Living Our Values at OHSU

The university addresses issues identified in the Covington report

Scenic photo of the Portland skyline and Willamette river

OHSU President Danny Jacobs and the Board of Directors intend for OHSU to become a national leader in creating a university environment where all feel welcome and safe.

OHSU leaders had a clear message when they released the Covington report Dec. 9, 2021: The university has work to do before it’s a place “where everyone can thrive.”

Now that work is underway. (Scroll down to the "Progress reports" section.)

OHSU President Danny Jacobs and the Board of Directors have created a framework for action, accountability and transparency. 

Dr. Jacobs and the board acted swiftly to make sure the report leads to lasting change. They intend for OHSU to become a national leader in creating a culture where all feel welcome and safe.

The report — the result of an eight-month investigation — showed “how challenging the work environment has been for some OHSU members,” Dr. Jacobs and Board Chair Wayne Monfries said. “Just one person experiencing inequitable treatment, discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or retaliation is one too many.”

Dr. Jacobs and the board's response includes forming two committees:

The committees started meeting in February 2022. They have:

The committees are focused on:

  • Realigning the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.
  • Revising and streamlining reporting and investigation procedures.
  • Developing and communicating a strategic institutionwide diversity, equity and inclusion vision.

The work dovetails with OHSU's:

  • Committee co-chairs brief Dr. Jacobs and Board Chair Monfries each week.
  • The committees submit progress reports at least once a month.
  • The committees are developing a dashboard to track progress.
  • OHSU is reporting the work and progress to the public and the OHSU community.

OHSU developed the framework with trauma-informed system change experts. The committees will use a trauma-informed approach anchored in principles from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (simplified here):

  • Ensuring physical and psychological safety.
  • Transparency in decision-making to build trust. 
  • Offering mutual support in healing and recovery.
  • Acknowledging and managing power dynamics.
  • Lifting community voices; and highlighting individual and collective strengths.
  • Recognizing and addressing overt discrimination, implicit bias, racism and historical trauma; and accounting for cultural, historical and gender factors.

OHSU hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Nancy Kestenbaum of the Covington & Burling law firm in March 2021.

The university asked them to investigate:

  • Inequitable treatment
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Bullying or intimidation

Based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression

Dr. Jacobs and the Board of Directors chose a firm with deep expertise in racial and gender issues at large, complex organizations. They decided the work was critical to OHSU’s goal of becoming an anti-racist, multicultural organization. 

Implementation Committee

Co-chairs

April Cuprill Comas, J.D.

April Cuprill Comas, J.D., OHSU executive vice president and general counsel. She serves as the chief legal counsel to the university's board, president and other senior executives. Cuprill Comas advises on the legal implications of a wide variety of issues facing an academic medical center. Before joining OHSU, Cuprill Comas spent 17 years in private practice. She is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the State Bar of Texas, the Washington State Bar, the National Hispanic Bar Association and the National Bar Association. She is also a trustee of the Meyer Memorial Trust, president of the Port of Portland Commission, and a member of the International Women’s Forum.

"This is not a transactional process, this is a body of work that will change the culture of the institution and frankly the most important work of my career."

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, has been vice president for nursing affairs, and a professor and dean of the School of Nursing since 2013. Bakewell-Sachs has a strong commitment to being trauma-informed, and to diversity, equity and inclusion. She hopes the Implementation and Oversight Committee work results in OHSU being an organization where members feel that they belong, and where they can be and feel safe, be their best selves and do their best work.

“In this work, we will promote relationships and earn trust, support healing, and seek to grow, unlearn, relearn and change."

  • Jessica Asai, J.D., interim AAEO manager, interim Title IX coordinator
  • Bridget Barnes, Ph.D., M.B.A., CHCIO, senior vice president and chief information officer
  • Travis Brown, associate vice president, Employee and Labor Relations
  • Shaniqua Crawford, J.D., director, Human Resources Business Partners
  • Dana Director, M.S., Ph.D., vice president for research administration and senior staff officer
  • Derick Du Vivier, M.D., M.B.A., senior vice president, diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Renee Edwards, M.D., M.B.A., senior vice president, chief medical officer, OHSU Health
  • Tim Marshall, CIA, chief integrity officer
  • Maulin Patel, M.B.A., vice president for finance and treasurer
  • Megan Pugmire, director, Brand and Design
  • David Robinson, Ph.D., interim executive vice president and provost
  • Emily Schults, J.D., deputy general counsel
  • Serilda Summers-McGee, M.B.A., M.Ed., interim vice president, Human Resources

Oversight Committee

Co-chairs

Alisha Moreland-Capuia, M.D.

Alisha Moreland-Capuia, M.D.,is an expert in trauma-informed systems change. She is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and OHSU, and the former medical director of the OHSU Avel Gordly Center for Healing. She is the founder and director of McLean Hospital'sInstitutefor Trauma-Informed Systems Change. Dr. Moreland-Capuia was previously the co-chair of the OHSU Campus Safety Review Task Force and continues to take part in implementing recommendations.

"A trauma informed organization is a safer, better organization."

Michael Alexander, M.S.S.

Michael Alexander, M.S.S., is the former president of the Urban League of Portland, and serves as vice president of the Port of Portland Commission, board chair for the Black United Fund, and secretary of The Albina Vision Trust. Alexander worked as a clinical social worker for 10 years, and served in executive roles at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon, Magellan Behavioral Health, Human Affairs International, and Aetna. From April 2018 to May 2019, Alexander was interim vice president of global diversity and inclusion at Portland State University.

"Community grows when we plant trees whose shade we may never see."

  • Meaghan Mayeda Adkins, LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), Doernbecher Pediatrics Bethany Village, Asian Pacific Islander Resource Group
  • Thierno Madjou Bah, Ph.D., senior research associate, International Employee Resource Group
  • Breanna Caruso, Ph.D. candidate, Graduate Researchers United
  • Stephanie Dukhovny, M.D., associate professor, OB/GYN Perinatology Division, Gender Equity in Academic Health and Medicine
  • Jenn Fox, RN, M.S., director, Quality-Women & Children
  • Leslie Garcia, M.P.A., assistant dean, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, School of Medicine
  • XiaoYue Han, M.D., house officer, Surgery, House Officers Union
  • Amanda Hoskins, M.B.A., assistant vice president of advancement services, OHSU Foundation
  • Claire Irvan, program technician, AFSCME Local 328
  • Asha Jetmalani, D.O., psychiatrist, Transgender Health Program, at-large member
  • Megan Jones, M.Ed., assistant integrity officer, Black Employee Resource Group
  • Yasmeen Khellah, M.P.H., Respect for All and Rising Voices program assistant, Confidential Advocacy Program
  • Amy Koski, center manager, Center for Embryonic Cell & Gene Therapy
  • Theresia Lloyd-Siemer, health unit coordinator, at-large member
  • Leigh Martin, medical student, School of Medicine, OHSU Equity and Justice Council
  • Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D., vice chair of Research/Psychiatry
  • Rana Najjar, Ph.D., associate professor, Monmouth Campus, Middle Eastern and North African Resource Group
  • Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., director, Biomaterials & Biomechanics, Faculty Senate
  • Dawn Richardson, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., associate dean of social justice, School of Public Health
  • Francis Rojina, M.P.H., inclusion coordinator, Klamath Falls Campus, School of Nursing
  • Holden Sanders, Au.D., clinical research associate, Oregon Hearing Research Center, Ability Resource Group
  • Jessica Savara, LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), CADC II (certified alcohol drug counselor, Culturas Unidas Employee Resource Group
  • Nate Selden, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, FAAP, professor of neurological surgery and chair of Neurological Surgery, Professional Board
  • Stefani Sheldon, M.P.H., research administrator, School of Dentistry
  • Shari Shelton, M.A., M.A. Ed., system application analyst, Women's Employee Resource Group
  • Dale Stark, M.B.A., program administrator, Department of Pediatrics, Veteran's Employee Resource Group
  • Vashti Stutsman, All-Hill Student Council
  • Violet Trammel, police officer, Department of Public Safety, OHSU Police Association
  • Andrea Tran, PAS (patient access service) specialist, at-large member
  • Grace Ty, M.B.A., senior performance improvement consultant, Quality Management
  • Melissa Vazquez, RN, Oregon Nurses Association
  • Patrick Vogelsong, M.B.A, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, director, Nursing, OHSU Pride
  • Sierra Walker, community safety coordinator, at-large member
  • Natasha Warikoo, M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science
  • Monika Wojcik, ambulatory automation pharmacist, at-large member
  • Meredith Zauflik, M.P.A., research project manager, research-ranked employee