Former U.S. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield Joins OHSU Board of Directors

02/24/00    Portland, Ore.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has named former U.S. Sen. Mark O. Hatfield to the Oregon Health Sciences University's Board of Directors. The Oregon Senate confirmed the nomination Feb. 24.

"Throughout a political career spanning five decades, Mark Hatfield has distinguished himself as a leading voice and powerful advocate for health care," says Kitzhaber. "This is a natural progression to his ongoing commitment to the missions of Oregon's academic health center."

Since retiring from the U.S. Senate in 1997, Hatfield continued his involvement in the academic and health care communities. Upon returning to his roots in Portland that same year, he joined the Oregon Health Sciences Foundation board of trustees, a position he will vacate this spring to become a director on OHSU's governing board.

In 1998, President Clinton appointed him to the National Institutes of Health Advisory Council on Aging. Hatfield has been a champion of biomedical research, serving as chairman of Funding First, a research funding initiative associated with The Albert and Mary Woodard Lasker Foundation.

"During my years in public service, it was exciting to participate with OHSU in building a premiere medical research institution in Oregon," Hatfield says. "Now, I am grateful to Gov. Kitzhaber for the opportunity to serve on the OHSU Board of Directors. It is my hope that as a result of a collaborative effort and commitment to biomedical research, Oregonians will one day witness and be the beneficiaries of dramatic scientific breakthroughs that will provide answers to much of our human suffering."

Hatfield brings a lifetime of leadership and success to OHSU. After serving the Oregon Legislature for six years, he was voted in as Secretary of State in 1956 at the age of 34 -- the youngest person in Oregon's history to hold that office. He was elected governor in 1958 and re-elected in 1962, becoming the state's first two-term governor in the 20th century. In 1966, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he focused on health, education, research and social service programs. In more than 46 years of political service, Hatfield never lost an election.

"OHSU is honored to have Mark Hatfield join our Board of Directors," says OHSU President Peter O. Kohler, M.D. "Sen. Hatfield has been leading the fight for medical research at the national level for several years. He will provide excellent guidance for OHSU during the most promising time in history for medical discoveries, both for cures and for health promotion."

Hatfield will fill the position formerly held by Neil Goldschmidt, who retired from the board this winter. "We have enjoyed Goldschmidt's participation on the board for almost five years, and we will miss his keen wit and insight," says Kohler.