The Mario and Edith Campagna Professorship was founded in 2009 by philanthropists Mario and Edie Campagna. The Campagnas were long-time friends and supporters of the Department of Neurological Surgery at OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Dr. Mario Campagna was a distinguished Oregon neurosurgeon, educated at OHSU and trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. After training, Dr. Campagna returned with his family to Oregon to found the first practice of neurological surgery between Portland and Sacramento, in Medford. He and Edie also became beloved community leaders in Medford and beyond.
Over the years, the Campagnas gave generously to help grow pediatric neurosurgery at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital into a clinical and academic program of true national prominence, and one of the busiest clinical programs in the western United States. In 2001, they endowed the original Mario and Edith Campagna Professorship of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and later re-endowed this position as a Chair. The Campagnas also endowed the innovative and prestigious Campagna Scholars program, bringing a 2nd year medical student chosen nationally to OHSU each summer for research and career building. Finally, as part of a major bequest upon their passing, the Campagnas endowed both the Campagna Fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery, establishing Doernbecher as a leading training center for future pediatric neurosurgeons, and also a (second) Campagna Professorship.
The Campagna Professorship in Pediatric Neurosurgery, Department of Neurological Surgery was established for the purpose of recruiting leading national pediatric neurosurgeons to OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and to help them advance the practice and teaching of neurosurgery at Doernbecher. In the discussions that led up to the professorship endowment, Mario and Edie eloquently described their vision of bringing the most promising students, trainees and surgeons to Oregon to create a continuous chain of learning, discovery, innovation, and advancement, ensuring the presence of world class and compassionate care for children in perpetuity, not only for Oregon but for the region and beyond.
The inaugural holder of this Campagna Professorship in Pediatric Neurosurgery is Dr. Lissa Baird. Dr. Baird was educated at Columbia Physicians and Surgeons Medical School and trained at the University of California San Diego. She also completed fellowships in both skull base and vascular neurosurgery (at Louisiana State University; Health Sciences Center –Shreveport) and in pediatric neurosurgery (at Boston Children’s Hospital), making her one of the most highly trained and technically advanced pediatric neurosurgeons in the country. Dr. Baird was recruited to OHSU in 2011 as an assistant professor. She was appointed head of the division of pediatric neurosurgery in 2016 and promoted to Associate Professor and Campagna Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery in 2018.