Legacy Research Institute

Transforming medical care through science, technology, and innovation.

Megan Cahn, PhD

Megan Cahn, Ph.D.

Associate Scientist, Population Health
Legacy Research Institute

Phone: 503-413-5386  |  Email: mcahn@lhs.org

Peer reviewed publications

Short Bio:

Dr. Cahn received her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy in 2015 and her MPH in International Health in 2010, both from Oregon State University. Her graduate research focused on improving the delivery of health care for underserved populations. Dr. Cahn completed her Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship with Oregon State University and Legacy Health's Care Transformation Division in 2018. During her Post-Doctoral training, Dr. Cahn worked with clinicians and administrative leadership across the Legacy Health system to identify areas for health care transformation and evaluate transformation activities.

Dr. Cahn joined the Legacy Research Institute as a Clinical Outcomes Research Scientist in Summer 2018. In this role, she designs and implements research studies aimed at transforming health care to improve health outcomes for patients, while simultaneously increasing Legacy Health's capacity to thrive in a value-based payment environment. Dr. Cahn is a member of AcademyHealth, the American Public Health Association, and the Oregon Public Health Association.



Research Interests:

  • Health services & policy research
  • Health & health care equity
  • Program evaluation
  • Sexual & reproductive health
  • Behavioral health

Publication Highlights:

American Indian and Alaska Native Men’s Use of Sexual Health Services, 2006-2010
Cahn, M.A., Harvey, S.M., & Town, M.A.
Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2017 Sep;49(3):181-189.

American Indian and Alaska Native Cancer Patients’ Perceptions of a Culturally Specific Patient Navigator Program
Grimes, C., Dankovchik, J., Cahn, M., Warren-Mears, V.
J Prim Prev. 2017 Apr;38(1-2):121-135.

Research Focus:

Dr. Cahn's principal areas of interest are in population health, healthcare disparities, and healthcare delivery. At Legacy Research Institute, Dr. Cahn leads and provides guidance on research aimed at improving patient health through care delivery and payment transformation. Dr. Cahn uses advanced quantitative health policy research tools and qualitative methods to answer these questions and inform policy. Dr. Cahn collaborates with and provides expert consultation to Legacy clinicians and leadership in the identification, design, and implementation of health services research. Dr. Cahn's current research studies include:

Evaluation of Legacy's Care Support Resources Program
A comprehensive evaluation of Legacy's Care Support Resources program, which provides care management, health coaching, and pharmacy support to patients with chronic health conditions who are at risk of having emergency department visits and inpatient hospital stays. Data for this study come from four sources: patient and provider surveys and claims and medical record data. Dr. Cahn designed the evaluation strategy and survey instruments, manages data collection, and conducts analyses.

Unity Center for Behavioral Health, Research Collaborative
Dr. Cahn has convened and leads a research collaborative with Unity Center clinical leadership and Oregon State University faculty. This collaborative identifies Unity Center research priorities, implements research studies, and reviews proposals from external collaborators wishing to conduct research related to the Unity Center. Currently, Dr. Cahn is conducting preliminary data analyses to understand the impact of the Unity Center on rates of psychiatric boarding in area emergency departments.

Implementation of a Clinical Decision Support Tool to Reduce Unneeded CT Angiogram Use in the ED
Dr. Cahn is leading an intervention study with Legacy Health's emergency department physician group, Northwest Acute Care Specialists, to reduce the use of unneeded CT angiograms for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. This study was selected as a priority based off of an on-going process to identify areas to improve efficiency across the healthcare system. Results from this study will provide insight into the utility of clinical decision support tools in Legacy's EDs for reducing care variability.

Congestive Heart Failure Transition Clinic
Dr. Cahn is Co-Investigator on a clinician-initiated (PIs: Sandra Lewis, MD & Melinda Muller, MD) research study to examine whether a congestive heart failure transition clinic at Legacy's Good Samaritan hospital can reduce the rate of readmission for these patients. Findings from this study will inform readmission prevention activities for congestive heart failure patients at Legacy sites and nationally.

Population Health
Dr. Cahn is building research collaborations with clinicians and administrative leadership across Legacy to identify population health needs and potential areas of research inquiry. She is particularly focused on developing collaborations with partners interested in reducing health disparities and with a focus on sexual/reproductive health, including maternity care.