OHSU President Appointed to Board of Federal Reserve Bank

08/21/02    Portland, Ore.

Board's perspective on regional economy helps shape national monetary policy

The Portland branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has appointed Peter O. Kohler, M.D., president of Oregon Health & Science University, to its seven-member board of directors. The board of directors provides the region¹s economic perspective to the Federal Reserve Bank¹s District Board of Governors in San Francisco and its Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. The board of governors uses this information when determining national economic policies and banking regulations.

As the nation¹s central bank, the Federal Reserve System determines and implements monetary policy. It also acts as a bank regulator, provider of wholesale banking services and the fiscal agent for the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is headquarters for the 12th Federal Reserve District, serving the nine states west of the Rockies, American Samoa, Northern Marianas and Guam. It has branches in Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Los Angeles, Calif.

The Federal Reserve Bank, the country's central bank, has 12 districts. The Portland branch is part of the 12th District in San Francisco. Kohler's appointment runs August 2002 through December 2003.

Branch directors are selected for their in-depth knowledge of certain economic sectors and are expected to stay up to date on those sectors within the region. Directors meet monthly and report on their assigned sectors.

"Dr. Kohler's knowledge of health care and the bioscience industry will be a tremendous asset to our board," said Rick Hornsby, group vice president of the Portland branch. "We will look to him to evaluate and report on trends in these vital sectors and how they're affected by economic conditions. We're delighted that he is able to serve."

Kohler has been president of OHSU since 1988. He has been a practicing endocrinologist, medical researcher and national health care leader. He is a member of the prestigious national Institute of Medicine, past chairman of the Association of Academic Health Centers, and a past member of the National Advisory Research Resources Council of the National Institutes of Health. He was instrumental in bringing the Area Health Education Centers Program to Oregon, and he has been a strong advocate of programs to improve health care in medically underserved areas. In the mid-1990s he led the successful drive to convert OHSU from a state agency to a public corporation.

Previously, Kohler held leadership positions in the medical schools at the University of Texas, the University of Arkansas and Baylor College of Medicine, also in Texas. He also was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a senior investigator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Cancer Institute, both components of the National Institutes of Health. Kohler earned his medical degree at Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C.

His recent civic activities include membership on the Portland Business Alliance and the Alzheimer's Disease Center of Oregon. He is a member of the board of directors of StanCorp Financial Group, the Standard Insurance Company, Portland, Ore., and Standard Life Insurance Company of New York, and past chairman of the Oregon Health Council.

The Federal Reserve's Portland Branch board of directors is chaired by Nancy Wilgenbusch, Ph.D., president of Marylhurst University, Portland, Ore.. Other members are Martin Brantley, Portland, Ore., president and former general manager of Oregon's KPTV; Karla S. Chambers, Corvallis, Ore., vice president and co-owner of Stahlbush Island Farms; Patrick Borunda, Yacolt, Wash., principal of The Navigator Group; and George Passadore, Portland, Ore., president of Wells Fargo Bank in Oregon.

Note to editors: An electronic photo of Kohler is available at http://www.ohsu.edu/news/082102fed.html