Success! The Faculty Support Initiative

The following is an edited version of an article from OHSU Extra, the OHSU Foundation’s print publication celebrating the power of philanthropy.

March 21, 2013

FSI-graphic-300x281Hippocrates. Elizabeth Blackwell. Jonas Salk. Behind almost every major advance in medicine, there is a brilliant individual whose single-minded focus inspired teams, broke through barriers and persevered over years to attain the impossible.

In 2009 OHSU set out to raise $100 million in three years to support visionary researchers and clinicians through the Faculty Support Initiative. OHSU supporters came through – and then some.

By the time the campaign concluded in June 2012, more than 8,000 foundations, corporations, and individuals had invested $169 million – nearly 70 percent more than the original three-year goal. Supporting faculty will always be a top philanthropic priority for OHSU – and one of the most gratifying investments for our donors.

“Philanthropists are inspired by excellence. This initiative succeeded because OHSU faculty members demonstrated excellence while laying out an exciting vision for the future,” said Sarah Z. Panetta, vice president for development, OHSU Foundation.

Donors contributed to OHSU through the Faculty Support Initiative in a variety of ways. The following are examples of the kind of leadership and progress the initiative made possible.

Endowed positions. The initiative established or significantly boosted funding for 16 endowed positions – five chairs and 11 professorships, including:

  • Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science
  • Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., Ernest C. Swigert  Distinguished Professor of Cardiology
  • Daniel J. Karr, M.D., Oregon Elks Endowed Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Scott M. Landfear, Ph.D., University Professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
  • Brett C. Sheppard, M.D., William E. Colson Chair for Pancreatic Disease Research
  • Robert D. Steiner, M.D., Credit Union for Kids Professor of Pediatric Research

Research funds, institutes and centers such as:

Equipment and core resources, including:

  • A “next generation” DNA sequencer – a shared research resource that has assisted multiple investigators and is helping OHSU attract funding and new faculty
  • A super-resolution microscope for OHSU’s Advanced Light Microscopy Core
  • A state-of-the-art electron microscopes to equip the FEI Living Lab

“It was exciting to work with the OHSU Foundation to find a way to match the Moores’ passion for whole grains with OHSU’s expertise in nutrition and the developmental origins of disease,” said Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., interim director of the OHSU Bob & Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness. “I have no doubt that this gift will improve the health of Oregonians for generations to come.”

In addition to donor investment, the Faculty Support Initiative galvanized support among OHSU colleagues. For example, Dr. Landfear’s endowed professorship was buoyed by funding from the budgets of other OHSU faculty leaders. “The combination of philanthropic dollars and peer support made it possible for Landfear to assemble one of the leading teams in the nation exploring parasite-borne disease,” said Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research.

Read the article in its entirety here. An iPad edition ofOHSU Extrais also available free on iTunes (the Winter 2013 edition is coming soon).

In addition, Panetta gave a presentation on the Faculty Support Initiative at the Jan. meeting of the Collaborative Research Leadership Group.