CHHS News


Three More Years for Campus Against Sexual Assault Program

Posted on November 9, 2016

Logo - CASA Campus Against Sexual Assault


WOU awarded $300,000 to continue work on sexual violence prevention and response.


The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women awarded $300,000 to The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University to continue the campus collaboration on sexual and interpersonal violence prevention and response. The WOU Campus Against Sexual Assault (WOU CASA) program, initially funded in 2010, has been renewed for the third time for an additional three years.


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Study of Qigong Massage on Elementary School-Aged Children with Autism Shows Promising Results

Posted on September 8, 2016

By Mark Schalock and Louisa Silva

A young boy is laying down, three people around him are his neck, chest and torso

As has been recently acknowledged, almost all young children with autism have abnormal responses to touch. That is, they are overly sensitive or under responsive to touch or pain. Since touch is very important to a child’s development it has been suggested that these tactile abnormalities present a barrier that interferes with typical development.

Several randomized control trials conducted by a team of medical professionals and The Research Institute staff with preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have found that a “tactile stimulation protocol,” Qigong Sensory Treatment (QST) massage for autism, has been successful in normalizing responses to touch and decreasing the severity of autism.

This new study looks at the results in older children.

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Doris Cancel-Tirado Named Abby's House Woman of the Year

Posted on June 4, 2016

A line drawing of a house resting on hands with a purple heart-shape in the center. Along the top are the words


Each year at the end of spring term, Abby’s House honors a faculty or staff woman in the WOU community who exemplifies its mission. Specifically, a woman whose work has contributed to equity and non-violence.

The Woman of the Year 2016, Dr. Doris Cancel-Tirado, is an associate professor in the Division of Health and Exercise Science.

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Western's Sexual Assault Prevention Featured in the Statesman Journal

Posted on March 16, 2016

Abby's House logo

The March 7, 2016 issue of the Statesman Journal featured the work of WOU’s Abby’s House in the prevention of sexual assault on campus.




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Life Experiences Inspire Crucial Research into Health Disparities for Latino Children

Posted on January 29, 2016

By Carol Dennis

Doris Cancel-Tirado, Ph.D.This research project goes to the core of Dr. Cancel-Tirado’s passion, allowing her to explore the impact that family and community circumstances have on the health of rural Latino children. It will also allow her to explore Latina mothers’ perceived opportunities and barriers to providing their children the best foundation for healthy development and productive lives.

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Healthy Masculinity Campus Athletics Project at WOU

Posted on January 27, 2016

By Carol Dennis


WOU Wolves logo

It was a cold January morning in Monmouth, Oregon. The Columbia Room on the ground floor of the university center was filled with coaches representing all the athletic departments at Western Oregon University. About 30 people sitting behind tables set up in a circle, so an interactive conversation could take place.

The topic is not a typical one in the world of athletics. How often are these men and women asked to explore the meaning of masculinity – and to discuss what “health masculinity” might look like?


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TRI Adds Center for Health and Human Services

Posted on November 2, 2015

CHHS LogoAt 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.

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Western Oregon University Assistant Professor Receives $100,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Posted on September 28, 2015

Doris I. Cancel-Tirado

Grant will support Doris I. Cancel-Tirado, PhD, MPH, MA in studying factors that may influence the mental and physical well-being of rural Latino children.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care, has awarded Western Oregon University Doris I. Cancel-Tirado, PhD, MPH, MA Assistant Professor a 24-month grant through the New Connections program. Cancel-Tirado is among a select group of Junior Investigators to receive a New Connections grant.

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Early Childhood Mental Health Conference Addresses Effects of Childhood Trauma

Posted on September 13, 2015

Amber Ryerson

Speak to a woman in a substance use treatment program, or in the public mental health system, and you will most likely find she had experienced trauma as a child. This is just one example of the results of studies clearly showing that trauma, such as physical abuse and neglect, experienced in childhood has lasting, often devastating effects throughout the lifespan of the survivor.

On September 17th and 18th, TRI's Amber Ryerson was among nationally and internationally recognized speakers at the 6th Annual We Can't Wait Conference in San Diego. This conference was filled with presentations on evidence-based practices for prevention, screening, assessment, and treatment of children and families with trauma.


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WOU Conducts Research to Improve the Lives of Latino Adolescents

Posted on August 28, 2015

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

Dr. Stephanie Hoover, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Western Oregon University, has been awarded the Charles J. Gelso, Ph.D. Psychotherapy Grant from the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy to continue her research into culturally accommodated therapy for Latino adolescents.

“Culturally accommodated treatment is psychotherapy that pays attention to culture,” Dr. Hoover says. “It’s about delivering mental health services that make sense and are effective with diverse communities.”


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