As Oregon's health and research university, OHSU fulfills a vital role in the evolving statewide effort to build partnerships that enhance community-based care, serve Oregon's most vulnerable citizens and provide access to health care education. New programs are also improving rural access to groundbreaking health research. OHSU's many community service programs work to improve:
- Geographic distribution of health providers
- Equitable allocation of resources to provide health care to the poor and vulnerable in Oregon
- Access to education and information regardless of where someone lives
- Promoting health and science education to young people
Through their participation in outreach programs and partnerships that extend from urban neighborhoods to rural communities, OHSU's faculty, residents and students realize a richly diverse education while serving Oregon citizens.
School of Medicine
The School of Medicine’s curriculum is geared toward improving the state’s distribution of physicians and meeting the growing need for primary care practitioners.
First- and second-year medical students participate in weekly preceptorship programs that include working with primary care physicians in multiple settings.
Third-year medical students complete a required rural community health clerkship in general internal medicine and geriatrics family medicine or pediatrics in a rural or underserved setting. The clerkship is designed to benefit both students and patients. Moreover, it is a key element in increasing the number of primary care providers in rural areas.
OHSU residents in several medical specialties gain firsthand experience training and practicing in Oregon’s less-populated communities and medically underserved areas. About 37 OHSU residents work in health care settings throughout Clark County.
The School of Medicine's Physician Assistant Program, the first such program in Oregon, was mandated by the state Legislature to prepare physician assistants for the delivery of primary care services to rural and urban medically underserved populations. Second-year students work in a variety of clinical settings under the guidance of local physicians and physician assistants throughout the state. Vancouver and Seattle are the sites for 12 rotations in several physician assistant specialties.
Area Health Education Centers
OHSU’s Area Health Education Centers Program improves the education, training and distribution of health care professionals in rural settings. Students in the fields of medicine, social work, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and dietetics spend six weeks in rural settings, both filling a provider shortage and spurring interest in rural health care among budding professionals. One such team travels to Walla Walla's Family Medical Center, providing comprehensive, culturally appropriate primary care services to low-income and migrant farm worker populations.
OHSU has dozens of programs geared toward improving access to health care for specific vulnerable populations, including the very young and the very old, minorities and people with language barriers, the disabled, and people who live far from Oregon's cities.
Pediatric Traveling Clinics
Doernbecher Children's Hospital provides pediatric subspecialty traveling clinics in cardiology, endocrinology and pulmonology throughout the state. For hundreds of families who live outside the Portland metropolitan area, these clinics offer specialized medical care without the need to leave home. In Marion County, children can visit Doernbecher physicians in Salem. In Washington State, children can visit Doernbecher physicians in Tacoma.
Child Development and Rehabilitation Center
OHSU Child Development and Rehabilitation Center serves children with disabilities through its statewide Community Connections Network, providing community-based, multidisciplinary needs assessment and coordination of care. CDRC's CaCoon (CAre COordinatiON) program contracts with county health departments throughout Oregon to provide expert nursing services and support to families of children with disabilities in the communities where they live.
Physician Consult Service
Through its Physician Consult Service, OHSU offers a provider-to-provider clinical consult/specialist referral program, which provides 24-hour, toll-free telephone access to more than 7,000 practitioners throughout Oregon. The service receives 33,000 calls annually with more than half the calls to the consult service coming from rural providers.
Medical Interpreter Services
OHSU medical interpreters provide translation services round the clock in Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian/Bosnian, Farsi, Korean, Mien/Laotian, Russian Spanish and Vietnamese, as well as American Sign Language.
Northwest Marrow Transplant Program
The Northwest Marrow Transplant Program, a collaboration with Legacy Health System, is the only full-service bone marrow transplant program in Oregon. It provides this highly specialized area of care to both adults and children needing stem cell and bone marrow transplantation. OHSU is the only site in Oregon to provide pediatric, and adult-related and unrelated allogenic bone marrow transplants.
Pediatric and Neonatal Doernbecher Transport
The Pediatric and Neonatal Doernbecher Transport, or PANDA team, is a mobile intensive care unit that responds to emergencies throughout the state. It links critically ill infants and children with Doernbecher’s neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and other local hospitals. The PANDA team of trained nurses and respiratory therapists makes more than 750 trips a year.
School of Nursing
Many School of Nursing programs extend educational opportunities to place-bound students while enhancing health care in underserved communities. The school's statewide bachelor's degree program for registered nurses is available online, and the school expanded its online curriculum to include master's degree programs in public health and nursing education. These programs enable registered nurses to continue working in their local communities while advancing their training.
Oregon Poison Center
The Oregon Poison Center at OHSU is a 24-hour regional resource for the public, health care providers and industry. It coordinates treatment and information about poisons, drugs and certain health issues by telephone, and through education and research activities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. The Oregon Poison Center received 1,611 calls from Washington State.
Biomedical Information Communication Center
The Biomedical Information Communication Center provides communications services for a variety of educational needs. The center houses the OHSU Library, with more than 276,000 volumes and nearly 1,840 online journals offering information for professionals and the public. Other center services include videoconferencing of classes to remote campuses, streaming video, video and photography production, and information technology. In the past 10 years, OHSU has invested more than $3 million in satellite terrestrial technology to further extend its educational reach to all of Oregon, all of the United States, and even to the rest of the world.
Several OHSU Web sites provide invaluable help to patients, consumers and practitioners. For example, the family of OHSU health pages at www.OHSUhealth.com offers convenient resources for patients to manage their health care needs, consumers to find trusted health information and health professionals to gain access to OHSU’s services and faculty. In addition, OHSU has joined five other top U.S. academic health centers authoring guidelines for EBM Solutions, the first evidence-based online medical resource for physicians and their patients.
Continuing Professional Education
In keeping with OHSU’s promotion of lifelong learning, the university and its schools offer continuing education programs throughout the state. More than 19,000 health and technology professionals take part each year in hundreds of courses and seminars. Satellite technology helps to broadcast many continuing education programs, further extending their reach.
Oregon Geriatric Education Center
The Oregon Geriatric Education Center is a multidisciplinary continuing education and professional development resource in geriatric education, providing a comprehensive library of resource materials and offering educational opportunities for health care providers and educators several times a year. The center is particularly dedicated to providing rural health care providers with education programs and resources, and delivering programs that bridge many health care disciplines. The center is a collaborative consortium that includes OHSU, Oregon State University, Portland State University and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It is also the professional education arm of the OHSU Center for Healthy Aging.
OHSU Science Education Outreach programs reach approximately 127,900 elementary through college-age students each year in every corner of our state. These programs help keep students excited about health and science, and nurture young people interested in health and science careers.
Through Discover OHSU! thousands of students from all over Oregon tour OHSU facilities each year. More than 3,500 students toured OHSU through this program.
ThinkFirst is a national program designed to educate young people about brain and spinal cord injury prevention. ThinkFirst Oregon is hosted by OHSU, and provides resources for educators and students of all ages. Students and teachers in Washington, Multnomah, Douglas, Polk, Clackamas, Marion, Baker, Clark, and Deschutes counties have participated in ThinkFirst activities in recent years.
YO Science, sponsored by the OHSU Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, provides educational opportunities to underrepresented and minority students to encourage them to consider a career in health sciences. The program offers numerous hands-on activities such as bandaging, splinting, checking vital signs and laboratory experimentation. Students also have the opportunity to shadow OHSU practitioners, faculty, staff and students in emergency medicine, nursing, dentistry, laboratories and research departments.
CURE Project Internship is a two-year research mentorship program designed to provide research training to high school juniors interested in the health and sciences, specifically cancer research. This program targets historically underrepresented ethnic groups and/or economically disadvantaged students.