Sherril B. Gelmon, B.Sc., M.H.Sc., Dr.P.H.

Chair of Public Administration Division, Professor of Public Health

Contact Information
Office: URBN 670 N
Telephone: 503.725.3044


Dr. Gelmon is Professor of Public Health in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.  Her primary teaching is in the MPH:HMP and MPA:HA programs; she is also a member of the faculty of the Public Administration and Policy doctoral program.  

Teaching Emphasis:  She teaches courses in the theory and practice of health management and policy, with emphases on continuous improvement, planning, program evaluation, organizational behavior, values and ethics, and health systems.  She advises masters and doctoral students with interests in health management, health policy, and health services organizational research. 

Administrative Roles:  She served as Coordinator of the statewide Oregon Masters of Public Health program from 1998 to 2000, and was Coordinator of the Masters of Public Health:  Health Management and Policy and of the Masters of Public Administration: Health Administration from 1994 to 2007. She became Chair of the Division of Public Administration in 2008. 

Education:  Dr. Gelmon is an alumna of the Pew Health Policy Fellows Program, and received her doctorate in health policy from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan (1990).  Her master's degree is in health administration from the University of Toronto (1983), and she holds undergraduate degrees in physiotherapy from the Universities of Toronto (1978) and Saskatchewan (1976).  

Previous Positions:  From 1988 to 1994, Dr. Gelmon was the Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration, and Director of Academic Affairs for the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, based in Arlington, VA.  She served as Coordinator of the Planning Directorate for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto (1984-1988). Her early professional career included health care planning and evaluation consulting with Woods Gordon Management Consultants, and positions as a staff physiotherapist in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Research Focus & Interests

Dr. Gelmon's research has two major areas of emphasis.  The first is on applications of continuous improvement in health services delivery and higher education, with emphasis on the design and evaluation of educational programs for new health services professionals in disciplinary and interdisciplinary formats.  The second focus is the study of higher education policy, with specific applications to institutionalization of community engagement and related teaching strategies and institutional policies. 

Dr. Gelmon has been principal or co-investigator on approximately 70 funded research projects during her academic career.  Through these multiple projects, she works with community agencies, providers, and graduate students to develop evidence of impact of various educational and health improvement interventions, and assists in the development of relevant program improvement and policy strategies.

Her current and most recent projects include: 

  • Co-evaluator of the implementation of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Home for the Oregon Health Authority (2012-2013)
  • Principal investigator of “ReThinking Peer Review”, a new initiative launched in 2012
  • Evaluator of “Training Residents in Prevention and Policy” in collaboration with OHSU, funded by a HRSA training grant (2010-2013)
  • Co-evaluator for Partners Investing in Nursing's Future program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation (2006-2013) 
  • National evaluator for the Community Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative, funded by the US Department of Education (2004-2007), and for Faculty for the Engaged Campus (2007-2010), both through Community-Campus Partnerships for Health
  • Evaluator for the multi-year Northwest Health Foundation initiative addressing the nursing workforce shortage (2003-2009)

Community Engagements/Service

Dr. Gelmon’s involvement includes:

  • Evaluation Consultant, VA Office of Academic Affairs, Centers of Excellence in Primary Care (2011-present)
  • PSU Faculty representative, OHSU/PSU Strategic Partnership Task Force and Advisory Committee (2011-present)
  • Chair, PSU Human Subjects Research Review Committee (2006-2010)
  • Examiner, Senior Examiner and Alumni Examiner, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2000-2007)
  • Engaged Scholar, Campus Compact (1999-2002)
  • Project Director, Pew Commission Task Force on Accreditation of Health Professions Education (1996-1999)

Governance Roles:

  • Board Member, Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health (2010-present)
  • Founding chair, International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (2006-2008)
  • Founding Chair, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (1993-1994)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (1991-1993) 
  • Governor, Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada (1988-1999)

Publications & Awards

Dr. Gelmon is recognized as a national scholar on health professions education accreditation, and as a leader in service-learning and community engagement research.  She is widely published on a number of topics, and each year gives over 40 invited and/or peer reviewed presentations and training workshops. 

She is lead author of the Northwest Health Foundation's handbook on program evaluation and the Campus Compact publication "Assessing the Impact of Service-learning and Civic Engagement", and is a co-author of "The Engaged Department Toolkit" for Campus Compact.  She is the lead author of Community-Campus Partnership for Health's institutional self-assessment methodology, "Building Capacity for Community Engagement."  

She serves as an Associate Editor for the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning and for the Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.

She has received the following awards and recognitions:

  • 2011:  Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award (national Campus Compact)
  • 2011:  PSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award
  • 2005:  Distinguished Research Award, International Service-Learning Research Conference
  • 2005:  Deans' Award for Excellence in Teaching, Oregon Masters of Public Health Program 
  • 1998:  Distinguished Service Award, Association of Schools of the Allied Health Professions 
  • 1995:  Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives