TRI Adds Center for Health and Human Services


Research to Practice • Practice to Research

TRI Adds Center for Health and Human Services

November 2, 2015

CHHS Logo

At the beginning of this academic year, The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University entered a new phase of growth and development. Along with its new name (formerly The Teaching Research Institute), came a new Center. To acknowledge the broad scope of work being done at TRI, the Center for Health and Human Services has been created.



The perfect person to lead the new Center


“A focus on health and human services has been an integral part of our work for decades,” says Dr. Ella Taylor, Director of TRI. “It was time to further acknowledge this work by creating the Center for Health and Human Services (CHHS). And Pat Ketcham was the perfect person to lead it.”


A return to WOU after 21 years

Pat Ketcham, Ph.D.

Dr. Ketcham joined TRI as an Evaluation Specialist in 2014, with 26 years of experience in the field of Public Health, beginning by serving as WOU’s first Director of Health Education from 1988 to 1993. Dr. Ketcham received a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health from Oregon State University (OSU) in 1998, and spent 7 years at the University of Iowa as the Coordinator for Health Iowa in the Student Health Service.

Most recently, she was the Associate Director of Health Promotion, at OSU. In 2013-14 Dr. Ketcham served as the President of the American College Health Association.

“It’s exciting to be back to Western, and especially working in TRI,” says Dr. Ketcham. “Being asked to help create and then lead the Center for Health and Human Services is a great honor.”


The CHHS team


Joining Dr. Ketcham in the CHHS are Mary Ellen Dello Stritto, Ph.D., and Andrea Doyle Hugmeyer, M.A.


Mary Ellen Dello Stritto, Ph.D.


Dr. Dello Stritto has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and extensive experience in statistics and research methodology. She also spent 16 years as a professor of psychology and gender studies. 




Andrea Doyle Hugmeyer, M.A.


Andrea Doyle Hugmeyer has an MA and a BS from Oregon State University with a concentration in Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Andrea has taught a variety of undergraduate Women's Studies courses at OSU and has served as a Research Project Assistant at Northwest Professional Consortium Research.




Currently, Dello Stritto and Hugmeyer serve as the Director and Assistant Director of Abby's House, a part of TRI's WOU CASA project. This Campus Against Sexual Assault project is funded through a 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


Through this grant, Abby's House has been able to create products like the Abby's House App, and Sexual Misconduct Education Video Series and Curriculum, and programs like Healthy Masculinity and Campus Athletics Project, bringing WOU national recognition for cutting edge practices that help create a safe and respectful campus environment for all students, faculty and staff, and expand the victim assistance services and resources available to WOU students.



CHHS team includes Affiliated Faculty


Stephanie Hoover, Ph.D. receiving her award from President, Rodney Goodyear, Ph.D. Department of Educational Psychology, University of Houston

The Center for Health and Human Services team reaches beyond TRI staff to include Western Oregon University faculty members. Dr. Stephanie Hoover and Dr. Doris I. Cancel-Tirado have recently joined CHHS as Affiliate Faculty. Each has ongoing research projects that will benefit from the support and expertise of TRI and CHHS.

Doris I. Cancel-Tirado, Ph.D.






A passionate group of people


“The CHHS team represents a vast array of experience,” Dr. Ketcham continues, “in such topics as childhood obesity, behavioral problems, substance use and abuse, physical activity, food insecurity, chronic and infectious disease, to name just a few. It’s exciting to work in partnership with a group of people so passionate about what they do.”


CHHS benefits from all TRI experience and knowledge


“Like the other seven Centers within TRI,” Dr. Taylor explains, “projects within CHHS benefit from the experience and knowledge of all TRI staff, including those associated with other Centers and the Grants Management Office. Everyone here contributes where needed to create the best results.”


CHHS LogoThe Center for Health and Human Services works to support public health initiatives that enhance and strengthen the health of individuals, families and communities. CHHS provides consultation, and program development and evaluation for community organizations, state and national public health efforts.


TRI Logo

The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University improves the quality of life for individuals and communities by facilitating positive change in education, health, and human service systems.



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