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Comagine Health’s Research and Evaluation Team Receives Funding to Study Drug Decriminalization

New Research Funded by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Portland, Ore. — Comagine Health, a leading national nonprofit health care consulting firm, received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in partnership with Vital Strategies, a global public health organization focused on supporting governments to strengthen public health systems. The work will focus on conducting a process evaluation of Oregon’s drug decriminalization legislation, Measure 110.

In November 2020, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize personal non-commercial possession of drugs, through the voter-approved Measure 110, Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act. The measure makes personal drug possession a Class E violation, subject to a $100 fine that is waived if the individual completes a substance use assessment, a goal to provide a public health-based response to drug use and addiction.

“Our Measure 110 process evaluation will provide critical information for policymakers and advocates considering similar laws in other states,” Marc Bennett, Comagine Health’s president and chief executive officer, said. “The Comagine Health team brings the ability to convene key stakeholders in Oregon and examine policies affecting the health and quality of life of community members.”

Comagine Health’s Research and Evaluation team will be partnering with Dr. Daliah Heller from Vital Strategies, Dr. Alex Kral, distinguished fellow with RTI International, Morgan Godvin, drug policy researcher and member of the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council, and Skye Morét, assistant professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art and data visualization expert. Vital Strategies will be involved in showcasing and disseminating the findings.

“Oregon voters sent a clear message that drug use should be a health issue instead of a criminal one when they voted to decriminalize drug use in 2020,” said Daliah Heller, director of drug use initiatives at Vital Strategies. “Tracking the implementation process is critical to understanding how the law is put into practice, and will generate valuable insights as other states seek solutions to the worst overdose crisis in our history. We are excited to support this important effort.”

The team will conduct a process evaluation examining the early implementation of Measure 110. Data sources will include stakeholder interviews, document review and citations and assessment data. Findings from this evaluation will be summarized and made available to the public.

Comagine Health’s Research and Evaluation team began in 2012 with a mission to bridge the research-to-practice gap by implementing applied health and human services studies designed to inform program, community and policy improvements. The team collaborates with academic institutions and government and nonprofit partners on initiatives funded by NIH, CDC, AHRQ, BJA, SAMHSA and others. The work focuses largely on substance use treatment and recovery initiatives, prescribing practices, harm reduction interventions, initiatives to promote community health and equity, and development and testing of tools for professionals and patients.

For more information about Measure 110, please visit

For more information about Comagine Health’s Research and Evaluation team please visit

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About Comagine Health

Comagine Health, formerly Qualis Health and HealthInsight, works collaboratively with patients, providers, payers and other stakeholders to reimagine, redesign and implement sustainable improvements in the health care system. As a trusted, neutral party, we work in our communities to address key, complex health and health care delivery problems. In all our engagements and initiatives, we draw upon our expertise in quality improvement, care management, health information technology, analytics and research. We invite our partners and communities to work with us to improve health and redesign the health care delivery system. For more information, please visit

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. For more information, please visit

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