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Research Newsletter V6-1


Research Newsletter

April 2022


Volume 6 Issue 1

Welcome to Our NEW Newsletter

CIVIC's first Research Newsletter was released in 2017. Wow. Even considering what I'll deem a COVID time warp, it still feels hard to believe we are approaching five years of CIVIC newsletters.

The newsletter has always been a work in progress, as we tweak and iterate from issue to issue. This newsletter, though, represents the biggest shift to date. First, the newsletter now lives online. This allows us to be more accessible, be more user-friendly, and integrate with CIVIC's website. Expect to also see more call outs to newsletter stories on Twitter from @PortlandCIVIC. We are also aiming to increase our publication schedule to a quarterly basis.

There are also some shifts in newsletter content. Some sections will become "Spotlights" that are not published in every issue, such as those focused on education, veteran engagement, and rural health. This will allow us to provide a deeper look at these topics when they do appear. Other sections are likely to remain in each issue, such as Research Highlights, Investigator Stories or "Meet the Team", and Media Mentions.

Finally, in coming issues, there will be more emphasis on how teams - not simply individuals - comprise CIVIC and its research. While it will be perhaps subtle to notice, the emphasis is nonetheless something we aim to attend to.

Indeed, I'd be remiss not to highlight that the newsletter itself is a great representation of the team culture and spirit within CIVIC. CIVIC research staff write newsletter articles and often interview CIVIC investigators in creating stories. CIVIC investigators, for their part, lead the research studies that comprise the core content of the newsletter. Finally, my appreciation goes to Beau Edwards, the newsletter's managing editor, who has and continues to be instrumental in the newsletter's execution and evolution.

Alan Teo, MD, MS

Investigator Story: Jessica Wyse, PhD

Picture of Jessica Wyse, PhD

Dr. Jessica Wyse’s start at CIVIC signified a return to her roots. She grew up in the adjacent Hillsdale neighborhood and attended Ida B Wells High School, both a short walk from CIVIC. Her studies took her to Connecticut for college and later to the Midwest, where she earned a doctorate in Sociology and Public Policy from the University of Michigan and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at their Institute for Social Research, both in Ann Arbor. Dr. Wyse applies qualitative methods to uncover how systems and policies might better meet people’s needs. “I like hearing people’s stories and how they think, and identifying social patterns across the experiences of individuals,” explains Wyse. Through this lens, Dr. Wyse has explored US poverty policy, issues around prisoner reentry, and most recently, medications for opioid use disorder.

Click here to read the full story!

Stock image of a clipboard and other pieces of medical equipment

Don't Hold Up; Management of Buprenorphine Treatment

As part of the ongoing research by Dr. Jessica Wyse and her team regarding buprenorphine treatments and practices, they conducted a national retrospective cohort study investigating how VA clinicians were managing patients’ buprenorphine prescriptions over the course of their hospital visit for surgery (perioperative period). They wanted to understand how VA clinical practice aligned with an emerging clinical consensus recommending maintaining buprenorphine perioperatively. Holds, or temporarily stopping medications around the time of surgery, create a risk for Veterans relapsing during necessary perioperative and postoperative pain management.

Click here to read the full article.


Stock image of a person sitting and holding a surgical mask

Treating the Whole Patient: Mental Health Care and Outcomes for COVID-19 Patients

Living through a pandemic is enough to take a toll on anyone’s mental health and it likely has done so for everyone. Now imagine living with an existing mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, and then being hospitalized for contracting COVID-19. Research suggests patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are at an increased risk for worsening existing mental health conditions and developing new mental health conditions. Compounding this increased risk is the additional stress that has been shown to accompany visits to the ICU for any illness.

Click here to read the full article.

Education Spotlight

The Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) recently reapproved CIVIC - Portland as a selected site for the Advanced Fellowship in HSR&D!

Portland was one of 14 HSR&D Centers of Innovation (COINs) selected to receive funding through a competitive review process. The fellowship program is now incorporating curriculum based on the Learning Health Systems Competencies. The Learning Health System is a value-based care framework that centers around systematically gathering evidence and applying the most promising evidence to improve care.

Meet CIVIC's newest fellows, Qian Leng and Laura Coco!

Read more about our new fellows, their backgrounds, and their research on our website!

Media Mentions & Accolades

  • Dr. Belle Zaccari was featured in VA's Research Currents in the article "VA researcher aims to help survivors of military sexual trauma with PTSD".
  • Dr. Devan Kansagara appeared on the Oregon Public Broadcasting show "Think out Loud", where he discussed the new Systematically Testing the Evidence on Marijuana (STEM) website! The website provides clinicians with up-to-date information on cannabis health effects.
  • Dr. Traben Pleasant's poem, "Surfing in Color", was recently published by Sapiens.
  • OHSU's RELATE team was awarded a $10,000 grant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion research.
  • CIVIC would like to congratulate former CIVIC staff member Dr. Michael Demidenko for completing his PhD! Michael successfully defended his dissertation, titled "Neural Charactertistics of Reward in Adolescents: Neural Substrates of Risk-taking, Researcher Degrees of Freedom and a Person-Specific Network Approach".
  • We are very excited to announce that Dr. Vanessa Somohano is the recipient of a VA Office of Research and Development Diversity Supplement Award! This highly competitive, limited submission award reflects her outstanding research achievement and potential as a successful independent investigator. Congratulations, Dr. Somohano!

Newsletter Team

Christopher Larsen, BS~Writer

Arielle Hughes, MS~Writer

Noah Jacobson, BA~Writer

Rachel Matsumoto, MS~Writer

Beau Edwards, BS~Managing Editor

Alan Teo, MD, MS~Editor-in-Chief

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