Endowed for Success

OHSU Extra, Fall 2010

Meet three new faculty standouts – from OHSU’s Center for Women’s Health, Casey Eye Institute, and Center for Ethics in Health Care – whose arrival at OHSU was made possible by philanthropic investments.

You can’t have an extraordinary institution without extraordinary people. 

At OHSU, faculty with exceptional vision and abilities are more than producers, they’re catalysts – their ideas and achievements inspire those around them. OHSU and all those it serves benefit as new knowledge is created, discoveries and connections are revealed, and fresh opportunities arise.
That multiplier effect is one key reason OHSU launched a $100 million fundraising initiative to support standout faculty. Another key reason is recruitment. In today’s fiercely competitive academic job market, endowed positions are essentially mandatory to attract the highest caliber candidates. Here are three faculty leaders who now call OHSU home in part because committed donors invested in their success.

Caughey and the Stotts
Dr. Aaron Caughey, the Julie Neupert Stott Director of the OHSU Center for Women's Health, lines up with benefactors Julie Neupert Stott and Peter Stott

Aaron Caughey, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P., M.P.H.

Julie Neupert Stott Director of the Center for Women’s Health and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OHSU School of Medicine

On an unseasonably cool August evening, Dr. Aaron Caughey made a warm impression on the friends and supporters gathered to celebrate his arrival during a welcome reception at the home of Julie Neupert Stott and Peter Stott.
Dr. Caughey is one of the nation’s foremost experts in maternal-fetal medicine with degrees from both Harvard and U.C. Berkeley. He brings a wealth of expertise in clinical, translational and policy research across the full spectrum of women’s health. He previously served, among other roles, as director of the Center for Clinical and Policy Perinatal Research and as medical director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Diabetes & Pregnancy Program at U.C. San Francisco. He has co-authored more than 30 books and scores of scientific articles.
His singing voice is also impressive. Dr. Caughey, who earned two Grammies performing with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, surprised guests with a performance alongside Thomas Lauderdale of Portland’s Pink Martini.
“This is a dynamic and multi-talented individual who will make an enormous impact on women’s health in Oregon,” said Julie Stott, a leader among a group of female philanthropists who have championed the OHSU Center for Women’s Health since its inception and whose $2.5 million gift named the endowed directorship in 2005.

“It’s exciting to see this directorship evolve with Dr. Caughey’s arrival,” said Stott. “That is one of the great strengths of this type of investment – it is a perpetual resource that will help shape the center’s future and its impact on women for all time. I feel privileged to help enable that.”
Dr. Caughey’s vision includes expanding OHSU’s role as a national leader in women’s health by fostering increased collaboration among basic scientists, clinicians, policy- makers and researchers within OHSU and at universities and healthcare organizations nationwide, and developing new mentorship programs and partnership opportunities.
“I am thrilled that one of my very first collaborations at OHSU has been with such a smart, generous, committed individual,” said Dr. Caughey of Stott. “I am delighted to hold the directorship that bears her name. Living up to it will be my challenge and honor.”

David Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. David Huang at home at OHSU

David Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

Weeks Professor of Ophthalmic Research
OHSU Casey Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, OHSU School of Medicine

As the wife of Dr. John E. Weeks, one of Portland’s earliest ophthalmologists, the late Jennie Weeks knew a thing or two about vision. Her passion for the field inspired her to create a trust in 1947 to benefit OHSU’s ophthalmology research laboratories. Today her forward-looking support is taking laboratory research
at Casey Eye Institute to a whole new level – as the cornerstone of a fund that, alongside numerous other gifts to Casey, has brought world-class research capabilities to Casey and new care options to patients.

Casey has recruited one of the nation’s most accomplished clinician-researcher-innovators in ophthalmology to serve as the inaugural Weeks Professor of Ophthalmic Research. David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., known internationally as the co-inventor of the crucial eye imaging technique of optical coherence tomography (OCT), joined the Casey faculty in September. He brings to Casey not only the power of this important research and diagnostic tool but the skill of a highly experienced expert in laser-based surgical techniques for vision correction.

“Dr. Huang is the living embodiment of what the Weeks Trust was established to do,” said School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson, M.D., M.B.A. “There may be no eye researcher in America today whose laboratory work has had such a wide-reaching impact on clinical care.”

Introduced in 1991, OCT is now widely used to detect and manage conditions such as macular and retinal diseases. Dr. Huang’s seminal 1991 research paper was published in the prestigious journal Science and has since been cited by other researchers at least 3,300 times.

“As part of Oregon’s only academic health center, Casey needs faculty who work at the interface of research and clinical care,” said Casey Eye Institute Director David Wilson, M.D. “Dr. Huang represents the very best of both of those worlds, and is among the foremost practitioners in the field today. We are very excited at what he will bring to our program, and we remain grateful for the generosity of John and Jennie Weeks. Without them, we would be far less able to attract exceptional faculty like Dr. Huang.”

Dr. Huang was previously director of the Doheny Laser Vision Center, Charles C. Manger III, M.D.
Chair of Corneal Laser Surgery, and associate professor of ophthalmology and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California. He earned his medical degree at Harvard, completed an ophthalmology residency at U.S.C. and a fellowship in corneal diseases and refractive surgery at Emory.

In the clinic, Dr. Huang performs LASIK and PRK surgeries to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia, and is versed in advanced non-laser-based techniques.

Lynn Jansen and Madeline Brill Nelson
Lynn Jansen, R.N., Ph.D., and Madeline Brill Nelson

Lynn Jansen, R.N., Ph.D.

Madeline Brill Nelson Chair in Ethics Education
OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care

Sometimes a faculty member who holds an endowed professorship or chair never gets to meet the donor who made it possible – but often, if they do meet, they form a strong connection. Such is the case with Lynn Jansen, R.N., Ph.D., the inaugural holder of the Madeline Brill Nelson Chair in Ethics Education, and Madeline Brill Nelson – one of Oregon’s most committed advocates for medical ethics whose $2.5 million gift created a chair in ethics education at OHSU and enabled Dr. Jansen’s recruitment.

“I felt an instant rapport,” said Jansen of her first meeting with Madeline Brill Nelson. “Madeline is clearly a remarkable individual, and her understanding of how ethics education can advance human health is both profound and inspiring.”

More than two decades ago Nelson was the very first donor to the OHSU Center for Ethics. Her interest in the subject began in childhood when she accompanied her father, the late Isidor C. Brill, M.D., on his weekend rounds in southwest Portland. She realized that her father’s empathetic bedside manner was just as important for improving his patients’ health as the therapies he provided. Inspired by his compassion and integrity, Nelson became a pioneering supporter of healthcare ethics education.

Over the years her investments in the OHSU Center for Ethics have helped to create a comprehensive ethics curriculum for OHSU students, brought national speakers to OHSU, and culminated in the funding of the endowed chair now held by Dr. Jansen.

A national expert in ethics education, Dr. Jansen came to the OHSU Center for Ethics this fall from New York Medical College, where she served as executive director and chair of the John J. Conley Center for Ethics. She previously worked as a registered nurse in a variety of contexts, including clinical oncology, pain management and critical care, and earned a doctorate in political theory at Columbia University. For the past 10 years she taught medical students and other health care professionals about the ethical issues challenging today’s clinicians.

According to Susan Tolle, M.D., Cornelia Hayes Stevens Chair and Director of the OHSU Center for Ethics, Dr. Jansen’s arrival means that OHSU can expand its ethics education offerings, which cover such topics such as informed consent, refusal of treatment, research ethics, and conflict of interest.

“Thanks to Madeline and Dr. Jansen, we can now ensure that OHSU students in every discipline – including medicine, nursing and dentistry – will acquire the same high standard of ethical awareness and skills,” said Tolle. “That training will give the next generation of healthcare professionals in our region a remarkable grounding in healthcare ethics. This simply could not have happened without Madeline’s vision and the exceptional national expert she helped bring to Oregon.”