OHSU School of Medicine Dean Christine Cassel, M.D., has appointed Ella Foster, the former administrative director of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York as associate dean for planning and administration in the School of Medicine.
"I thought my next career move would be a dean's office, but wasn't sure where. When Chris asked me to come west to work with her, and I realized she was serious, I thought this was my dream job!" said Foster, who worked for Cassel at Mt. Sinai. "Our world was our department. Now we have some 20 departments to consider, and it is such a great challenge."
Foster came to OHSU in March as the associate dean for planning and administration, a new position Cassel created to help with strategic planning for the school. Specifically, Foster will bring her 28 years of administrative knowledge to reposition the school in terms of serving its mission to various clients. Those clients are the departments within the school, faculty, and current and potential students.
Among Foster's early tasks are to re-evaluate the school's Internet presence, and make the Web site more attractive and practical to students, faculty, researchers and donors. Foster also will take on the challenge of reviewing the administrative functions of the dean's office to be sure that as Cassel creates new priorities and projects to serve the school, the office will have the capacity to carry those projects out.
"As a department administrator (at Mt. Sinai), I felt that there could always have been more help from the dean's office and more inclusion in the decision making," Foster says. "Chris wants to make sure we avoid sending out that message -- she wants the department heads and administrators to feel comfortable coming to her with their needs and concerns."
With Cassel's busy schedule, Foster will be a gateway for others in the school to bring their concerns to the dean. She will do her best to help resolve some issues right away and take others to Cassel directly for consideration.
"I think I'll be busy in that regard since Chris wants faculty to articulate priorities aligned with our mission areas. Now we will work together with them on figuring out how to achieve those goals."