Melinda Davis, PhD

Melinda Davis was born and raised in Stevenson, Washington — a beautiful community located in the rural Columbia River Gorge. She earned her PhD in social-developmental Psychology from the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT) and her bachelor’s degree in Biology-Environmental Studies from Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA).

Melinda utilizes participatory approaches and mixed method study designs to explore and address health service delivery in community and primary care clinical settings. She has a special interest in serving rural populations and in conducting research that facilitates healthy/optimal aging across the lifespan.

In 2007, Melinda began working for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) as a Practice Facilitator (i.e., Practice Enhancement and Research Coordinator, PERC) for the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network. ORPRN is a practice-based research network with a mission to “improve the health of rural populations in Oregon through conducting and promoting health research in partnership with the communities and practitioners we serve.”

As a PERC Melinda had the opportunity to facilitate numerous translational research studies and quality improvement initiatives in clinic and community settings, including:

  • An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Task Order to integrate care management into six rural primary care clinics and evaluate the business case,
  • Qualitative research supported by the Northwest Health Foundation and the Betty Gray Rural Health Development Foundation to explore barriers and facilitators to treating childhood obesity from rural clinician and community perspectives and develop locally tailored interventions,
  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR) supported by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Science Institute (OCTRI) on unmet dental needs in rural primary care and communities, and
  • Projects supported by Qualis Health, the Commonwealth Fund, and the American Academic of Family Practice to implement elements of the patient-centered medical home into rural primary care.

In fall 2010 Melinda moved to OHSU in Portland after accepting a position as a Research Scientist for ORPRN and Research Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine. She is currently a co-investigator on various studies focused on practice redesign and facilitating linkages between community and clinic settings to enhance health care delivery. Melinda brings her expertise in mixed methods and translational research (including practice-based research and CBPR) to the project team.

In her spare time, Melinda enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, practicing yoga and other activities that get her outside!