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OHSU 2020 accomplishments: The year in review

Aerial OHSU Marquam Hill
OHSU's faculty and staff will continue to ensure the health and well-being of all individuals in Oregon, Southwest Washington and beyond in 2021. (OHSU/Aaron Bieleck)

For nearly 10 months, Oregonians have endured the impacts of a global pandemic, devastating wildfires and social unrest. From the need to physical distance, wear face coverings and frequently wash our hands to feelings of uncertainty, social isolation and profound loss, 2020 has taken its toll.

Despite all of this, OHSU employees and learners have risen to the many challenges we’ve faced over the course of the year and deftly adapted to fulfill our missions of patient care, education and health sciences research.

In 2020, OHSU dramatically expanded telehealth services, allowing more people to access care virtually. Our clinical and logistics teams implemented the metro-area’s only low-barrier COVID-19 testing sites, hosted a special wedding and introduced clear face masks to allows babies in our neonatal intensive care unit the ability to bond with their parents. Notably, in March, OHSU completed its first heart transplant since the university’s Heart Failure and Transplant Program reactivated in August 2019.

At the beginning of the pandemic, OHSU researchers were quick to donate resources in support of the health care mission and quickly focused their efforts on better understanding the virus and studying possible treatments, including AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

An outpouring of support from the community also contributed to our COVID-19 efforts, including custom-designed face shields from Nike.

More than 1,200 students graduated from OHSU education programs this year, with a 100% residency match rate across the School of Medicine. And, as COVID-19 gained a foothold in Oregon, OHSU students volunteered to provide childcare services, sew masks and assist with statewide contact tracing efforts.

Importantly, 2020 also marks a shift in OHSU’s approach to addressing structural racism with a commitment to becoming an anti-racist, multi-cultural university.

While much work remains, we pause to acknowledge the innovation, achievement and collaboration that took place at OHSU, and across Oregon, over the past year.

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