The Oregon Senate last week confirmed the nomination of Rachel Pilliod to serve as the student representative on the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) board of directors for a four-year term that begins July 1, 2009.
Pilliod is an medical degree candidate in the OHSU School of Medicine's Class of 2012, with a focus on women's health and health policy. "I'm really committed to OHSU," she said. "I want to help maintain our position of excellence and our reputation locally, nationally and internationally."
Rachel has been involved in higher education governance as a former student body president at the University of Oregon and a past member of the Board of Regents for the Oregon University System. "I hope to contribute by providing a unique perspective as someone who lives and breathes life on the hill and who interacts with all facets of OHSU. I think I can be a voice for students and residents as well as health care providers, researchers, administrators and support staff."
A political science major as an undergraduate, Rachel once worked as a staffer in the Nevada Legislature while volunteering at a low-income health clinic in her spare time – an experience that solidified her interest in medical school. She hopes to expand opportunities for Oregon students interested in the health professions and ensure health services for rural and underserved communities. "I think OHSU can and should be at the forefront of addressing the growing need for health care access in Oregon."
Rachel is not the first member of her family to attend OHSU. Her great-great aunt, Grace Linklater, M.D., graduated with the Class of 1925 and practiced in Oregon as a pediatrician.
Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university, and Oregon's only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government). OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.