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Committed to service

November 3, 2014

Dear School of Medicine Community, 

Dean Mark RichardsonFaculty, staff, trainees and alumni in the OHSU School of Medicine are committed to service — it’s a defining value of our community as collectively we strive to provide excellence in health care on a daily basis while also working, through education, research and outreach, to continually improve the health and well-being of those we serve.

As we mark Veterans Day, I want to highlight this service in the context of our partnership with and commitment to the community of veterans in Oregon and beyond.

This strength of this partnership is symbolized by the quarter-mile suspension bridge, affectionately known as the “sky bridge,” physically connecting the VA Portland Health Care System* with the OHSU Marquam Hill campus. Every day, the flow of people between our two institutions is a potent reminder of the potential we have to amplify our impact on health outcomes.

Many of our faculty physicians provide direct health care at the VA Portland hospital and clinics, as they work together with researchers to discover new and better ways to improve the quality and efficiency of health care provided to veterans.

Through our education programs, the school seeks to make an enduring impact on the health care of the veterans community by training future physicians and other health care professionals in the unique needs of veterans.

Currently, nearly all of our 850 resident-physicians complete part of their advanced training and provide care at the VA Portland hospital and clinics, and all of our 526 medical students participate in clinical rotations there across a range of specialties. This year, we also began a process to identify new opportunities to expand these training partnerships to other regional VA sites and our Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education traveled to Washington, D.C. for a Capitol Hill briefing to advocate for a broad-based approach to expanded partnerships. The school also continued to be at an all-time high in terms of veterans enrolled in our medical school educational programs.

These are just some of the ways that our medical school community is focused on strengthening the important and long-standing partnership with the Oregon veterans community. However, in closing, I emphasize the main point of this message. This November, and every month, we honor those who have served our country in the armed forces, their families and those who provide their support. While the designated day in November is a catalyst for expressing gratitude, we are grateful every day. Thank you. Your service and contributions are valued.

Best Regards,


Mark Richardson, M.D., MBA
Dean, OHSU School of Medicine
President, Faculty Practice Plan


*The Department of Veterans Affairs and its predecessor organizations have a long, proud history of serving Veterans in western and central Oregon, and in southwest Washington. The Portland VA traces its ancestry to a Veterans Hospital established on Marquam Hill in SW Portland in 1929, and the Barnes U.S. Army Hospital built on what is now our Vancouver Division in 1941.

Over the past fifteen years, the Portland VA Medical Center expanded beyond its initial two divisions to deliver a variety of health care programs at twelve sites spread across our catchment area. This network makes up what the VA refers to as a Health Care System.

To better reflect the fact we offer a system-wide spectrum of care, the Portland VA Medical Center (PVAMC) will henceforth be known as the VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS).

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