Honors Presents: Dr. Jennifer DeVoe - A Doctor’s Journey to Identify and Address Social Determinants of Health
- Tuesday, February 16, 2021 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Dr. Jennifer (Jen) DeVoe is a practicing family physician and health services researcher based in Portland, Oregon. As the Chair of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Department of Family Medicine, she oversees nearly 200 faculty, 72 resident physicians, and several of OHSU’s primary care clinics. DeVoe also serves as the inaugural director of OHSU’s new Center for Primary Care Research and Innovation and was recently awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop the BRIDGE-C2 Center (Building Research in Implementation & Dissemination to Close Gaps and Achieve Equity in Cancer Control Center). While serving as Chief Research Officer and Director of the OCHIN practice-based research network from 2010-2016, she led the development of a unique community laboratory, linking together electronic health record (EHR) data from over 400 community health centers across multiple states. She and her team pioneered the use of EHR data in research, studying methods for assessing health care utilization by disadvantaged populations, which has garnered her national attention. She works with several teams at OHSU and OCHIN who have a portfolio of research related to identifying and addressing social determinants of health in primary care settings and utilizing novel EHR-based tools to support this work. Dr. DeVoe completed a Directed Interdisciplinary Studies degree from Montana State University in 1993 and was awarded a Goldwater and a Rhodes Scholarship during her tenure at MSU. She completed her MD from Harvard in 1999 and an MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University in 1998 and 2001, respectively. She completed a residency in family medicine at OHSU in 2004 and a Master’s of Clinical Research at OHSU in 2010. She holds joint appointments in the OHSU Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, and at the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014.
As a practicing family physician, I have discovered that caring for patients goes far beyond simply implementing the latest evidence-based guidelines. For example, when treating a patient with uncontrolled blood pressure taking two anti-hypertensive medications, the guidelines seem straight forward: add a third medication. However, when I looked for evidence to assure me that this recommendation is the best one for a patient with co-morbid obesity, asthma, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and polycystic ovary disease, I found very little. Further, when reviewing quality metric parameters for how physicians are assessed in adequately lowering a patient’s cardiovascular disease risk, there is no guidance in how to factor in a patient’s history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), unstable housing, unemployment, and food insecurity in assessing how much the addition of a new anti-hypertensive medication might lower her risk for cardiac disease. It reminds me of the famous phrase in the poem “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein: “There is a place where the sidewalk ends and before the street begins…” In my primary care practice, I often feel like I am in that place where the quality metric ends and real life begins. In this talk, I will share highlights from my journey as a doctor and a scientist working to better understand how doctors can identify and address social determinants of health.
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**In order to receive HONR 202 credit, you must click on the link posted in the Webex chat at the end of presentation.**
- Honors Presents Lecture Series