Message from Dean Richardson: Building on Momentum

Dean Richardson02/27/12  Portland, OR

Dear School of Medicine Community:

On Feb. 15, the School of Medicine held its annual all-faculty meeting at which I presented the State-of-the-School and three guest speakers shared their perspectives on our future. We talked about our momentum toward becoming a 21st century medical school and celebrated some of our many successes from the past year. Below are a few highlights from the meeting.

As part of his financial report to the faculty, Lawrence Furnstahl, OHSU Chief Financial Officer, noted that academic medicine is in a “paradoxical era” – a golden age of potential for the biomedical sciences coupled with unprecedented funding constraints. Lawrence reported that nearly half of OHSU’s current funding is from government sources. Over the next decades, our growth and continued excellence will necessarily be focused on new types of partnerships with private sector entities and others.

In the education section, we honored the excellence in teaching award recipients and the dedication of all our educators. We discussed the Collaborative Life Sciences Building currently under construction on the waterfront, an outcome of a partnership between OHSU, OSU, PSU, philanthropists and the state. We are also beginning to plan for a faculty-driven process to transform our curriculum – undertaken in partnership with community hospitals, physicians, scientists and many others – to fully reflect society’s health care and scientific goals and to make the best use of information technology and simulation.

Another highlight was celebrating the productivity and creativity of our discovery engine – nearly 2,700 papers published last year by OHSU investigators – and honoring those who received the School of Medicine paper-of-the-month award. Mary Stenzel-Poore, Senior Associate Dean for Research, emphasized the transformation of our research culture into one focused on careful planning, efficiency and responsiveness to emerging research opportunities and the application of new knowledge. She noted important new recruits and partnerships established this past year, including the Living Lab with FEI.

OHSU President Joe Robertson provided an overview, along with a few predictions, about the rollout of health care reform in Oregon and nationally, reminding us that this is no longer an “if” but a “when” situation. Joe is a state and national leader in reform, and one of nine members of the Oregon Health Policy Board – the oversight board of the Oregon Health Authority. He outlined OHSU’s role in the establishment of a Coordinated Care Organization which, by definition, depends on partnerships between health care systems and providers, and in the expanding role of evidence-based medicine.

While this was a meeting for faculty, the information may be of interest to students, staff, alumni and community friends. Feel free to share this web page which includes a video of the State-of-the-School and our guest presentations. We’ve also posted the slides and photos from key events and celebrations from the past year including the faculty Promotion & Tenure Reception, the groundbreaking at the South Waterfront, the rollout of the Research Roadmap and more.

It’s not often that we gather together in one place. I was pleased by the good turnout for this event. Equally important, the annual all-faculty meeting gives us an opportunity to see our institution through a wider lens than we use during our day-to-day activities. As part of my own preparation for this event, I was reminded that 2011 was a good year and that we built significant momentum toward our goals of adapting to the 21st century. Thank you for your role in making that happen.

Best Regards,

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson, MD, MBA
Dean, OHSU School of Medicine
President, Faculty Practice Plan