Oregon Health & Science University Receives $40 Million Donation- the Largest in its History- to Expand Oregon's Only School of Medicine

02/01/08  Portland, Ore

Oregon Health & Science University and the OHSU Foundation today announced the largest outright gift in the institution's 120-year history - a pledge of $40 million for the OHSU School of Medicine from an anonymous donor.

Oregon Health & Science University and the OHSU Foundation today announced the largest outright gift in the institution's 120-year history - a pledge of $40 million for the OHSU School of Medicine from an anonymous donor. The gift will support the future construction of a new medical school building on OHSU's planned Schnitzer Campus on Portland's emerging South Waterfront. In so doing, officials said, the gift represents a major milestone in OHSU's effort to address the decline in Oregon's healthcare workforce by constructing new physical infrastructure to educate more medical students in the state.

"Words cannot adequately express the OHSU community's gratitude for this gift, and the exciting possibilities it creates for Oregonians," said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. "With this transforming gift, this donor is validating the idea that OHSU's future is linked inextricably with the health and well-being of future generations. The impacts of this gift are beyond measure."

Robertson reported the gift at today's meeting of the OHSU board of directors and at an OHSU employee town hall meeting in which he reviewed the initial results of the strategic planning process he launched upon assuming the presidency in September 2006.

"This gift has redefined what is possible to achieve," said Robertson. "And that's a great way to begin planning for the future. The truth is that it will take an unprecedented partnership between public and private funders to realize the potential of the Schnitzer Campus. We look forward to working with private donors and local, state and federal partners to build and sustain that future."

The value of that partnership is evident in the relationship between this landmark capital gift and the Oregon Legislature's critical support for teaching and training programs advancing OHSU's educational mission. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's recommended budget for 2007-09 includes $11.2 million to support programs that expand OHSU's capacity to teach and train medical students in Portland and sites in Eugene, Corvallis and other cities around Oregon.

"It is very exciting that the institution has received this outstanding show of support as its leadership embarks on a strategic direction that responds to the challenges and opportunities of a new century," said OHSU Board Chairman Keith Thomson.

Discussions of OHSU's future expansion are still in the earliest phases, but officials said today's announcement will catalyze a series of planning activities for the Schnitzer Campus. The campus will be a future model center of collaborative and interdisciplinary learning opportunities for medical, nursing, dental, pharmacy and engineering students.

School of Medicine Interim Dean Mark A. Richardson, M.D., M.Sc.B., M.B.A., emphasized that the landmark gift will do more than improve medical education; it will also help OHSU respond to the growing crisis in the state's healthcare workforce. "Oregon urgently needs more physicians," he said. "OHSU's emerging network of regional medical education centers throughout Oregon is an important first step in educating more medical students, but they will still need to complete a key portion of their training here in Portland. This gift will enable the school to increase its enrollment and begin the important work ahead."

Stephen Sanders, president of the OHSU Foundation, said the private gift underscores the lasting value of philanthropy in helping OHSU achieve its core missions of healing, teaching and discovery. "We are profoundly grateful to this donor and share the donor's hope that this landmark gift inspires additional public and private support."

Robert Kraus, chairman of the OHSU Foundation board of trustees, sees the gift as the latest show of strong philanthropic support for OHSU, Oregon's only academic health and research institution. "This unprecedented act of generosity proves that people have a high degree of confidence in OHSU and believe that it deserves significant support. This gift - and those it will inspire - will enable OHSU to deliver on its promise to educate more health professionals, research the causes and cures of disease, and improve the health and well-being of people living in our region."

The Schnitzer Campus property was donated to OHSU in 2004 by Schnitzer Investment Corp. Valued at $33.9 million, the land gift set the stage for the institution's expansion in Portland. Together with the new Center for Health & Healing, linked to the university's Marquam Hill Campus by the Portland Aerial Tram, the Schnitzer Campus will become the focal point of a revitalized South Waterfront district.

Further information about OHSU's efforts to increase the healthcare workforce in Oregon can be found at: http://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/about/transformation/talk/workforce.cfm

The OHSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to secure private support for Oregon Health & Science University. The foundation raises funds from individuals, companies, foundations and organizations, and invests and manages gifts in accordance with donors' wishes.