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OHSU students and community organizations partner to serve disadvantaged Oregonians

Three-year grant brings resources to underserved neighborhoods

Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Nursing, in collaboration with three downtown Portland community service organizations, announced a new partnership today that aims to help medically vulnerable individuals and families in Oregon. The project, called Interprofessional Care Access Network (I-CAN), is funded by a 3-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.

“The OHSU School of Nursing was excited to receive this grant and we’re ready to begin developing a model that will help our partners work together with student support,” said Peggy Wros, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Diversity and I-CAN project director. “We hope to begin the project as early as April 1, when our spring term starts, and we’re looking forward to bringing a more coordinated approach to community health in partner neighborhoods.”

The I-CAN project will create student care teams to help clients navigate health systems and other community services that provide resources that impact health outcomes, including housing assistance, food aid, financial management, education, etc. The student teams, made up of students from OHSU’s Schools of Nursing and Medicine as well as representatives from OHSU’s Global Health Center, will provide this personal assistance through neighborhood centers and in collaboration with existing service providers.

During the first year, I-CAN project partners include the Macdonald Center, Neighborhood House and Central City Concern in downtown Portland. In year two, I-CAN will expand to southern Oregon’s west Medford neighborhood families, veterans and Latino farmworkers in partnership with La Clinica Del Valle. In the 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.

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