Melinda Davis, PhD

Melinda Davis, PhD is the Director of Community Engaged Research for the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN), Research Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine (Department of Family Medicine) and Assistant Professor in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (Community Health). Dr. Davis was raised in the Columbia River Gorge and currently co-leads the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance (CHARA, see, a community-academic collaboration based in Gorge with a mission to "identify, develop, and conduct health research to answer questions that matter here."

Dr. Davis earned her PhD in social-developmental psychology from the University of Vermont (2010) with a focus on qualitative methods and participatory research. She has over 10 years of experience working with patient, community, and health system partners to identify and address health disparities through applied research in rural and underserved settings. Melinda has worked as a practice facilitator, served as the PI or Co-I on more than 15 community-based participatory research (CBPR) studies, and has helped build curriculum to build community-based research capacity (see

As an Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Centered Outcomes Research K12 Scholar and Fellow in the NIH Sponsored Mentored Training in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (MT-DIRC, see Dr. Davis is currently conducting mixed-methods research to understand regional variation in colorectal cancer screening and to identify and implement tailored evidence-based interventions to improve screening rates in rural and underserved settings. Dr. Davis maintains a research portfolio that includes technical assistance contracts and program evaluations for state and community-based projects in addition to NIH, PCORI, and AHRQ funding. Dr. Davis was awarded the 2016 Emerging Leader award by the Oregon Public Health Association for her commitment to serving rural communities, closing the gap on health disparities, and collaborating with community organizations to ensure that research creates solutions that address local challenges.

Areas of Research Keywords

Implementation Research, Qualitative Research, Mixed Methods, Rural Health, Health Disparities, Participatory Research/Community Based Participatory, Practice Facilitation, Practice-based Research.

Recent Publications (Selected)

Peer-Reviewed  (* Denotes Community Partner, ** Denotes Trainee/Mentee)

1.   Clark KD, Miller BF, Green LA, deGruy FV, Davis MM, Cohen DJ. Implementation of Behavioral Health Interventions in Real World Scenarios: Managing Complex Change. Family, Systems, and Health. 2016 Nov 28 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1037/fsh0000239

2.   Mabry J*/**, Farris PE, Forro VA, Findholt NE, Purnell JQ, Davis MM. Environmental, Behavioral, and Cultural Factors that Influence Healthy Eating in Rural Women of Childbearing Age: Findings from a PhotoVoice Study. Global Qualitative Nursing Research. 2016 Feb [Epub ahead of print]. DOI 10.117/2333393615622176.

3.   Cohen DJ, Balasubramanian BA, Gordon L, Marino M, Ono S, Solberg LI, Crabtree B, Stange KC, Davis MM, Miller WL, Damschroder LJ, McConnell J, Creswell J. A national evaluation of a dissemination and implementation initiative to enhance primary care practice capacity and improve cardiovascular disease care: the ESCALATES study protocol. Implementation Science. 2016 June 11:86. DOI: 10.1186/s13012-016-0449-8.

4.   Balasubramanian BA, Cohen DJ, Davis MM, Gunn R, Dickinson LM, Miller WL, Crabtree BF, Stange KC. Learning Evaluation: Blending Quality Improvement and Implementation Research Methods to Study Healthcare Innovations. Implementation Science. 2015:10(31). DOI 10.1186/s13012-015-0219-z. PMID: 25889831. PMCID: PMC4357215.

5.   Davis MM, Spurlock M**, Dulacki K, Meath T, Hsin-Fang L, McCarty D, Warne D, Wright B, McConnell KJ. The South Dakota Health Survey: Assessing Disparities in Alcohol, Drug Use, and Mental Health Services in Rural, Isolated, and Reservation Areas. Journal of Rural Health. 2015;32(3):287-302. DOI: 10.111/jrh.12157. PMID: 26515583.

6.   Broffman L**, Spurlock M**, Dulacki K, Campbell A, Rodriguez F, Wright B, McConnell KJ, Warne D, Davis M. Understanding Treatment Gaps for Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drug Use in Rural and Reservation Areas. Journal of Rural Health. 2015 ePub. DOI: 10.1111/jrh/12167. PMID: 26662709.

7.   Gunn R, Davis MM, Hall J, Heintzman J, Muench J, Smeds B*, Miller BF, Miller WL, Gilchrist E**, Levey SB, Brown J*, Wise Romero P*, Cohen DJ. Designing Clinical Space for the Delivery of Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2015;28:S52-S62. DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2015.S1.150053. PMID: 26359472.

8.   Davis MM, Balasubramanian BA, Cifuentez M, Hall J, Gunn R, Frenald D, Gilchrist E**, Miller B, DeGruy F, Cohen DJ. Clinician Staffing, Scheduling, and Engagement Strategies Among Primary Care Practices Delivering Integrated Care. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2015;28:S32-S40. PMID: 26359470.

9.   Bayliss EA, Bonds DE, Boyd CM, Davis MM, Finke B, Fox MH, et al. Understanding the Context of Health for People with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Moving from What is the Matter to What Matters. Annals of Family Medicine. 2014;12(3): 260-269. DOI: 10.1370/afm.1643. PMID: 24821898. PMCID: PMC4018375.

10. Davis MM, Freeman M, Kaye J, Vuckovic N, Buckley DI. A Systematic Review of Clinician and Staff Views on the Acceptability and Feasibility of Incorporating Remote Monitoring Technologies into Primary Care. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2014;20(5): 428-438. DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2013.0166. PMID: 24731239.

11. Davis MM, Aromaa S, McGinnis P, Ramsey K, Rollins N, Smith J*, Beamer BA*, Buckley DI, Stange KC, Fagnan LJ, on behalf of the Community Research Enhancement and Education Development (CREED) Partners. Engaging the Underserved: A Process Model to Mobilize Rural Community Health Coalitions as Partners in Translational Research. Clinical &Translational Science. 2014;7(4): 300-306. PMID: 24837826. PMCID: PMC4134739.

12. Young-Lorion J*, Davis MM, Kirks N*, Hsu A*, Slater JK*, Aromaa A, McGinnis P. Rural Oregon Community Perspectives: Introducing Community-Based Participatory Research into Community Health Coalitions. Progress in Community Health Partnerships. 20137(3):313-322. DOI: 10.1353/cpr.2013.0032. PMID: 24056513.

13. Davis MM, Currey JM**, Howk S, DeSordi M, Boise L, Fagnan LJ, Vuckovic N. (2013) A Qualitative Study of Rural Primary Care Clinician Views on Remote Monitoring Technologies. Journal of Rural Health, 30(1):69-78. First published online May 24, 2013. DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12027. PMID: 24383486.

14. Davis MM, Balasubramanian BA, Waller E, Miller BF, Green LA, Cohen DJ. Integrating Behavioral and Physical Health Care in the Real World: Early Lessons from Advancing Care Together. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2013; 26(5):588-602. DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2013.05.130028. PMID: 24004711.

15. Davis M, Keller S, DeVoe J, Cohen DJ. Characteristics and Lessons Learned from Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs) in the United States. Journal of Health Care Leadership. 2012; 4:107-116. PMCID: PMC4512302.

16. Davis M, Devoe M**, Kansagara D, Nicolaidis C, Englander H. "Did I do as best as the system would let me?" Healthcare Professional Views on Hospital to Home Care Transitions. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2012; 27(12):1649-56. PMID: 22829294. PMCID: PMC3509297.

17. Findholt N, Michael Y, Davis, M. Photovoice Engages Rural Youth in Childhood Obesity Prevention. Public Health Nursing. 2011; 28(2): 186-192. DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2010.00895. PMID: 21732973.

18. Davis M, Hilton T, Schott J*, Benson S*, Howard A, McGinnis P, Fagnan LJ. Unmet Dental Needs in Rural Primary Care: A Clinic, Community, and Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN/PROH) Collaborative. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2010;23(4):514-522. PMID: 20616294. PMCID: PMC2989533.

19. McGinnis PA, Hunsberger M, Davis M, Smith J*, Beamer BA*, Hastings DD*. Transitioning from CHIP to CHIRP: Blending Community Health Development with Community-based Participatory Research. Family &Community Health. 2010;33(3): 228-237. PMID: 20531103.

20. Fagnan LJ, Davis M, Deyo R, Werner JW, Stange KC. Linking Practice-Based Research Networks and Clinical and Translational Science Awards: New Opportunities for Community Engagement by Academic Health Centers. Academic Medicine. 2010;85(3):476-483. PMID: 20182121.

Technical Resources, Toolkits, and Project Websites (Peer-Tested)

Organized Approaches to Colorectal Cancer Screening: Learning Collaborative Webinars and Technical Assistance. Oregon Health Authority, May 2016 –Present. Available online at

A Guidebook of Professional Practices for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration: Observations from Exemplary Sites. Cohen DJ, Davis MM, Hall JD, Gilchrist EC, Miller BF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, March 2015. Available online at

Community Health Advocacy &Research Alliance (CHARA). Available online at

Integrating Primary Care Practices and Community-based Resource to Manage Obesity: A Bridge-building Toolkit for Rural Primary Care Practices. McGinnis P, Howk S, DeSordi M, Thomas M, Davis MM. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, May 2014. Available online at

Integrating Patient Decision Aids into Primary Care Practice: A Toolkit to Facilitate Shared Decision Making. Davis MM, Currey J, Thomas M, Aromaa S. Portland, OR: Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network, March 2013. Available online at

CHIP to CHIRP: Building Capacity for Community-based Participatory Research. Oregon Health &Science University, 2013. Available online at

Davis M, Goubaud M, Fagnan LJ. (2011).Tips for Small Practices: Lessons Learned from Care Management Implementation.In A. Chun, J. Schwartzberg, &C. Irmiter (Eds.) Geriatric Care by Design: A Clinician's Handbook to Meet the Needs of Older Adults through Environmental and Practice Redesign (book online).Chicago, IL: American Medical Association. pp. 123 –8.

Klein H, McRae G, Davis M, Wallace-Brodeur J, Bridges K. (2006, Dec).Growing Older in a Livable City: A Report on Focused Conversations with Burlington Citizens (age 50+).AARP.