Message from the Dean
"Learners at Every Level" committee report
Faculty "exit interviews" begin in July
Stenzel-Poore appointed interim chair of MMI
HHMI grant connects SOM with local schools
Internal search for Associate Dean
Congratulations Class of 2007
Lockart appointed Assistant Dean
Viewpoint: Professionalism in medical education
Discovery Spotlight: Stephen Back
Opportunity: Healthcare Leadership for the 21st Century
Hersh wins Faculty Senate Teaching Award
Becker receives APTR award
Valiyaveetil selected as a Pew Scholar
Adamus serving on NIH study section
Little, Christensen named to Oregon Educators Benefits Board
OMPH "Outstanding Student Awards"
2007 Emeritus faculty awards
SOM new faculty
Message from Dean Richardson: Mirroring Oregon's healthcare needs in our admissions process
Greetings and welcome to the June newsletter.
The School of Medicine's Office of Admissions has completed the
challenging work of admitting next year's class. For the 120 positions
in the entering MD class, the School received over 4,500 applications,
a record number. I commend the
effort of our faculty and staff in carefully considering this enormous
amount of information.
This year, 70 percent of the entering medical school class is Oregon
residents. This is no accident. Oregonians are given preference in the
admissions process because of the demonstrated linkage between where a
student attends medical
school or completes their residency and where he or she ends up
As Oregon's only medical school, we have an obligation to do whatever
we can to ensure that Oregonians now and in the future have access to a
robust, high quality, demographically representative healthcare
workforce. This is an essential
aspect of both the School's strategic plan and OHSU Vision 2020.
We have made an effort to increase the number of Oregonians in our
class by restricting the number of non-residents who are considered for
admission. Opportunities for Oregonians to pursue medical education
have also increased as we have
expanded our class size from 100 to 120 students. We are also dedicated
to better capturing our goal of increasing diversity of all types -
ethnic, disadvantaged, and rural, for instance - in our admissions
process and related pipeline
I am pleased by this current diversity focus, by the class size and by
the larger number of Oregon residents. But can we do more? How else can
our admissions process mirror Oregon's healthcare needs?
I recently was asked to submit written testimony to Oregon Senators
Bates and Westlund on Senate Bill 329, also known as the "Oregon Better
Health Act," - a reform proposal that may, over time, restructure
healthcare finance in Oregon. The
policy goal is to fix the inequitable access now ingrained in our
healthcare system. The Senators asked me to respond to a specific
question: how can healthcare reform policy ensure an adequate number of
primary and rural physicians in
My comments on SB 329 focused generally on the role of provider
education in healthcare reform, including a discussion of how
increasing our statewide network of clinical settings for medical
education in Oregon would place more students
in rural communities, potentially increasing the probability they may
return there to practice.
While our School's admissions process was not explicitly part of this
testimony, considering their question reinforced my thinking on the
need for its continual refinement. It is clear we want to educate more
Oregonian physicians, but what
kind of physicians?
For instance, the federal government designates nearly all Oregon
counties as full or partial "Health Professional Shortage Areas" for
primary care. If the state is in need of primary care physicians, is
there a way to address this need in
our admissions strategy? Alternatively, in years to come, if Oregon
needs a focus on specialty medicine, can we reflect this priority?
Our admissions process could also consider emerging delivery care
models. Provider shortages are not limited to physicians, and many
healthcare access issues, especially in rural areas, are likely to be
addressed with a focus on
interdisciplinary healthcare teams. Over time, we may want to find ways
that our admissions and educational programs can strengthen team-based
Similarly, with the increasing national focus on translational medicine
and research, how will we inculcate the demand for clinician scientists
into the admissions process of our graduate programs, as well as the
MD/PhD and MD/MPH joint
Undoubtedly, these considerations present challenges, including the
fact that a student committed to primary care, for example, in his or
her first year may be intellectually engaged elsewhere by graduation.
Graduate medical education
plays a crucial role too.
In the coming years, I look forward to transparently considering (and
then reconsidering) our admissions process as one tool of many to meet
both our strategic goals and the healthcare needs of Oregon.
Faculty Feedback: Who evaluates the Dean?
The Office of the Dean regularly receives questions and comments
from faculty on a variety of topics. Last month's "Faculty Feedback"
about new policies regarding required annual evaluations for all
faculty elicited a follow-up
Q: It is great that the evaluation system will be implemented for the
performance of individual faculty members and chairpersons. But how are
the upper level administrative officers evaluated, including the
President, Dean, Vice President
and Associate Dean, in order to judge if the school is running
efficiently and is on the right track?
A: OHSU's President and "direct reports," such as Dean Richardson and
Vice Presidents, ultimately answer to the OHSU Board of Directors
(appointed by the Governor, approved by the Senate;
click here for more information on the Board.)
The Dean is formally reviewed annually by the Board with input from the
President in the context of the achievement of specific performance
measures, goals and objectives that are, in turn, based on a
combination of the goals and
objectives of the University, including overall financial performance
and individual departmental performance. The President is reviewed
annually by the Board.
For the past two years, this process has been augmented by "360" degree
surveys for the executive team to which the Board members contribute. A
360 degree survey is used to collect feedback for an individual from
multiple sources and
perspectives. Targeted to all OHSU leaders, the 360 degree process uses
self-assessment and feedback from subordinates, supervisors, and peers.
The feedback is delivered by the employee's "manager" (in the case of
the Dean, the "manager"
is the President/Board) to the leader in the form of a report, which
catalogs strengths and development needs. Comments and ratings made by
employees delivering feedback are combined with others to help protect
anonymity. The 360 degree
feedback system is based on OHSU's core leadership competencies.
Salary, incentives (bonus) payouts and/or employment status are
determined based on a review of both performance measures and 360
The other leadership positions that you mention within the School of
Medicine, such as Associate Deans, go through the same process, but
would be reviewed by the Dean, or other supervisor, rather than the
Submit your question or comment to: Kathleen McFall, Director of Communications, SOM, email@example.com.
"Learners at Every Level" committee report
As part of the School's strategic planning process, four faculty
committees were charged with articulating tasks, responsibilities and
recommendations in the context of the School's strategic goals. The
"Learners at Every Level"
committee recently submitted its final report to the Dean.
This committee was asked to review the state of the learning
environment at OHSU. Committee members represented a cross section of
learner groups including medical students, graduate students,
residents, postdoctoral fellows, research
faculty and regular faculty from both basic science and clinical
"The committee did an admirable job of bringing together information
about the incredible variety of learning experiences at OHSU,
encompassing a broad and diverse landscape that no single committee
member could have evaluated alone," said
Dave Dawson, PhD, committee chair.
The report's introduction states: "The OHSU community contains many who
are passionate about education and who are justifiably proud of the
learning environment that has been created here. Challenges remain,
however, if OHSU is to move
from "Good to Great" and assume a national leadership role in medical
education. Accordingly, within the enormous territory encompassed by
the term "learning environment," we identify here the most obvious
obstacles and propose strategies
for addressing them, both short-term and long-term. In order to present
the results in the context of potential action items for the SOM, we
present these as problems, divided according to groups of learners;
acknowledging that these
groups have, in many cases, overlapping concerns."
The report is posted on the School's strategic planning Web page,
The Learners at Every Level Committee members are: David Dawson, PhD,
Chair, Donald Girard, MD, Dean's Office Liaison, Judy Bowen, MD, Miko
Enomoto, MD, David Farrens, PhD, Jennifer Goldman, MD candidate, Cheryl
Maslen, PhD, Andrew Ross,
MD candidate, Christopher Severyn, MD, PhD candidate, Nathan Selden,
MD, Robert Shapiro, PhD, Kristen Wessel, PhD, Clare Wilhelm, PhD.
Faculty "exit interviews" begin in July
As noted above, the School's strategic planning process charged four
faculty committees with articulating tasks, responsibilities and
recommendations to meet strategic goals. The Faculty Engagement
Committee was charged with
recommending appropriate metrics for evaluating faculty satisfaction
and engagement, and to assemble innovative possibilities for increasing
The committee determined that "exit interviews" were a key metric for
measuring aspects of faculty satisfaction. Historically, no process has
existed to conduct exit interviews. The report states: "We recognized
that faculty who have left
OHSU are a valuable source of information that is currently not
captured. It is recommended that exit interviews be initiated by a
trained Human Resources team for departing faculty and be continued for
a 5-year period."
In response, the Dean requested Human Resources to develop the needed
tool, which has now been approved. Effective mid-July, the Dean's
office will invite all departing faculty to participate in an exit
The process involves completing an online confidential questionnaire
and/or an in-person interview. The exit interview questionnaire is
structured to collect basic information about age, gender, ethnicity,
rank and specialty in order to
detect trends in categories of departing faculty. It also provides
opportunities for faculty to comment on the reasons for departure,
including questions about effectiveness of School leaders and
The information collected from the Exit Interviews will be compiled
quarterly by Human Resources and forwarded to the Dean and Associate
Dean of Faculty Development & Faculty Affairs.
Dr. Stenzel-Poore appointed interim chair of MMI
Mary Stenzel-Poore, PhD, Professor, has been appointed Interim Chair
of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI).
Dr. Stenzel-Poore obtained a PhD in Immunology from OHSU (class of
1987) and obtained additional training in Neuroscience at the Salk
Institute. In 1995, she joined the School as an Assistant Professor in
MMI. Her dual training in
immunology and neuroscience has resulted in development of a NIH-funded
research program in neuroimmunology. A primary research focus involves
the role of inflammation in injury and protection of the central
Dr. Stenzel-Poore is also the Director of the MMI Graduate Training
Program. She is a member of a study section for NINDS and heavily
involved in diversity enhancement efforts, both at OHSU and as Chair of
Review of Specialized
Neuroscience Research Programs for under-represented minority serving
Dr. Stenzel-Poore noted: "The future of medical research calls for new
ways of inquiry that require multi-disciplinary collaboration and
integration among basic scientists and pre-clinical and clinical
scientists to solve challenging
biomedical problems. MMI's nationally-recognized expertise in areas of
pathogenesis of infection and immunity integrates well with the
clinical and translational research goals of OHSU and offers great
synergy for the pursuit of joint
ventures as new research initiatives evolve."
School receives HHMI grant to connect with local schools
The School has been awarded a grant of $738,955 from the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Precollege Science Education Initiative
for Biomedical Research Institutions. A total of 297 institutions were
invited to submit proposals
for the outreach grants through a competition announced last year.
Thirty-two grants were awarded ranging from $529,308 to $750,000 to be
distributed over a five-year period.
The grant was awarded to Oregon Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Program Director Lisa Dodson, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of
Family Medicine, as principal investigator. The goal of the grant is to
develop a coherent pipeline of
activities for rural and underserved/underrepresented students
beginning in the third grade, which will become a continuum that
carries the student through high school, into college and eventually to
graduate school or professional
Specifically, the funds will be used to develop a new elementary school
science teacher training program cooperatively with Eastern Oregon
University and Northeast Oregon AHEC, called Great Discoveries, to
develop a mobile outreach van to
bring OHSU research and other educational activities to our most rural
and underserved communities and schools, and expand the number of rural
and other underserved children served by the AHEC MedStars program.
"These efforts are directly related to the School's goal of increasing
and supporting the representation in healthcare professions of people
from diverse backgrounds, including ethnic, disadvantaged, and rural,"
said Ella Booth, PhD, MBA,
Associate Dean, Administration, Planning and Diversity Affairs for the
School of Medicine.
Internal search for Associate Dean
The Office of the Dean is seeking internal candidates for the
position of Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs.
The position is open to associate or full professors and reports to the
Vice Dean. A search committee
will be formed soon comprised of representatives from the Dean's office
and the faculty. The position is part-time; however, the exact FTE is
negotiable. For a position description, candidate recommendations or
expressions of interest,
please contact Nicole Lockart, Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs &
Administration, at lockartn@ohsu.
Congratulations Class of 2007 and recipients of annual awards!
for a listing of the graduates of the Class of 2007 and announcements
of recipients of the School's annual awards, including the Gold-Headed
Cane, Resko and Humanism awards presented at the School's Hooding
Nicole Lockart appointed Assistant Dean
Nicole Lockart has been appointed Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs
& Administration in the School of Medicine. Nicole has served in a
number of positions at OHSU since 1988 and has been a valued member of
the Dean's staff since 1994.
She is currently pursuing an MBA from Marylhurst University and will
complete the program this winter term.
Nicole will provide leadership, guidance and assistance to Chairs,
Center Directors and Department Administrators on all aspects of
faculty affairs, including faculty recruitment, appointments,
promotions, tenure decisions, salary
increases and termination. An essential element of her new role will be
to enhance efforts to recruit and retain a diverse faculty to support a
positive, vibrant work climate within the School of Medicine. In
addition, she will oversee
personnel issues; develop, implement, and enforce administrative
policies and procedures for the School; and represent the School on
various institution-wide committees.
Viewpoint: Are we serious about teaching professionalism in medicine?
A "Viewpoint" article authored by John Saultz, MD, Professor and
Chair, Department of Family Medicine, was published in the June 2007
issue of Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American
Colleges (AAMC). Dr. Saultz
adds his perspective to a continuing discussion in the AAMC journal and
other scholarly publications on the need to teach professionalism in
medical schools. An excerpt from the AAMC abstract follows:
"This article outlines three fundamental challenges that powerfully
affect the ability to promote professionalism in students and young
physicians. To overcome these challenges, the author suggests four
steps that can be taken by the
medical education community. First, medical schools should address cost
and access to care as first-order intellectual problems and should
encourage research in these areas. Second, schools should develop
programs to humanize science and
restore scientific integrity beyond the requirements of compliance
programs. Next, medical leaders should celebrate those who best embody
moral leadership in the profession. Finally, the medical education
community should acknowledge that
the availability of affordable health care to the public depends on the
practice choices of medical school graduates and should accept greater
responsibility for this outcome."
The journal is available online to subscribers at www.aamc.org, in the
OHSU Library and copies are available by request from the SOM Director
of Communications, Kathleen McFall, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discovery Spotlight: Stephen Back wins Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award
Stephen A. Back, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of
Pediatrics, has been awarded a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award
(NINDS) for his pioneering work in the cellular and molecular cause(s)
of brain injury in premature
"I am thrilled the NINDS continues to recognize the potential of the
unique research models we have developed - some of which are not used
anywhere else in the world. With the help of this long-term grant, we
hope to devise therapies that
can not only reverse brain damage in infants but slow cognitive decline
in aging adults as well," said Dr. Back.
Dr. Back's research looks at the mechanisms responsible for causing
white matter brain injury in developing infants. The goal is to benefit
three groups of children at risk for cerebral palsy (CP) and associated
white matter injury:
infants that survive after premature birth; full-term babies later
discovered to have brain injury that occurred during pregnancy; and
infants born with heart disease.
Dr. Back and his team have shown that during human brain development
there is a critical time period when the cells (oligos or
oligodendrocyte progenitors) required to make myelin are easily killed
by low blood flow to the brain. The loss
of these oligo-cells results in failure to make the myelin required for
normal brain function.
Recently, Dr. Back's team developed the first animal model that
reproduces the major forms of brain damage that occur in premature
infants. This model has altered perceptions about how damage occurs to
the developing white matter of the
"We previously believed that the developing brain fails to make normal
myelin, because the oligo-cells that make the myelin were completely
killed. Hence, it was thought that the children with CP sustain
permanent abnormalities in movement
and intellect," Dr. Back explained. "However, our recent studies
suggest that this view may not be correct."
Dr. Back and Lawrence Sherman, PhD, an Associate Scientist in the OHSU
Oregon National Primate Research Center, have discovered that after
adult white matter damage, numerous oligo-cells survive, but fail to
mature to make myelin. This
appears related to the molecule hyaluronic acid (HA) that builds up in
the damaged white matter and prevents the normal production of myelin.
"The oligo-cells are blocked at a critical period in their cell
development before they are able to make myelin. The fact that these
cells appear normal and are present in large numbers in the regions of
brain damage raises the possibility
that we might develop therapies that allow these oligo-cells to mature
and make the myelin needed to restore greater function to the damaged
brain," Dr. Back said.
Congress established the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award in 1983
in honor of Sen. Jacob Javits, who for several years battled
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig's
disease. Sen. Javits was a staunch
advocate for research into a wide variety of brain and nervous system
The Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award is given to scientists who
have demonstrated exceptional scientific excellence and productivity in
one of the areas of neurological research supported by NINDS.
Approximately 505 awards have been
made to date. The awards typically support a researcher for several
Candidates sought to attend "Healthcare Leadership for the 21st Century"
The School is seeking faculty interested in attending the next
Foundation for Medical Excellence session, "Healthcare Leadership for
the 21st Century." This seminar is ideally suited for mid- to
senior-level faculty members who are
interested in developing expertise in the healthcare system, and
represent present or future leaders in healthcare. The OHSU Hospital
and OHSUMG are co-sponsoring the tuition relief along with the SOM and
the faculty member's own
department/division. Nominees must have the support of their chair as
the department will need to help share the cost of the tuition. The
Office the Dean will partner with departments in sharing the cost of
tuition. To nominate a candidate
or express interest, please contact Nicole Lockart at email@example.com
by July 10, 2007. Selected participants will be notified by July 17,