OHSU and Oregon
Together for Health
Communities across Oregon share a common desire to have access to the best available health care and health education. At OHSU medical professionals, teachers and researchers help meet the need by:
- providing care to the underserved.
- using the education process to extend the reach of health care.
- engaging in research vital to public and community health issues.
- ensuring access to the latest in medical advances.
- connecting with other providers so patients are cared for close to home.
OHSU extends its three primary missions — teaching, healing and discovery — to the entire 96,000 square miles of Oregon and beyond.
- Community health programs
- Community benefit reporting
- Investing in today’s youth and tomorrow’s health care leaders
- Clinical outreach partners
- A partner for workers across the state
- Area Health Education Centers
- Office of Rural Health
The university’s community health care programs reach out to vulnerable groups in urban areas as well as underserved rural communities throughout the state. These programs span OHSU’s missions and provide a breadth of services that no other entity in the state can match. A sampling of activities includes:
- Work to increase the number of primary care practitioners serving vulnerable populations in the inner city and in rural communities to improve access to health care services and information statewide.
- A focus on strengthening the diversity of the state’s health care workforce.
- Support and expertise to health care providers, researchers and students throughout Oregon.
- Partnering with teachers around the state to help children better understand science.
- Programs that serve as a pipeline for secondary school students to explore careers in health and science.
- Science education opportunities for elementary school students through college age.
- A 24-hour regional poison emergency information and resource center —the Oregon Poison Center — that fielded more than 42,000 calls in 2012, saving lives and helping to prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital.
- Help for rural communities to recruit and retain primary care providers and administer several tax credit programs that help keep rural health care systems viable through the Office of Rural Health.
- The Oregon Rural Practice-Based Research Network, a statewide clinical research network, extends medical research opportunities to rural communities. Recently named a Center of Excellence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, network members include 158 clinicians at 46 practices across Oregon, providing care to more than 235,000 patients.
- The Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs, which helps build the capacity of families, providers and communities caring for children with special needs through training programs, multidisciplinary clinics, public health agencies and community planning activities.
Other programs offered by OHSU include: Traveling pediatric subspecialty clinics, workforce “pipeline” programs to develop the health care leaders of tomorrow, information resources for providers, including a physician consult service and access to OHSU library materials online, and information resources for members of the public, including expertise on poisons and chemicals in the workplace and environment.
Oregon’s Community Benefit Reporting Program requires health care institutions to report annually on the activities they provide to the community that generate costs that exceed their income.
As the state’s only academic health center, OHSU’s mission includes a number of activities and programs that no other hospital can offer: educating the next generation of health care providers, discovering new cures, providing care for the most vulnerable and difficult cases, and statewide outreach that touches all 36 Oregon counties. OHSU’s case mix index — a measure of the complexity of care provided — is the highest in Oregon, and OHSU provides a number of advanced medical services not available anywhere else in the state.
Other community benefits include charity care (also known as uncompensated care), government sponsored health care programs (Medicare and Medicaid as well as other public services that offer lower rates of reimbursement than commercially insured patients) and other services provided for the benefit of the community, such as health professions education, research and community health improvement services.
Investing in today's youth and tomorrow's health care leaders
Clinical outreach partners
Through a network of partnerships, OHSU is enhancing community-based care, serving Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens, increasing access to health care education and bringing groundbreaking health research to rural communities. OHSU’s partnerships are numerous and it would be difficult to describe each in detail here. The following are a few examples:
The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Pacific Oncology joined forces to provide high-quality community based care in Beaverton, Gresham, Tualatin, Newberg and Portland.
OHSU’s Transplantation Medicine Program travels to Bend, Boise, Idaho, Eugene, Medford, Walla Walla and The Dalles to provide pre-transplant education and post-operation care to renal transplant patients. They partner with local physicians to coordinate clinic space for post-op visits and follow-up care with primary care physicians.
An OHSU collaboration with Coos Bay brings the town’s only radiation cancer specialist to OHSU for one week every quarter to practice at OHSU, while an OHSU radiation oncologist stays in Coos Bay to attend to patients there. The exchange provides an opportunity for the Coos Bay specialist to participate in the academic medicine environment in Portland. And, OHSU’s radiation oncologists pick up new insights in Coos Bay to pass along to their students, who are encouraged to consider practicing in rural communities.
Through partnerships with programs serving low income, uninsured and underinsured Oregonians, the Casey Eye Institute Outreach Van offers free vision screenings on site at an expanding network of community outreach locations. Participants are examined at no cost and community groups assist with follow up for individuals in need of help with purchasing glasses or access to continued medical support.
The Northwest Marrow Transplant Program is a collaboration between OHSU and Legacy Health System. The program offers every available blood and marrow transplantation procedure from around the region to patients who need a bone marrow transplant.
The OHSU Telemedicine Network provides cutting-edge videoconferencing technology to rural communities across the state. OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital medical specialists can instantly provide critical consults and see exactly what physicians in emergency rooms throughout the state are seeing. In 2012, there were 14 sites included in the network. Consults are provided for pediatric intensive care, stroke, trauma and psychiatric needs.
Cancer patients in Marion and Polk counties are more likely to be treated close to home and have access to cutting-edge clinical trials near their community, due to the partnership between Salem Cancer Institute and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. The collaboration is one of many efforts to provide added access to care with existing or expanded services closer to where patients live.
The partnership allows both providers to share expertise and resources, while avoiding duplicative services.
The Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology is dedicated to health and safety in the workforce. Through basic and applied research, outreach and education, CROET works to prevent illness and injury in partnership with labor, industry, government and the community.
The Toxicology Information Center is an invaluable resource on occupational and environmental safety, and CROETweb provides up-to-date safety and health information by industry sector. CROET also conducts workplace interventions and develops prevention programs to address safety issues, and provides education and information to Oregon’s workforce. A sampling of interventions includes:
The Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program, which is designed to prevent occupational fatalities through surveillance, targeted investigation, assessment and outreach that are associated with traumatic work-related deaths in Oregon. It focuses on surveillance of occupational fatalities in Oregon and the development of prevention programs to arrest workplace trends leading to fatalities.
Safety and Health Interventions for Lone Workers is focused on safety and health interventions for lone workers, and on behavioral self-management methods to understand how organizations can best protect and promote health amongst workers who are physically isolated from their peers.
The AHEC program consists of five regional centers covering the state, each of which provides education and training for current and future health care professionals, and encourages health care practice in rural and underserved areas. Through AHEC programs, OHSU students and residents participate in clerkships, partnering with community physicians throughout the state. This exchange fills a provider shortage and spurs interest in rural health among young professionals.
Through job shadowing, science clubs and other career exploration activities, youths in Oregon have an opportunity to be mentored by professionals and develop strategies for following a health care career path. Various programs are offered at AHEC Centers around the state.
OHSU’s Office of Rural Health helps rural health care systems get established and remain viable. The office works directly with Oregon’s rural communities on community development, strategic planning, hospital board training and leadership development. The office has been designated by the federal government to carry out a program designed to help ensure the financial viability of small rural hospitals. It also is responsible for administering several programs to improve health care for rural Oregonians.
Functions of the office include:
- Leadership and participation in federal and state groups
- Representation of rural interests to Congress and Legislature
- Advocacy with federal and state agencies
- Coordination with other agencies and organization, including collaborative policy development
- Serve as an information clearinghouse to provide rural health information to health care providers, elected officials and government agencies, educators and members of the public
- Providing recruitment and retention services to help rural communities recruit and retain primary care providers