cohen DJ, Fagnan LJ. “Unless it gets used it won’t help solve the problem.” A Qualitative Study of Clinic and Community Member Perspectives on Implementation Toolkits. BMC Health Services Research. 2017 17(497). DOI 10.1186/s12913-017-2413-y
  • 5. Lindner S, Rowland R, Spurlock M, Dorn S, Davis MM [senior author]. "People with disabilities are the canaries in the mine…" The impact of the Affordable Care Act on People with Disabilities: Preliminary Evidence from Qualitative Interviews with Disability Advocates. Disability and Health. 2017 10(4); 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.04.003
  • 6. Davis M, Spurlock M, Ramsey K, Smith J, Beamer BA, Aromaa S, McGinnis PB. Milk Options Observation (MOO): A Mixed Methods Study of Chocolate Milk Removal on Beverage Consumption and Student/Staff Behaviors in a Rural Elementary School. Journal of School Nursing. 2017 34(4); 285-298. DOI: 10.1177/1059840517703744
  • 7. Warne D, Dulacki K, Spurlock M, Meath T, Davis MM, Wright B, McConnell KJ. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) among American Indians in South Dakota and Associations with Mental Health Conditions, Alcohol Use, and Smoking. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2017 July 12 [Epub ahead of print].
  • 8. Davis MM, Renfro S, Pham R, Hassmiller Lich K, Shannon J, Coronado GD, Wheeler SB. Geographic and Population-Level Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Testing: A Multilevel Analysis of Medicaid and Commercial Claims Data. Preventive Medicine. 2017; 101(8): 44–52. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.05.001
  • 9. Balasubramanian BA, Cohen DJ, Jetelina KK, Dickinson LM, Davis MM, Gunn R, Gowen K, deGruy III FV, Miller BF, Green LA. Primary care and behavioral health integration in community practices. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2017; 30(2):130-139. DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2017.02.160234.
  • 10. Miller B, Ross K, Davis MM, Melek S, Kathol R, Gordon P. Payment Reform in the Patient- Centered Medical Home: Enabling and Sustaining Integrated Behavioral Health Care. American Psychologist. 2017; 72(1): 55-68. DOI: 10.1037/a0040448.


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