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Community Health & Health Sciences

Healthy individuals make healthy communities and healthy communities are at the foundation of productive societies. The office of Strategic Partnerships is committed facilitating relationships between business, government, and non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting health at all stages of life.

At Portland State University programs and centers within the schools of Community Health and Social Work are training the next generation of public health leaders and working with the community to better institutional programs dedicated to improving public health. Our keystone strategic partnership with OHSU can be highlighted with the soon to open Collaborative Life Sciences Building, joint faculty research initiatives, and A MBA in Health Care Management.

School of Community Health | School of Social Work | PSU/OHSU Joint Efforts

School of Community Health

 In the School of Community Health we believe that a healthy lifestyle is not only the result of individual healthy choices, but also a result of the environment and community that surround us. To that end, the School of Community Health engages in interdisciplinary activities that work toward influencing health behaviors through modification of lifestyles and changes to the environment. Visit the School of Community Health.

Center for Public Health Studies

Based in PSU's School of Community Health, the Center for Public Health Studies seeks to realize the potential for health by conducting interdisciplinary research that explores the interaction of health, society, and social policy. CPHS

Institute on Aging

Established in 1969, the Institute was one of the first centers in the United States to focus on the social, psychological, and economic issues related to aging. Our research is funded by federal, state, and private sources, with projects designed to advance knowledge that serves an aging society. Educational programs are offered at the baccalaureate, postbaccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The Institute on Aging is actively engaged in community partnerships. Visit the Institute on Aging

School of Social Work

PSU School of Social Work is ranked in the top 25% of social work programs nationally. With the only graduate social work program in the State of Oregon, and two growing undergraduate programs our top-ranked faculty, staff, and students are making this a place to learn and grow.  We don't stop in the Portland Metro region.  As a critical leader in the education of social workers all over the State of Oregon, we are proud to offer graduate study options in Ashland, Bend, Eugene and Salem, Oregon, too. Visit SSW.

Regional Research Institute

The Regional Research Institute for Human Services conducts research and evaluation with the goal of improving the lives of under-served children, adults, and families.  RRI is nationally recognized for innovative practices related to the inclusion of family members, youth and adult consumers in all levels of planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of human services. Visit RRI.

Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services

Based at Portland State University’s School of Social Work, the Center works with agency and community partners to promote a child serving system that protects children, respects families, and builds community capacity to address emerging needs. The Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services integrates research, education, and training to advance the delivery of services to children and families. Visit CCF.

Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research

Created in 2010, the Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research exists to advance the field of mentoring, nationally and internationally, through innovative and rigorous research, education and knowledge sharing, and partnerships with organizations providing services. Visit CIMR

OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building

The OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building is the first of its kind in Oregon and considered a model for future educational and research collaborations in the state. PSU’s parent agency, the Oregon University System, partnered with OHSU to finance and build the new state-of-the-art, sustainable facility, on 20 acres of undeveloped riverfront property in Portland’s South Waterfront, easily accessible from PSU and OHSU by streetcar, buses and an aerial tram. Expected to open in 2013-14, the 279,000-square-foot complex will be home to education and research in biosciences and medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing and other programs from PSU, OHSU, and Oregon State University. The project aims to expand the health care workforce and life sciences and biomedical research to stimulate economic development and attract and promote private partnerships. Read more about the Collaborative Life Science Building (pdf)

Oregon Master of Public Health

The Oregon Master of Public Health (OMPH) Program is built on the collective experience and expertise of three partner institutions: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Oregon State University (OUS), and Portland State University (PSU). A unique collaborative program that began in 1994, the Oregon MPH Program serves the urban, rural, and beach communities of Oregon and SW Washington and beyond. Students enrolled in the OMPH Program have the opportunity to take courses at any of the three campuses, and to interact with nationally and internationally known faculty from three dynamic universities. Visit OMPH

Joint MBA in Healthcare Management

In 2009, OHSU and PSU teamed up to start the Joint MBA in Healthcare Management Program to help fill a growing need for health care managers with graduate-level business degrees. The three-year program is an additional option to PSU’s long-standing graduate health management programs in the College of Urban and Public Affairs: the Master of Public Administration in Health Administration and the Master of Public Health in Health Management and Policy (part of the collaborative Oregon Master of Public Health program). The new Joint MBA combines OHSU’s strength in the health care industry with PSU’s comprehensive School of Business Administration to train busy professionals with a blend of online and on-campus instruction. The goal of both institutions is to prepare leaders for the rapidly changing health care system. Visit the joint MBA in Healthcare Management.


Joint faculty and research

When OHSU's Advanced Imaging Research Center needed a chemist to develop the next generation of contrast agents two years ago, it asked PSU’s chemists for help with hiring. In interviews, the top candidates said they wanted to be affiliated with PSU's chemistry department with access to graduate students and research colleagues, as well as access to OHSU’s state-of-the-art imaging facility. PSU saw an opportunity to fill its need for an inorganic chemistry professor and researcher. The two institutions pooled their resources and worked together to create a joint appointment with a competitive salary and start-up package. The professor now divides his time between OHSU and PSU and is considered a vibrant and productive faculty member who makes significant contributions to both institutions.

There were many administrative hurdles to this appointment, however. A strategic alliance will smooth the path to joint appointments and encourage more departments to initiate them. For instance, PSU’s Chemistry Department plans to relocate to the OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building, where the faculty hopes to create more joint appointments with OHSU. Other possible areas of partnership expansion include parasitology, cancer, toxicity, and biomedical engineering.

Although the program has to follow the different rules of each institution, the faculty and administrators work well together and there have been no serious conflicts. The provosts for both schools were committed to the program and have cleared obstacles to make it happen. Read more about the Joint MBA in Healthcare Management

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