New OHSU partnerships in southern Oregon to improve care for the disadvantaged

10/10/13  Portland, Ore.

Three-year grant brings resources to underserved neighborhoods

Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Nursing, in collaboration with three southern Oregon community service organizations, announced a partnership today that aims to help medically vulnerable individuals and families.

The project, called Interprofessional Care Access Network (I-CAN), is funded by a three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.

Now in its second year of implementation, the I-CAN project in southern Oregon aims to assist veterans, Latino farmworkers and families in the west Medford neighborhood in partnership with La Clinica West Medford Health Center, the Family Nurturing Center and St. Vincent de Paul.

“The OHSU School of Nursing was excited to receive this grant,” said Peggy Wros, senior associate dean for student affairs and diversity and I-CAN project director. “We began developing a model last year that helps our partners work together with student support. Implementing the program in southern Oregon is the next step in this important process that will bring a more coordinated approach to community health in partner neighborhoods.”

The I-CAN project creates student care teams that help clients navigate health systems and other community services that provide resources that impact health outcomes, including housing assistance, food aid, financial management, education, and more. The student teams, comprising students from OHSU’s schools of Nursing, Medicine and Dentistry, the College of Pharmacy and representatives from the Global Health Center, will provide personal assistance through neighborhood centers and in collaboration with existing service providers.

Other I-CAN project partners include the Macdonald Center, Neighborhood House and Central City Concern in downtown Portland. In its third year, the project will reach out to southeast Portland immigrants and refugees in partnership with OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond Clinic, Lutheran Community Services NW, and Asian Health and Service Center.

I-CAN will support the work of Coordinated Care Organizations operating in project neighborhoods by participating in meetings, sharing data and contributing resources, including student and faculty engagement in neighborhood health.


This project is supported by funds from the Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under grant number UD7HP25057 and title “Interprofessional Care Access Network” for $1,485,394. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by the BHPr, HRSA, DHHS or the U.S. government.

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only public academic health and research university. As one of Oregon's largest employers with more than 14,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.