Success Stories

facilities working on pipes

At OHSU we care about our employees' growth in their careers by giving them what they need in order to be successful. Here are some of their stories.

success story kat smiling

Kat Phillips

Program Manager

Learning and Organizational Development

OHSU Career Path: PAS Specialist → PAS Resource Specialist → Program Manager

“Don’t be afraid to take that next step when you have put in the work!”

I started at OHSU as a PAS specialist working in the Orthopedics and Spine Center. I wanted to get my foot in the door at OHSU, and this seemed like a great opportunity. I was quickly promoted internally to a surgery coordinator role.

I began networking heavily within the organization. I reached out to many individuals that were project or program managers to ask how they were successful in their roles at OHSU. The power of forming relationships to compound shared knowledge cannot be underestimated. I really benefited from reaching out to people who inspired me and did work that interested me. I also took all of the project management classes through the CWE Center to build my program management skills. Continuous learning is something that should never be abandoned. Whether you decide to go back to school for an advanced degree or read a book to increase your understanding of an industry, you should always strive to expand your knowledge.

After seven months, I applied and accepted the role as a program manager within Learning and Organizational Development. One of the best parts of my current role is the autonomy that I have. I am encouraged to take on new projects, learn new skills and apply those skills directly to my role. Because I manage different programs, I have the unique opportunity of networking with diverse individuals across the organization. This ability to make connections has been a great way for me to learn and share industry knowledge with others.

Britney Smiling Success Stories


Environmental Services

OHSU Career Path: EVS Technician → Lead EVS Technician → Supervisor

“Never, ever give up on your goals or what you want.”

Growing up, I never thought I would work in a hospital setting. I was a manager in retail for eight years before coming to OHSU.

While I was figuring out what I wanted to do long-term, I spent a lot of my time here at OHSU with my grandparents who had cancer. I never forgot the kind treatment that we received from staff. From the surgeons to the nurses to the environmental services technicians, everyone was unforgettable. Everyone treated us like family.

I started at OHSU in an entry-level position for Environmental Services, excited to learn about the hospital and grow professionally. When I felt ready for a promotion, I interviewed several times for a supervisor position. I felt heart-broken when I was turned down, but I continued to work hard and to learn more about the department.

One key to my success was asking questions. I reached out and asked what management was looking for in a new supervisor. I also gained many skills by taking the Emerging Leader Certificate Series. Even though I was a manager at my previous job, I gained new skills related to training, teaching and communication.

Now that I am promoted to supervisor, I learn something new every day. I love coming into work and helping my team if they need anything. I also love growing in the department that plays an important role in saving patients’ lives.

Success Story Woman Smiling

PAS/MA Supervisor

OHSU Sleep Disorders Clinic

OHSU Career Path: Office Assistant → PAS Specialist → Office Specialist → Administrative Assistant→ PAS Resource Specialist → PAS/MA Supervisor

“Never limit yourself to your position description. Go above and beyond. People do see it!”

I started May of 2000 in the temporary pool as an office assistant without any prior hospital or office experience. Eventually, I was hired on as an office specialist in the

OHSU Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic. I worked there for two years, but I was unfortunately laid off for a year. I came back to OHSU in July 2005 as an office specialist in the patient reception center in the School of Dentistry. I worked there for four years until I accepted a position in Pediatric Dentistry as an Administrative assistant.

I successfully advocated for my position to be reclassified as a PAS resource specialist. AFSCME was very helpful with that process. AFSCME then recruited me to be an AFSCME steward, which allowed me to help my fellow co-workers. If anyone is interested in developing leadership skills, I highly recommend being an AFSCME steward. AFSCME provides classes, training and seminars that helped me be a leader.

I worked in Pediatric Dentistry for over twelve years and applied for many manager and supervisor positions. After working closely with my HR department and getting advice about how to get a more challenging position, I was finally offered a position as a PAS/MA supervisor in the sleep disorders clinic in Fall 2018.

In my current position, I really enjoy the independence I have, the ability to make decisions and the opportunity to help my peers work as a team.

Behind the Badge

The people that work at OHSU are passionate individuals both inside and outside of work. Here are some: