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City Club of Eugene: The Ballmer Institute for Children's Behavioral Health

The University of Oregon is aiming to welcome students to the new UO Portland campus in fall of 2023. The Ballmer Institue for Children's Behavioral Health will be housed at this campus.
Courtesy of Allison + Partners for Colliers Portland
The University of Oregon is aiming to welcome students to the new UO Portland campus in fall of 2023. The Ballmer Institue for Children's Behavioral Health will be housed at this campus.

Program date: Dec. 9, 2022

Air date: Dec.12, 2022

From The City Club of Eugene:

Ask any teacher how the kids’ mental health and behavior have been over the past few years and step back and wait for horror stories. The consensus is that things are bad and getting worse. Can anything be done to reverse the trend? The founders of the Ballmer Institute think so.

In 2022, the University of Oregon established the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, promoting a bold new approach to improving the behavioral health and wellness in Oregon’s children. The Ballmer Institute is creating a workforce solution to the challenge of meeting the behavioral health needs of children and youth. The approach is holistic, creating a new profession – the Child Behavioral Health Specialist. This approach invests decades-long faculty and staff expertise in teacher preparation, community outreach and service, and research and development. Graduates will enter the education workforce job-ready, with deep and broad training in promotion of sound behavioral health and effective prevention strategies.

The Portland-based institute is made possible by a lead gift of more than $425 million from Connie and Steve Ballmer, co-founders of Ballmer Group Philanthropy.


Ruth Ellingsen, PhD, is a Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon, where she serves as the Director of the UO Psychology Clinic and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology. In her role as Clinic Director, Dr. Ellingsen provides training and supervision for clinical psychology doctoral students in evidence-based psychotherapy and psychological assessment. She is a member of the Ballmer Institute’s Leadership Council, as well as various committees involved in the launch of the Ballmer Institute. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at UCLA, where her research focused on factors that influence positive parenting of children at developmental risk. She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral residency at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Jennifer Moorhead, our first questioner, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor II with more than 25 years of experience in these fields. She works for Cascade Health, with children, adolescents, adults, and seniors individually and/or as a family. Her areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, intellectual/developmental disabilities, trauma, grief, and traumatic brain injuries. She earned a BS in Behavioral Health and Science at the University of Utah, and an MA in Counseling and Educational Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, from the University of Nevada, Reno.

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website iscityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, Dec. 12 at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, contact Silver A. Mogart, City Club of Eugene, Executive Director, (541) 485-7433, administrator@cityclubofeugene.org

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