OHSU

History

Thank you Oregonians for supporting OHSU in our pursuit to translate complex information into better health since 1887. Because of you we have been able to build a world-class academic health center where healing, teaching and discovery come together every day to improve the health of people in Oregon — and around the world.

In October 1887, the University of Oregon established a department of medicine in Northwest Portland. Since those first building blocks were laid down, the university has dramatically expanded both in form and function, but its core values and mission remain the same today.

OHSU: 125 Years of Connection

Video presented by Portland Monthly


   

1867

Less than a quarter century after the Oregon Trail opened, and only eight years after Oregon joined the Union, Willamette University welcomed its first medical students to its Salem campus.

1877

Willamette University’s medical program relocates to Portland.

1880

The Oregon Railroad and Navigation company buys 360 acres of land, sight unseen, atop Marquam Hill. Their plan was to build a railroad depot, terminal and more.

1887

The University of Oregon charters a state medical school in Portland and begins the University of Oregon Medical Department.

1898

The Oregon College of Dentistry is founded in Portland.

1899

The Tacoma College of Dental Surgery moves to Portland. The following year both schools merge to form the North Pacific Dental College, later renamed the North Pacific College of Oregon.

1915

Willamette University and the University of Oregon merge programs to form the University of Oregon Medical School.

1917

The present 116-acre Marquam Hill campus gets its start with a 20-acre tract donated by the Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company, and an 88-acre tract donated by the family of C.S. Jackson, former publisher of the Oregon Journal.

The state-wide Child Development and Rehabilitation Center Service Program is established, initially in the School of Medicine to provide diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation services for handicapped children.

1919

The University of Oregon Medical School moves from downtown Portland to its present location on Marquam Hill in southwest Portland.

The first building, Mackenzie Hall, was named after Kenneth A.J. Mackenzie, M.D., the school's second dean, who was also the railroad’s surgeon. He convinced the railroad company to donate their land on top of the hill as it had proven useless for the railroad's purposes.

The University of Oregon in Eugene begins offering courses in nursing.

1920

The Portland School of Social Work begins offering courses in public health nursing.

1923

Multnomah County Hospital opens on the Marquam Hill campus and contracts with the medical school to provide services to indigent patients.

1926

The University of Oregon establishes a five-year program leading to a degree in nursing. The following year a nursing dormitory is built on campus.

Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children is built on the Marquam Hill campus and becomes the first full-service children's hospital in the Pacific Northwest.

1928

The University of Oregon Medical School takes over operation of Doernbecher.

1931

The outpatient clinic building is constructed and opens on Marquam Hill allowing medical and nursing students and residents to gain practical experience.

1932

The Department of Nursing Education begins.

1945

The University of Oregon Dental School begins.

1954

The Child Development and Rehabilitation Center facility is built on Marquam Hill.

1956

The Medical School Hospital is built on Marquam Hill. The University of Oregon Dental School moves from Northeast Oregon Street to its present location on Marquam Hill.

1960

The Department of Nursing Education becomes the University of Oregon School of Nursing in Portland within the Oregon State System of Higher Education.

1973

University Hospital is created through the merger of Multnomah County Hospital, Medical School Hospital and the outpatient clinics.

1974

University of Oregon Health Sciences Center is formed as an independent institution under the direction of the Oregon State System of Higher Education. The schools, hospitals and all of the university's programs are brought together under one umbrella to create this new center, which becomes Oregon's only academic health center and one of 125 in the nation.

1981

The institution is renamed Oregon Health Sciences University.

1987

Construction is completed on the Vollum Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research building. The institute is dedicated to the study of the brain and nervous system at the molecular level. OHSU is designated one of two Level 1 trauma care centers in Oregon.

1989

The Center for Ethics in Health Care is created to promote interdisciplinary study of ethical issues in health care.

The State Office of Rural Health becomes part of OHSU to help rural areas better address their unique health care needs.

The Area Health Education Centers program is established to promote better access to adequate health care and to facilitate medical student primary care clerkships.

1990

Dotter Interventional Institute is established at OHSU to carry on the work of the pioneer of interventional radiology.

1991

Casey Eye Institute opens on Marquam Hill.

Construction is completed for the Biomedical Information Communication Center, which provides library, audiovisual and teleconferencing services; public computer services; and health informatics.

1992

The Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology building opens. CROET is one of the first facilities in the world to combine the use of molecular and cell biology to study the adverse effects of chemicals on the body and, in particular, the nervous system.

The Veteran's Affairs Medical Center bridge opens. The 660-foot-long suspended pedestrian enclosed skybridge is the longest in North America.

The School of Nursing building opens.

1993

The School of Nursing begins coordinating a state wide integrated nursing education system that includes programs at OHSU, Eastern Oregon State University, Southern Oregon State University and the Oregon Institute of Technology.

Oregon Health Policy Institute, an interdisciplinary center of OHSU, Portland State University and Oregon State University is created as a resource center for collecting, analyzing and disseminating health policy information.

Physicians Pavilion opens on Marquam Hill to provide modern outpatient services.

1994

The Oregon Regional Primate Research Center joins OHSU as an affiliate research institute.

1995

OHSU becomes a public corporation and separates from the Oregon State System of Higher Education. Governance of OHSU changes from the Board of Higher Education to the OHSU Board of Directors, whose members are nominated by the governor and approved by the Oregon Senate.

1996

University Hospital is renamed OHSU Hospital.

The first of OHSU's primary care neighborhood clinics opens in southwest Portland.

1997

Planning begins for the Center for Women's Health, and an interim director is named. The center offers a place where women's concerns can be addressed in a comprehensive, comforting and supportive manner. The center uses a collaborative model that encourages women to actively participate in their care.

The Oregon Cancer Center is established with a grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

1998

The Mark O. Hatfield Research Center is dedicated. The center houses a variety of basic and clinical research programs that have the potential to spark new therapies. It includes such programs as the Clinical Research Center, the Oregon Hearing Research Center, Doernbecher Children's Hospital Pediatric Research Laboratories, the Bone and Mineral Unit's osteoporosis studies, the Oregon Stroke Center, and the Oregon Cancer Center.

Doernbecher Children's Hospital's new state-of-the-art pediatric medical complex is opened. Built with private funding and bond revenues, Doernbecher provides the widest range of health care services for children in the region.

The Neurological Sciences Institute joins the university as its fifth research unit. NSI researchers conduct research to advance understanding of the brain and neurological disorders.

The Oregon Regional Primate Research Center becomes an OHSU research unit.

2001

The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and Neurological Sciences Institute buildings open on OHSU's west campus.

OHSU's name changes to Oregon Health & Science University as Gov. John Kitzhaber signs legislation expanding OHSU's mission and paving the way for merger with Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology. The merger took place July 1, 2001.

Oregon Cancer Center changes its name to OHSU Cancer Institute.

2002

Oregon Regional Primate Research Center changes its name to Oregon National Primate Research Center.

Marquam Hill is designated a "plan district" by the Portland City council.

2003

OHSU breaks ground for its first building in the South Waterfront District.

OHSU breaks ground for a new research building on Marquam Hill campus.

2004

The Schnitzer Investment Corporation donates nearly 20 acres of riverfront property in South Waterfront to OHSU.

2005

Biomedical Research Building opens on Marquam Hill.

2006

Peter O. Kohler Pavilion opens as state-of-the-art patient care facility on Marquam Hill.

The Center for Health & Healing, one of Oregon's greenest buildings and winner of the LEED Platinum award, opens on the South Waterfront by the Willamette River.

The Portland Aerial Tram begins operating between OHSU's Marquam Hill Campus and South Waterfront.

2008

A gift of $100 million from Phil and Penny Knight helps evolve the OHSU Cancer Institute to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

2011

The OHSU/OUS Collaborative Life Sciences Building and Skourtes Tower groundbreaking takes place on the Schnitzer Campus.

A gift of $25 million establishes the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness at OHSU.

2012

A gift of $125 million from Phil and Penny Knight creates the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute.

2013

OHSU celebrates its 125th anniversary.

2014

The OHSU/OUS Collaborative Life Sciences Building and Skourtes Tower opens on the Schnitzer Campus in Portland’s South Waterfront District.