An innovative team of eight students and four faculty across three academic disciplines are exploring the impacts of poor air quality on hospitals in Southern Oregon with an aim to help hospitals understand and prepare for the burden that may affect their facilities. Outcomes include anticipating hospital staffing needs, during times like wildfire season, and how to provide preventative education to patients. This important multidisciplinary collaborative project exemplifies Oregon Tech’s mission of applied research and real-world education.

"When my classmates and I started this project I never thought it would gain as much traction as it has. Sarah, the current students, and the other staff have really shown their dedication to continuing our efforts and to examining the burden of poor air quality on local patients and hospitals." – Casey Gallagher, RRT Class of 2020

Dr. Adelaide Clark, Kerry Farris, and Dr. Kyle Chapman
Dr. Adelaide Clark, Kerry Farris, and Dr. Kyle Chapman
Air Quality Impact on Hospital Burden - Students

Students at Work

The group is partnering with Asante Health in the Rogue Valley, where they have access to six air quality monitors to measure data throughout the region.  They would like to expand the study to the Klamath Falls area and hope to partner with Sky Lakes Medical Center in the future. The project is also leading to valuable external partnerships, such as the Oregon Health Authority who is conducting similar research regarding the impact of poor air quality on cardiovascular conditions.

Interpolation Maps (Air Quality Hospital Burden)

Respiratory Care

Literature review of disease process, Research on hospital burden

PM Maps Graph(Air Quality Hospital Burden)

Population Health Management

Regional socio-economic and demographic profiles

PM Averages Map Graph (Air Quality Hospital Burden)

Environmental Sciences

Data collection and analysis of air quality, GIS mapping

"Knowing that I would get an education that involved hands-on experience is why I chose Oregon Tech, and being able to work on this project as a student researcher has more than checked that box. I am more confident than ever in my GIS skills, and am excited to continue learning about conducting important research with my classmates and professors." – Eleanor Kenyon

Oregon Tech Innovation Fund

Project funding was made possible through the Oregon Tech Foundation’s Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund inspires ingenuity and collaboration that can deliver impactful outcomes. At Oregon Tech, multidisciplinary projects, industry focused externships and applied experiential learning opportunities create a student-centered ecosystem which helps build collaborative skills and introduce students to alumni and industry partners.

In this unique setting, students have the opportunity to learn and experiment in a safe environment as they develop the skills to discover inventive, practical solutions to real-world problems. The Innovation Fund provides immediate, flexible resources for investment as exciting opportunities arise among students and faculty.

Student Team
Hospital Burden Respiratory Machine
Air Quality Hospital Burden Presentation