Core Themes

Core Theme 1: Learning Environment

The Learning Environment core theme reflects OHSU's intention of recruiting a more diverse and inclusive community and ensuring that graduates meet industry standards upon completion of their programs.  OHSU strives to engage faculty, students and clinicians in ongoing learning by creating a culture that nurtures the quest to discover new knowledge as well as the translation of that knowledge into education and practice.

This core theme was developed by a Learning Environment Core Theme Team comprised of faculty and administrators representing a broad cross section of the university. Three core theme objectives and eleven indicators were identified to measure the impact:

Objective 1.1: Develop student pipeline to meet the health needs of an increasingly diverse Oregon and nation.


1.1.1 Percentage of underrepresented minority students in OHSU programs, of total OHSU students.
1.1.2  Following involvement, OnTrack participants will report increases in self-perceptions of their academic identity or motivational resilience needed to progress to post-secondary education.
1.1.3 Percentage of OHSU nursing BS graduates trained outside the Portland campus.

Rationale for Indicators:

As the only academic health center in Oregon, OHSU strives to achieve the diversity reflected in the state today and anticipate demographic projections for tomorrow. A diverse workforce is needed to address the needs of increasingly complex patient populations and communities.  Encouraging more students to pursue sciences in high school and college, especially minority students who tend to be underrepresented, is critical to achieving improved population health in Oregon while maintaining a steady pipeline for future health care professionals and scientists. 

Objective 1.2: Provide a supportive learning and work environment for diverse students, faculty and staff.


1.2.1  Percentage of students that are satisfied with  OHSU climate for diversity and inclusion.
1.2.2  Percentage of faculty and staff members that are satisfied with the OHSU's climate for diversity and inclusion.
1.2.3 Percentage of minority faculty at OHSU.

Rationale for Indicators:

Promoting a supportive learning and working environment for faculty, students and staff is critical to OHSU's continued success in recruiting the most talented, qualified and diverse individuals. Faculty are asked to assess various aspects of their working environment, including research resources, collegial relationships, culture, management and policy, pay and benefits. Students are asked about mentoring, program and faculty quality, and availability and effectiveness of academic and student support services. Responses from both groups provide valuable feedback on how to enhance OHSU's diverse learning and work environment.

Objective 1.3:  Produce graduates in health professions, scientists, engineers and managers who meet appropriate industry standards.


1.3.1 Percentage of OHSU graduates that meet or exceed the national pass rate on national credentialing exams on the first attempt.
1.3.2 Percentage of programs with student learning outcomes and assessment plans.
1.3.3 Percentage of students in select clinical programs completing degrees within 100% of usual program time.
1.3.4 Percentage of degree-seeking students that persist to second year.
1.3.5 Percentage of courses evaluated that have an average student rating of >5 on a 6-point scale.

Rationale for Indicators:

In order to assure that OHSU is preparing graduates that are well-qualified and meet industry standards, several factors are important to successful preparation. Through the development of program outcomes assessment plans, meaningful measures of student learning and success are defined, assessed and results used to enhance student learning and program effectiveness. The creation of the Teaching and Learning Center and the increased use of simulation in the curriculum are designed to enhance learning outcomes. Completion rates and national credentialing exam pass rates are common metrics used to determine institutional effectiveness and provide important feedback to the programs on the preparation of their graduates. These structures provide the foundation to help ensure that graduates are well prepared to meet the increasing needs required by health, business and scientific industries.

Core Theme 2: Interprofessional Education

Over the last decade faculty within health professions have recognized the need to change learning and practice conditions. The Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public made recommendations for future health care professions.  These recommendations included:   faculty, student and staff learners develop additional skills related to working effectively, developing cultural competency and implementing system-based quality improvements. The goal is for learning to cross and connect organizational boundaries.

A team of faculty and administrators representing a broad cross section of the university developed the Interprofessional Education core theme. To measure the progress toward implementation of interprofessional education curriculum, one core theme objective and four indicators were identified:

Objective 2.1: Promote an institutional culture and infrastructure that enhances interprofessional health education.


2.1.1  Percentage of programs that adopt four common systems:  academic calendar, grading, course evaluation and protected IPE time in curriculum.
2.1.2  Student enrollment in interprofessional or multiprogressional curriculum will exceed 1000.
2.1.3  Average faculty facilitator rating for the IPE Foundation Series is >5 on a six-point scale.
2.1.4  Average student rating for the IPE Foundation Series is >5 on a six-point scale.

Rationale for Indicators:

With professional accrediting bodies in health professions increasing their expectations for interprofessional education as part of discipline-specific learning experiences and the public's expectations for safe and effective care, interprofessional education is an essential direction for OHSU to undertake. Several initiatives are well underway to support this initiative across the university.  Recently, multiple academic calendars were replaced with one. The opening of the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building has more dedicated simulation space and interlinked facilities to provide shared locations for multiple disciplines. Transportation linking all the campuses, buildings and structures will advance opportunities for collaborative research.

Core Theme 3: Clinical and Translational Research

As Oregon's only academic health center, OHSU has a unique role in the region with substantial clinical and patient resources, a large educational program, and a vigorous research portfolio.

OHSU includes multiple departments, research centers and institutes that form the foundation of a diverse and vital research enterprise. A partial listing of these entities includes the four schools; Vollum Institute; Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute; Knight Cancer Institute; Oregon National Primate Research Center; Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Science; Child Development and Rehabilitation Center; Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction; Oregon Rural Practice-Based Research Network; Institute of Environmental Health; and OHSU Hospital and Clinics; and Center for Health Systems and Effectiveness, a collaborative venture with Oregon Health Authority, OHSU Healthcare, private and public health care purchasers and other researchers at OHSU and across Oregon.

Translational research at OHSU occurs within all of these entities, and is characterized by a strong and vibrant scientific community; a vigorous research portfolio with rapid growth of funding; high value on collaboration among researchers and comparatively low barriers to intra-institutional research; recent expansion of physical facilities for research; and institutional research infrastructure, including well established educational training programs in translational research methods. OHSU has a long and successful history of collaborating with local, state, and regional partners to advance the research agenda, including extensive outreach into the community. The research portfolio spans the translational spectrum, from basic science investigations, through clinical research, early phase therapeutic trials, population-based studies, and finally to health systems research.

A team of faculty and administrators representing a broad cross-section of the university developed the Clinical and Translational Research core theme. To measure the progress toward the clinical and translational research core theme, the university identified two core theme objectives and six indicators as follows:

Objective 3.1: Promote research career development to provide a "career ready" biomedical science workforce.  


3.1.1  Annual success rates for Career Development Awards  (K Awards) applications to the National Institutes of Health.
3.1.2 Number of faculty, trainees and students that complete clinical and translational research training (degrees and certificates).
3.1.3  Percentage of OHSU Ph.D. graduates reporting post-graduation employment or postdoctoral study.

Objective 3.2: Maintain OHSU's prominence as a research university.


3.2.1  Total sponsored project revenue in a given year.
3.2.2  Average annual sponsored project revenue per faculty with OHSU Principal Investigator status.
3.2.3  Number of new inventions disclosed in a given year.

Rationale for Indicators:

Research at OHSU distinguishes Oregon at the national level and attracts leading scientists and top students who share the drive to explore great and important challenges.  In addition, OHSU continues to lead in innovative approaches to health care reform on the clinical side.  Research also plays a critical role in improving treatments, reducing costs and ultimately ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

Indicators for this core theme are meaningful for determining OHSU's impact on the development of a workforce with clinical and translational research competencies. Data sources supporting these indicators are readily available and currently gathered, analyzed and tracked.

Core Theme 4: Health System and Health Policy Leadership

OHSU aspires to be the innovation leader in health care reform in the state. The education mission is inextricably linked with OHSU's clinical care operations. The clinical setting is a critical part of the learning environment at OHSU, and all clinical operations provide essential financial support for all of OHSU's operations. At the heart of current healthcare reform efforts is the pursuit of : 1) increased population health, 2) enhanced patient-centered care, and 3)  reduced per capita healthcare costs. Only by achieving all three of these objectives can genuine improvements be realized in our health care system.

A team of faculty and administrators representing a broad cross-section of the university developed the Health System and Health Policy Leadership core theme. To measure the progress toward the health system and health policy leadership core theme, the university identified two core theme objectives and three indicators as follows:

Objective 4.1: Ensure OHSU students gain knowledge about population health and health policy.


4.1.1  Percentage of programs that require at least one Student Learning Outcome that measures evolving health systems, population health, health policy, resource allocation or leadership.

Objective 4.2: Bridge academic research, health policy and community practice to improve public health.


4.2.1  Annual sponsored projects revenue specifically focusing on health systems, health science research or evidence-based policy.
4.2.2  Perception of Oregonians regarding OHSU's partnering with others to improve health and well-being of the state's citizens or leading discussions on health care issues or health reform.

Rationale for Indicators:

With so many regulatory requirements and unknowns facing current and future health care providers, it is imperative that OHSU's graduates understand the important issues and interests in the health policy arena. In addition to the health policy environment, OHSU's clinical settings represent opportunities for health care practitioners, scientists and students to learn from one another and further the university-wide value of working together. Improving quality and safety outcomes is linked to health care providers working together, standardizing routines and fulfilling their unique role on the team. All have systems in place for data collection.