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A Fresh Contingent of ‘Troops’ Set to Enter the Health Care Fray

June graduations at OHSU will put more ‘boots on the ground’ in the battle to plug a growing health care work force gap that likely will get wider when federal reforms take full effect in 2014

 The first new contingent of physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, dentists and other front-line health care professionals to graduate from Oregon Health & Science University in the new era of health care reform will be awarded their diplomas and hoods next month, starting on Tuesday, June 1.

“These are the ‘boots on the ground’ the nation urgently needs today and in ever-growing numbers in the future to meet the demand for health care services as we draw closer to the day in 2014 when most Americans will have health insurance,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. “Federal health care reform represents a historic first step toward a better future for all Americans, and I am pleased that these OHSU graduates will be there to help build it. But many, many more must follow in their wake as people gain greater access to care that too long has been beyond the reach of millions of our fellow citizens.”

“The Oregon Center for Nursing has projected that Oregon will need an additional 15,000 nurses in the next 15 years, and that’s without factoring in the 32 million more Americans who will seek care at clinics and hospitals across the country when health care reform is fully in effect,” said Michael Bleich, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, dean of the OHSU School of Nursing. Similarly, the ratio of dentists per 100,000 people in the United States is expected to decline dramatically as the baby boom generation dentists retire in ever larger numbers.

“In addition to the M.D. graduates, the OHSU School of Medicine is sending out into the world medical research scientists with PhD and MS graduate degrees. These graduate students have come to OHSU from across the country and around the world to train with our outstanding faculty. They leave us now to join the workforce that will discover treatments that will make personalized medicine and individual health care solutions a reality,” said OHSU School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson, M.D., M.Sc.B., M.B.A.

The OHSU School of Medicine’s commencement ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. The OHSU School of Nursing, which is celebrating its centennial year, will hold its commencement at 2 p.m. on June 1, also at the Schnitzer Concert Hall. Separate ceremonies for graduates of the School of Nursing’s regional campuses and the OHSU School of Dentistry will be held on other dates later in June. [See schedule below.]

Eighty-two of OHSU’s graduating medical students this year, or more than 60 percent of the class, are going on to residencies in primary care specialties – family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics or emergency medicine. They will take up places on the front lines of medicine where health care work force shortages are greatest and where the care gap is predicted to grow even more acute when health care reform takes effect.

Physician assistant and nurse practitioner graduates – who are licensed to provide a wide range of basic health care services such as conducting physical exams, prescribing medications and performing minor surgeries – will further bolster the primary care ranks.  Thirty-three people will receive Master of Physician Assistant Studies degrees from the OHSU School of Medicine on June 1. The OHSU School of Nursing will grant 14 master’s family nurse practitioner degrees, seven master’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner degrees, and 10 master’s degrees each in nurse anesthesia and nurse midwifery. Nurse anesthetists, who are the primary anesthesia providers in rural America, and other advance practice nurse specialists, provide critical support services in areas where the needs are greatest.

Twenty-eight of the medical school graduates will stay at OHSU to do their internships, which is significant because more than half of new physicians completing their residencies at OHSU remain in Oregon to practice. All told, more than 40 of the medical school graduates will do their residencies at health care facilities somewhere in Oregon.

Sharl S. Azar, from Happy Valley, president of the medical school class of 2010, is one of those who will begin his residency training in internal medicine at OHSU and hopes to practice in Oregon. Patrick (Paddy) O. Kinney, an Oregon State University graduate who will be the medical school student speaker at the commencement ceremonies, plans to go into rural family medicine, but wants to practice in his native Alaska. Thomas Ciesielski, an medical school graduate from Eugene, not only is going into a primary care specialty, but is following in the footsteps of a family of primary care physicians. His maternal grandfather, Peter Ford, M.D., class of 1951, a now retired internist, started two clinics in Portland. His mother, Paula Ford Ciesielski, M.D., class of 1978, heads an internal medicine clinic in Eugene.

In all, the School of Medicine will grant degrees or graduate certificates to 330 students, including 118 M.D. degrees, four M.D./Ph.D degrees, five M.D./M.P.H (master’s of public health) degrees, 32 Ph.Ds, 15 M.P.H. degrees, 84 master’s  and master’s of science degrees, and 72 graduate certificates in biomedical informatics, dietetics and other health care sub-specialties.

The OHSU School of Nursing will award 370 diplomas and certificates. They include 295 nursing baccalaureate degrees; 12 master’s degrees and one graduate certificate in public health, 47 other master’s degrees, seven post-master certificates, and eight Ph.Ds. Ninety-five of the baccalaureate degrees will conferred at three of the school’s regional campuses, 45 in Ashland, 25 in Klamath Falls and 25 in La Grande. The fourth campus in Monmouth will graduate its first class in 2011. A total of 278 of the school’s graduates list hometowns in Oregon.

The OHSU School of Dentistry will award 74 D.M.D. (doctor of dental medicine) degrees, 46 of them to students who list Oregon hometowns, and 12 graduate certificates in five different dental specialties from endodontics to pediatric dentistry. And the Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy will confer 85 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees on graduates of this joint program.



Kristy A. Walton: Family Medicine – Tacoma (WA) Family Medicine
Sophie M. White: Pediatrics – UC Davis (CA) Medical Center
Brian W. Blair: Pediatrics – Univ. of Arizona Affiliated  Hospitals
Monica J. Kim: Family Medicine – UC Irvine (CA) Medical Center
Jenifer C. Luman: Emergency Medicine – Univ. of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals
Chad M. Lindroos: Emergency Medicine – Univ. of Buffalo (NY) School of Medicine
Tammy H. Luoh: Family Medicine – UC Irvine (CA) Medical Center
Cottage Grove
Sophia E. LaHusen Bair: Internal Medicine – Barnes Jewish Hospital (MO)
Thomas Ciesielski: Internal Medicine – Barnes Jewish Hospital (MO)
Shoshana Ungerleider: Internal Medicine – California  Pacific Medical Center
Rhonda A. Brown: Internal Medicine – Legacy Emanuel/Good Samaritan (OR)
J. Thomas Kofoed: Emergency Medicine – Univ. of Michigan Hospitals
Happy Valley
Sharl S. Azar: Internal Medicine – OHSU
Lake Oswego
Evan A. Los: Pediatrics - OHSU
Jeremy R. Tesar: Emergency Medicine – OHSU
Lindsey G. Burwell: Family Medicine/Cascades East, Klamath Falls – OHSU
Mill City
Krystal L. Plotts: Family Medicine – Family Medicine Residency of Idaho
North Bend
Craig A Riley: Internal Medicine – Providence Portland Medical Center
Jonah E. Attebery: Pediatrics – Creighton-Nebraska Universities Health Foundation
Jeff Chen: Internal Medicine – Emory University (GA) School of Medicine  
Kyle J. Kent: Internal Medicine – OHSU
Jason R. Morich: Internal Medicine – Legacy Emanuel/Good Samaritan (OR)
David T. Vo: Internal Medicine – Providence St Vincent Hospital (OR)
William Ruegg: Family Medicine/Harborview–Univ. of Washington Affil. Hosps.
Kyle E. Mouery: Family Medicine – Providence Milwaukie (OR) Hospital
Kathy T. Tran: Family Medicine – MacNeal Memorial Hospital (IL)
Michael L. Beadnell: Emergency Medicine- Univ. of Nebraska Affilliated Hosp.
Desmond T. Tee: Family Medicine – Family Medicine of SW Washington
Rachel M. Thomas: Emergency Medicine – Univ. of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals


Sharon A. Sagasay: M.N. – Nurse Anesthesia
Megan R. Blumanthal: M.S. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Nathaniel Kravitz: M.N. – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  
Katherine Jo Schoonover: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Alex Bahrke: M.N. – Nurse Anesthesia
Linda Carter: M.N. – Nurse Anesthesia
Jennifer L. Stephens: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Rene C. Apon: M.N.  – Nurse Anesthesia
Melinda S. Cardoza: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Lindsay A. Field: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Somer C. Lieble: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Danielle C. Matthys: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Margret K. Mukai: M.N. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Holly A. Boehm: M.N. – Nurse Midwifery
Jun Ma: M.N. – Nurse Midwifery
Cheri K. Shields: M.N. – Nurse Midwifery
Elizabeth Brudney: M.N. – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  
Kathleen K. Sheridan: M.N. – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Ursula J. White: M.N. – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  
Tiffany R. Cox: M.S. – Family Nurse Practitioner
Alexa M. Gilbert: M.S. – Nurse Midwifery
The Dalles
Mandelynn G.A. Morgan: M.N. – Nurse Midwifery


OHSU School of Medicine:  9 a.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2010 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.

OHSU School of Nursing: 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2010 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.

OHSU School of Nursing, Ashland Campus: 3 p.m., Saturday, June 5, 2010 – Raider Stadium, Southern Oregon University, Ashland.

Oregon State University/OHSU College of Pharmacy: 1 p.m., Friday, June 11, 2010 –Austin  Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis.

OHSU School of Nursing, Klamath Falls Campus: 10 a.m., Saturday, June 12, 2010 – John F. Moehl Stadium, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls.

OHSU School of Nursing, La Grande Campus: 10 a.m., Saturday, June 12, 2010 – Community Stadium,  Eastern Oregon University, La Grande.

OHSU School of Dentistry: 10 a.m., Friday, June 18, 2010 – OHSU Auditorium, Marquam Hill Campus, Portland.



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