Melinda Davis, PhD

Melinda Davis, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Community Engaged Research for the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Dr. Davis earned her PhD in social-developmental psychology from the University of Vermont (2010) with a focus on qualitative research and participatory research methods. She has over 10 years of experience working with patients, health system partners, and multidisciplinary teams to identify and address local health disparities through applied research. Her passion is in leveraging research to improve health and health care in rural and underserved communities. Melinda has worked as a field-based practice facilitator, served as the PI or Co-PI on more than 15 participatory research studies, and has helped build curriculum to identify and translate evidence-based interventions into real-world settings (see http://communityresearchtoolbox.org/). Dr. Davis is currently an Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ)/OHSU patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) K12 scholar. Her research uses mixed-methods to improve colorectal cancer screening in rural and underserved settings by: (1) identifying implementation characteristics and contextual factors associated with colorectal cancer screening improvement in rural and socioeconomically vulnerable populations; (2) describing regional variation in colorectal cancer screening rates within publically and commercially insured populations through secondary analyses of Oregon’s All Payer All Claims (APAC) database, and (3) determining “promising practices” that Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) and primary care practices are using to improve colorectal cancer screening in Medicaid members using performance data, observations, and key informant interviews with stakeholders from higher and lower performing settings. Her work is informed by national experts and members of the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance (CHARA), an academic-community collaborative supported by PCORI with a mission to “identify, develop, and conduct health research to answer questions that matter here” (see http://www.communityresearchalliance.org/).