Photo of Melinda M Davis, Ph.D.

Melinda M Davis Ph.D.

Melinda Davis, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and the Director of Community Engaged Research for the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network. Dr. Davis is a participatory implementation scientist who has over 10 years of experience conducting research 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 a practice facilitator in rural Oregon prior to the completion of her PhD in Social-Developmental Psychology from the University of Vermont in May 2010. She is currently a National Cancer Institute-funded K07 scholar who is leading research to address disparities in colorectal cancer screening in rural and vulnerable populations by implementing evidence-based interventions in collaboration with the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance, Oregon Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), and other state and national partners. Dr. Davis uses qualitative, mixed-methods, and tools from system science and dissemination and implementation research to translate research into actions that address health disparities in rural and vulnerable populations. 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. Dr. Davis is happy to invite interns to collaborate on her work. For inquiries, please contact her project manager Rose Gunn.

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 colorectal cancer screening and to facilitate clinic-community linkages.


  • M.A., University of Vermont, Burlington Vermont United States 2006
  • Ph.D., University of Vermont, Burlington Vermont United States 2010
  • 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

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

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)


  • 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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