OHSU Emergency Department Director Named to Institute of Medicine

10/12/00    Portland, Ore.

Only Other Oregon Physician Named Is Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The chief of Oregon Health Sciences University's Emergency Department was named to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Sciences. Jerris Hedges, M.D., professor of emergency medicine and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, was named to the IOM Class of 2000, along with former emergency- physician- turned- politician Gov. John Kitzhaber, M.D.

"Election to the IOM recognizes my many administrative contributions to the academic arm of emergency medicine. I have had the opportunity to help shape the specialty's scientific basis through creation of an environment encouraging research and scientific discovery in emergency medicine," said Hedges. As founding editor of the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, Hedges helped promote the concept of emergency medicine research. "When I graduated from medical school, emergency medicine wasn't even a board-certified specialty. Now a great deal of what we are doing in the emergency department is driven by solid clinical research."

Members of the IOM are elected by the incumbent membership on the basis of professional achievement, and demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with problems and critical issues that affect the health of the public. The institute conducts studies of specific problems, such as recent reports on medical errors in hospital settings and the medical benefits of marijuana.

Hedges' election in the same year as Kitzhaber is a reflection of the attention paid to Oregon's emergency services and policies. "Overall, looking at the list of physicians involved in the institute, our election shows that Oregon emergency physicians are making significant practice and policy impact," Hedges said.

In addition to Hedges, OHSU faculty members John Benson, M.D., Merwyn Greenlick, M.D., and Peter Kohler, M.D., also are members of the IOM.