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Message from Dean Richardson: What I've heard

Dean RichardsonDear School of Medicine Community:

During the next several months, I am meeting with faculty in 27 departments, as well as our centers and institutes in the School of Medicine. I will also be meeting with students. We have a lot to talk about and I want to hear your concerns, answer your questions and discuss our collective future.

These discussions are part of larger conversations — and initiatives — occurring across the institution. For example, we are currently engaged in a very important self-study process associated with accreditation that will help us chart the right path to a reinvigorated curriculum. Our clinical faculty members are working hard to achieve the federal criteria for Meaningful Use (login required) of our electronic health records. Our research leaders are collaboratively focused on developing a five-year Research Roadmap for the School of Medicine.

More broadly, we are engaged in implementing a new business and operating model for OHSU that will have the ability to support ongoing reinvestment in the institution and our missions, and contribute to our shared excellence for the long term. We are also working closely with our legislators in Salem during this session to discuss issues ranging from funding our education mission to details associated with implementing health care and education reform.

With so much going on, each with such clear benefits to and impacts on the School of Medicine, I want to make sure you are part of the process, that your voice is being heard and your expertise is shaping our decisions. I’ve met with six departments so far and, not surprisingly, I’ve received questions and comments from at least that many perspectives. While individuals within one department focused almost exclusively on financial issues, faculty in other areas wanted to know details about how we use electronic health records or investment models in basic science research. Others were interested in state funding levels and our relationship with the State of Oregon. I expect to hear many other questions over the next few months.

This feedback is vital and I’m pleased to see such strong advocacy for your various mission areas.

As the Dean of an incredible and incredibly complex institution, I have a unique point-of-view. From my vantage, I need to understand the institution across all mission areas to adequately represent the entire school. To do this, it’s imperative that I hear from you to truly see the institution from the departmental and faculty outlook, and to encourage everyone to contribute collaboratively and to think about issues at the school and institutional level.

Thanks to those who have participated thus far. To those who I haven’t yet met with, I look forward to talking with you. In addition to answering questions in person, both FPP Commons and SoM Research Voice will feature “What I heard” articles so everyone on campus can read the responses and you can learn more about the issues facing your colleagues in different departments and units. For our alumni and community friends, I hope this newsletter serves as a conduit to the important issues being addressed within the School of Medicine, and I welcome your input always too.

I believe that together, we are leading a significant shift in academic health center culture by showing the power of innovation and collaboration – fueled by open, consistent communication. I want this critical two-way dialogue between the Dean’s office, faculty, students and staff to continue and grow.

Please join me in this effort and share your suggestions about how to sustain this dialogue for the future. And as always, thank you for everything you do for OHSU and Oregon.

Best regards,


Mark Richardson, MD, MBA
Dean, OHSU School of Medicine
President, Faculty Practice Plan

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