CORE project spotlight: CareOregon SHIFT, expanding our breast cancer disparities research & more!

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In collaboration with our cross-sector partners, the team here at the Providence Center for Outcomes Research & Education (CORE) is launching a variety of exciting and impactful initiatives focused on behavioral health, Medicaid, breast cancer disparities, housing, and food security. Read all about it in our Spring 2023 project spotlight!

Partnering with CareOregon to transform behavioral health care practices 

We’re excited to announce a partnership with CareOregon in support of the Strategic Healthcare Investment for Transformation program (SHIFT), a significant new investment in transforming behavioral health organizations across Oregon. CareOregon is a nonprofit providing health insurance services to meet the health care needs, including behavioral health, of over 500,000 low-income Oregonians  

SHIFT seeks to transform care practices so that people with mental health and substance use disorders are truly at the center of care delivery–and care teams thrive. In collaboration with behavioral health partners, care teams, and community stakeholders, SHIFT will build member-driven, outcomes-focused, team-based care practices that reduce health disparities, assure timely access to care, and prepare providers for advanced value-based payment models. 

CORE is proudly joining this effort as an evaluation partner. Our team will help establish a collaborative learning and evaluation system to guide and measure SHIFT’s progress and impacts, incorporate best practices and evidence into the program’s approach, and guide future phases of the program as it expands to additional organizations.   

Learn more about SHIFT at CareOregon’s website.

Expanding our research on discrimination and breast cancer screenings 

With support from the Preparedness & Treatment Equity Coalition, CORE will continue expanding our research on disparities in breast cancer screening. The next phase of this work builds on our recent research into perceptions and barriers around breast cancer screenings among those who prefer a non-English language. As a next step, CORE will examine the impacts of discrimination experiences in the healthcare system on the use of preventative mammography, and how that influences who is and is not represented in common population health performance measures for breast cancer screening.  

Read more about our breast cancer disparities research at our blog 

Evaluating a housing benefit project for Medicaid members 

In partnership with Health Share of Oregon, a Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) serving around one-third of Oregon Health Plan members, CORE will evaluate an 18-month demonstration project providing short-term housing supports to Medicaid enrollees. The project, administered by Oregon Health & Science University, provides different types of financial support such as emergency shelter, assistance with utility bills, or rent support. Because these supports will soon be covered statewide as part of Oregon’s new Medicaid waiver, which gives the state flexibility to test new approaches to improve care and outcomes, the state and other CCOs are eager to learn from Health Share’s experience. 

Exploring the effects of Medicaid coverage on food purchasing patterns 

CORE’s body of research around addressing food insecurity continues growing thanks to a recently announced grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A new CORE research project will use administrative data from the Consumer Food System to explore whether and how gaining access to healthcare coverage for low-income individuals (e.g., through Medicaid expansion) influences household food purchasing practices and basic needs. 

Read about some of our past food security at our website 

Closing the gap in diabetes disparities in the Latino community  

Expanding upon CORE's partnerships developed through Providence, Merck, and our Data for Change program, we are thrilled to continue our work with the Providence Milwaukie Community Teaching Kitchen (PTK). Our current focus is on evaluating the impacts of the PTK’s Spanish Language Culinary Nutrition and Gardening Education pilot project. With insights from community members, our research will help inform this and other culturally-responsive programs designed to close the gaps in diabetes disparities in the Latino community. 

Read more at our blog