OHSU/Doernbecher and Oregon State Representative Betsy Johnson Featured at New Research Building

10/28/02    Portland, Ore.

State-of-the-art facility first step in OHSU's Oregon Opportunity initiative

Oregon representative and longtime Oregon Health & Science University supporter Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) was a featured participant in ground breaking ceremonies for OHSU's new 260,000-square foot biomedical research building. The building is a first step in the university's new recruitment and expansion effort dubbed the Oregon Opportunity.

"Betsy Johnson is a strong advocate for heath-related research because she knows it will have great value for all Oregonians," said OHSU President Peter O. Kohler, M.D., who spoke alongside Johnson at the Oct. 10 ground breaking. "She is a committed, visionary leader and the Oregon Opportunity would not be possible without the backing of champions like her."

Construction of the new research building is made possible by the Oregon Opportunity, a public/private combination of funding that includes $200 million from the Oregon Legislature, approved last May by Oregon voters, and $300 million from the OHSU Foundation's private fund-raising effort.

Through the Oregon Opportunity, OHSU seeks to recruit an additional 350 scientists who will help attract new research grants, launch new programs and capitalize on advances in the form of biotech spin-off companies. Many of these researchers will work in the new biomedical research building, which will house a pediatric research center, an advanced imaging research center and other research laboratories. The initiative is expected to be an economic driver for Oregon.

"We invited Rep. Johnson to speak at the ceremony because her support for OHSU and its campaign for the future has been so deeply felt and so long-standing," said Sue Nicol, executive director of the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation, on whose board of directors Johnson currently serves. "Her work for Doernbecher in particular proves her remarkable commitment to the children of the region."

Johnson currently is a board member of the Doernbecher Children's Foundation and a former board member of the OHSU Foundation.