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OHSU releases full Covington investigation; board, president commit to culture change

Report makes recommendations for ensuring a safe health care, education, research environment

Content warning: Be aware that this message contains topics that may be activating for survivors of gender and racial violence. The Confidential Advocacy Program can be reached 24/7 by calling 833-495-2277. Additional resources for OHSU members are available here.


*** OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., and OHSU Board of Directors Chair Wayne Monfries shared this message with the OHSU community Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 ***

Dear OHSU Community,

Covington & Burling LLP has concluded its eight-month investigation into OHSUs institutional culture. Eric Holder, the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, Nancy Kestenbaum and the Covington team verbally presented their findings to the board of directors this morning.

We are sharing the full, unredacted report with the entire OHSU community immediately so that we all will receive the same information in real time.

With you, we will study the report in detail. However, it is clear from our briefing that we have a significant amount of work to do (in addition to efforts currently underway) to overcome the past and change the future so that OHSU can become a place where everyone can thrive.

But first, we are sorry for anyone who has experienced inequitable treatment, discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or retaliation while working or learning at OHSU. We greatly appreciate the significant number of OHSU members who shared their time, personal experiences and emotional labor with Covington. Your courage and candor informed the investigation through interviews, conversations and anonymous focus groups.

We will spend the next several days reviewing the report and use Covingtons knowledge, expertise and experience with other leading institutions to help create the lasting changes we aspire to see in our community. Importantly, it will require a shared responsibility and commitment from every one of us — starting at the highest level of the institution where we hold ourselves accountable.

Covington’s findings show how challenging the work environment has been for some OHSU members and let us be clear: just one person experiencing inequitable treatment, discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or retaliation is one too many. We cannot achieve our full potential as an institution or our duties and responsibilities until we have an environment where every member feels valued and can thrive. We are committed and convinced that together we can set new standards and expectations for what culture, opportunity, diversity, equity, belonging, inclusion and anti-racism look like at OHSU and academic health centers worldwide.

Eric Holder has released a statement about the independent review.

Sincerely yours,

Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H.

Wayne Monfries
OHSU Board of Directors

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