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The Context for Change: Dean Richardson’s annual State-of-the-School Address

State of SchoolAs required by the School of Medicine’s constitution, each year the Dean calls an all-faculty meeting to present the “State-of-the School.” Held Dec. 6, the event included perspectives from associate deans in the mission areas of education, research and clinical care. The address was well attended with more than 300 faculty members, as well as student representatives. OHSU President Joe Robertson, Interim Provost David Robinson, Knight Cancer Institute Chief Operating Officer Steve Stadum, and Alumni Association President Robert Laird also attended.

In an address titled, The Context for Change: Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Society, Dean Richardson talked first about how the 100-year anniversary of the Flexner Report had provided an opportunity for reflection on the past, present and future for medical schools across the country. He discussed the shifting external landscape, including health care reform, new federal research funding priorities, declining state funding and the growing complexity of issues and challenges to which health care professionals must react and help address. “Medical schools across the country have not changed much since 1910 when the Flexner Report was issued, but our society has changed dramatically,” said Dean Richardson.

The second part of Dean Richardson’s address celebrated the accomplishments of the recent past. He mentioned new faculty development initiatives, research discoveries, health care delivery innovations, student success and more. He then turned the podium over to three associate deans, asking them to look into the future and to talk about both the challenges and the opportunities in their mission areas.

Associate Dean for Basic Science Mary Stenzel-Poore, PhD, discussed the recruitment of Joe Gray, PhD, and the associated establishment of the new OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine. She focused on the need for advanced technology and team-based science to solve contemporary scientific questions. She provided an update on the Research Roadmap being developed to not only lay out a vision statement for the research mission but to collectively develop and prioritize future initiatives. She also lauded the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute for their exceptional work on the CTSA renewal process.

SOS 2010Associate Dean Tana Grady-Weliky, MD, observed that the number of MD and GME applications has grown, and suggested that the new “Oregon Scholar” awards program could assist in increasing the number of Oregonians applying to the medical school program. She spoke on developing new models of interprofessional education and the importance of reinforcing the medical education continuum. She addressed curriculum revisions from the perspective of physicians and other health care professionals, and what they might need to know in order to be successful in the 21st century.

Senior Associate Dean Tom Heckler, MBA, spoke about the Faculty Practice Plan and the broader clinical practice at OHSU. His presentation included data on the public perception of faculty physicians, as well as trends in outpatient visits and collections. Putting OHSU’s clinical practice in a context of national health reform and increasingly scrupulous payors, he stressed the importance of developing high-quality acute care that also demonstrates cost-effectiveness.

Dean Richardson concluded the address with the observation that an essential element of planning for the future – for OHSU and other public medical schools – is reconsidering funding models that had been in place for many years. “The core challenge we have in front of us is to develop ongoing funds for reinvestment in our missions across the entire institution.” He pointed to the Knight Cancer Institute strategic plan as an example of how focused investments had the potential to improve the health and well-being of Oregonians, while simultaneously allowing OHSU to better support its missions by benefiting from its own intellectual capital. However, he reminded the faculty audience in closing, any new initiatives we undertake at OHSU will always be viewed through the prism of enhancing faculty and student success, because ensuring their success means ensuring the success of our missions.

Pictured: (top) Dean Richardson delivers address; (bottom) Don Girard, MD, asks the dean a question.


Video of State-of-the-School address

The entire address was recorded. Click here to watch.


The Context for Change: Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Society

The slide show that accompanied the address can be viewed here.

State of School

The year in pictures photo essay

The event started with a slide show of photographs from 2010. The slide show can be viewed here.

Photo Essay 2010

State of School photo album

Photos of the event can be viewed at the School of Medicine facebook page.

State of School

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