Health Professions Students to Play Key Role in Beaverton Community Health Collaborative

Pacific University recently affirmed its continued participation in the Beaverton Community Health Collaborative, a long-term project aimed at improving the health of residents in the greater Beaverton area, including low-income and homeless populations.

President Lesley Hallick and leaders representing 15 other organizations convened at Beaverton City Hall on Feb. 19 to sign a Declaration of Cooperation.

The declaration outlines each participating organization's involvement in the collaborative, whose primary objective is to improve the healthcare delivery system in Beaverton, and in turn, increase healthcare access for the area's most vulnerable residents.

The BCHC will do so, in part, through the development of a multi-service facility that will provide a comprehensive array of services, including primary and specialty care, behavioral health, public health, oral health, social services and education.

Ann Barr-Gillespie, executive dean of Pacific's College of Health Professions, said the collaborative will provide clinical training opportunities for students in all of the university's healthcare disciplines.

While gaining the amount of experiential education hours necessary for graduation and certification, Pacific students will help the city meet its growing demand for both preventative and therapeutic health services.

Joining Pacific and the city as project sponsors are Community Action, LifeWorks Northwest, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center and Washington County Public Health.

Other participating organizations include the Governor's Regional Solutions Center, Kaiser Permanente, Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Housing & Community Services Department, Portland State University School of Community Health, Providence Health & Human Services, Virginia Garcia Foundation, Washington County Commission on Children & Families, Washington County Disability, Aging & Veteran Services and Women's Healthcare Associates.

Pacific already has has longstanding partnerships with several of the other BCHC participants, including Virginia Garcia and Community Action.

Barr-Gillespie said existing working relationships such as these will result in better synergy throughout the entire project.

Formation of the BCHC began in 2011 when the City of Beaverton sought to create an integrated, patient-centered healthcare delivery system. Last spring, Governor John Kitzhaber endorsed the plan by designating it as an Oregon Solutions project.

The city then successfully applied for and received a $1.6 million Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control to support the initiative.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013