As 2021 comes to a close, and we mark nearly two years of COVID-19’s devastating impacts on our communities, Oregon Health & Science University pauses to reflect on the contributions of our dedicated employees, learners, partners, donors and volunteers who continue to improve the health and well-being of Oregonians.
In the past year, OHSU collaborated with other health systems and community organizations to stand up public COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Portland International Airport’s Red Economy Lot, the Oregon Convention Center, Hillsboro Stadium and various community and faith-based events. OHSU’s mobile vans were deployed statewide to expand COVID-19 testing and vaccine availability to community groups lacking easy access to health care services. These ongoing efforts have contributed to the state’s efforts to vaccinate more than 70% of Oregon’s adult population.
At least two of OHSU’s approaches to community vaccine clinic coordination and vaccinator training have been adopted by states across the country, further enhancing OHSU’s role as a national leader in health care delivery.
Some OHSU research teams continue to make COVID-19 discoveries -- including variant tracking and genome sequencing, understanding immune responses to virus variants and predicting the virus’ impact on Oregon hospitals and communities – while others have renewed their efforts to identify, treat or cure other pressing health challenges such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease, HIV and blindness.
Showcasing the university’s innovation at a national level, OHSU researchers received more than $405 million in federal grant funding in 2021 to examine health disparities and inequities, improve epilepsy treatment, observe the developing brain, expand oral health training and much more.
Despite extraordinarily challenging circumstances, more than 1,300 learners graduated from OHSU education programs this year, with 78% of medical school graduates completing their classes early.
Looking ahead, the university will break ground in spring 2022 on the OHSU Hospital Expansion Project on Marquam Hill. The five-year project will significantly increase OHSU’s capacity to care for Oregonians, while supporting the growth of the university’s research and education missions.
OHSU also has re-committed to new standards and expectations for what culture, opportunity, diversity, equity, belonging, inclusion and anti-racism look like at OHSU and academic health centers worldwide.
Following is a sampling of the innovations, collaborations and changes that occurred at OHSU in the past year:
Research teams at OHSU track virus variants across Oregon, Southwest Washington
OHSU expands opportunities for COVID-19 testing in the community; deploys mobile testing vans statewide
OHSU steps up to vaccinate Oregon: stands up drive-through vaccine clinics, partners with community and faith-based organizations, and collaborates with health systems across the metro area.
- Nurses recognize one another’s accomplishments during pandemic, beyond
Oregon Health Authority recruits OHSU experts for COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee
- New clinical trial at OHSU tests donated antibodies
- OHSU partners with the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education and school districts across the state to offer weekly COVID-19 screening of K-12 students
- Long COVID-19 Program established to better serve patients with chronic coronavirus symptoms
- OHSU outlines process for evaluating COVID patients for elective surgeries following illness
- Patient case studies demonstrate that cases of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination are easily treated
- Research teams to study the impacts of COVID-19 infection, vaccines during pregnancy, lactation and menstruation
- Tribally directed videos inform, empower, celebrate, foster resilience amid COVID-19
- OHSU approaches to vaccinator training, community-based COVID-19 clinics adopted nationwide.
- US News and World Report: OHSU named No. 1 hospital in Oregon; OHSU Doernbecher is among nation, region’s best children’s hospitals
- Independent analysis shows OHSU contributes nearly $7.2 billion and over 42,000 jobs annually to Oregon's economy
- OHSU named top performer for CAR T therapies and stem cell transplants; is among 25 centers treating debilitating movement disorder
- Faculty recognition: Erik Brodt, M.D., elected to National Academy of Medicine; Susan Hayflick, M.D. receives Rare Champion of Hope Award; Melinda Davis, Ph.D., recognized by the North American Primary Care Research Group; Ruth Napier, Ph.D., selected for Bruckel Early Career Investigator Award; Mark Freeman, Ph.D., receives the inaugural Drs. Ayeez and Shelena Lalji & Family ALS Endowed Award for Innovative Healing.
- OHSU COVID-19 study highlighted during a White House Press Briefing
OHSU’s ECMO program receives platinum status from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, making it one of only 11 adult centers in the U.S. to earn the distinction.
OHSU-developed HIV vaccine tech tested in humans for first time
- A compound developed at OHSU protects myelin, nerve fibers study says
- OHSU scientists earn $1.5 million to accelerate innovation, collaboration
- OHSU meets $2 billion fundraising goal to benefit the wellness of people across Oregon and beyond; donors help OHSU expand access to eye exams, treatment and education statewide, advance cancer research
- Diets high in fat may negatively impact reproductive outcomes, OHSU study says
- OHSU among first to deploy latest technology in deep brain stimulation
- New gene therapy uses Tylenol to combat genetic diseases
- Doernbecher Freestyle goes virtual, tops $30 million raised since 2004
OHSU study advances field of precision medicine
Study suggests role of sleep in healing traumatic brain injuries
- Scientists at OHSU announce ambitious plan to unveil the genomes of thousands of animals
- OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care expands Compassionate Communication Skills Education to benefit all patients
- Oregon Poison Center warns of toxicity risks related to misuse of ivermectin to treat COVID-19
- Study reveals structure of key brain receptors involved in memory and learning
- OHSU to support development of AI-based applications for mass casualty events
- Targeted ‘radioligand’ improves survival in advanced prostate cancer
OHSU installs state-of-the-art scanner for clinical care, research
- New gene therapy uses Tylenol to combat genetic diseases
- Adventist and OHSU collaborate to improve care after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
- Innovation massively expands view into workings of single cells, improves understanding of development, brain function, immunity and other biological processes
- OHSU-led research suggests development of antiviral therapies to treat multiple sclerosis
- OHSU Knight Cancer Institute funds 13 projects to address cancer-related health needs in Oregon
- Discovery raises possibility of new medication for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
- OHSU heart transplant connects families, gives comfort
- OHSU is part of national institute to advance artificial intelligence in aging
- Gene editing clinical trial participant dreams of a future with sight
- OHSU expands capacity for cancer clinical trials
- International project seeks to eliminate HIV in kids
- $6.9M grant aims to improve Northwest worker safety, health
- NIH grants will allow OHSU to study impacts of substance use, environment on the developing brain; understand the molecular basis of touch, hearing; study health disparities, equity; improve epilepsy treatment; launch oral health research training program; study stem cell therapy as potential glaucoma treatment; analyze the rural expansion of the Project Nurture program
- Students provide free health services to 300 Oregonians at community event
- OHSU takes steps to improve access to telehealth for all
Radiation therapy underused for people with liver cancer awaiting transplant, OHSU researcher say
OHSU moves forward with hospital expansion
- Clinical trial elevates new target for fighting cancers
- OHSU scientist collaborates on new device to enhance sleep
- School of Public Health announces first anti-racism faculty fellowships
- OHSU trains community health workers for statewide network
- Ronald Sakaguchi, Ph.D., D.D.S., M.B.A., appointed dean of the OHSU School of Dentistry