Family Medicine Welcomes Kaiser Endowed Professor

Meet Sue Flocke, Ph.D.

07/09/18  Portland, Ore.

Sue Flocke, Ph.D.Susan Flocke, Ph.D., a health services scholar active in cancer prevention research, will join OHSU Family Medicine as a Kaiser Permanente Professor of Evidence-Based Family Medicine. This endowed professorship is funded by a $2 million donation, made in 2007, from Kaiser Permanente. In addition to her role as a Professor in Family Medicine, Dr. Flocke will also serve as a senior affiliate investigator with the Kaiser Center for Health Research and as a member of the Knight Cancer Institute's Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

"Dr. Flocke is an outstanding primary care researcher," says Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of Research for OHSU Family Medicine. "She takes a 'whole system view' in her work,  seeing primary care as a combination of clinical delivery, communication, and community connections." As OHSU Family Medicine looks to strengthen the connection between its research, clinical care, and education missions, Dr. Flocke's philosophy will move the department forward toward this goal.

Dr. Flocke's research has shaped how the field understands and approaches cancer prevention in primary care. "Think of how hard it is to change your own habits," Dr. Cohen explains, "then imagine how difficult it is to change someone else's." Dr. Flocke's research focuses on how to best bring together all of primary care's resources to support behavior change, and how to best communicate the need for, and then support, the transition in patients.

One recent study examined the barriers to providing equitable access to lung cancer screening. Another explored the physical activity perspectives of older breast cancer survivors from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds to inform the design of more appealing exercise programs.

Since Dr. Flocke's work in primary care dovetails so seamlessly with cancer research, she will partner with the Knight Cancer Institute in pursuing prevention-focused research initiatives, participate in strategic planning for the Knight Community Engaged Research program, and enhance collaborative opportunities between the institute and research programs in the Department of Family Medicine.

She comes to OHSU from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she has been a faculty member since 1996 and is now a Professor in the departments of Family Medicine, Oncology, and Epidemiology &Biostatistics. In 2006, she became co-leader of the Cancer Prevention, Control and Population Science Research Program in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of the center's Behavioral Measurement Core Facility.

Dr. Flocke received a master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology from Cleveland State University and earned her doctorate in health services research from Case Western Reserve University. We welcome Sue to the Family Medicine department and OHSU officially on July 16.