There was a really interesting editorial in The Oregonian yesterday about the Knight cardiovascular gift announced on Monday.
A couple key sections:
This week Phil and Penny Knight put down $125 million to accelerate the quest of unlocking the codes driving cardiovascular health and disease. Phil Knight, Nike’s co-founder, modestly said he hoped the action would “upgrade” the heart health of Oregonians and folks around the world. But his donation, which creates the Oregon Health & Science University Cardiovascular Institute, could do far more than that.
It will build upon the work of Albert Starr, the Portland-based cardiologist-surgeon who decades ago co-invented the artificial heart valve; and Sanjiv Kaul, who arrived at OHSU in 2005 from Virginia and is widely credited with leading the development of a heart-imaging technique that differentiates between real cardiac events and false alarms. Joining the two more than their medical celebrity is the conviction that the gap between medical research and care delivered to patients must be closed, and can be done only if specialists from all fields implicated in cardiovascular health work together and trade notes. It wouldn’t hurt, either, to have device- and drug-making companies in the room to know what’s going on and invent the next best aid or formula.
The race to tame one of Oregon’s biggest killers — so coy, so collusive, so very expensive — is on. Not only is OHSU grateful for Knight’s commitment, all Oregonians should be, too.
We couldn’t agree more.