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OHSU 2021 accomplishments: The year in review

The OHSu sky tram glides across Portland on a foggy day with OHSU on Marquam Hill in the background.
Showcasing the university’s innovation at a national level, OHSU researchers received more than $405 million in federal grant funding in 2021. (OHSU)

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:

COVID-19 Response



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