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OHSU 2023 accomplishments: The year in review

With growth on the horizon, OHSU demonstrates its value as a resource for all Oregonians
OHSU in autumn
OHSU Hospital building on a rainy autumn/fall day. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

Oregon Health & Science University emerged from a pandemic in 2023 with a renewed commitment to its mission to improve the health and well-being of people in Oregon and beyond.

As the state’s only academic health center, OHSU routinely takes on the most complex cases from across the region, while educating the next generation of health care professionals. At the same time, the university is an economic engine that amassed a record amount of research funding to drive countless discoveries related to human health.

Indeed, even by typical OHSU standards, the year brought some remarkable developments.

In August, OHSU announced a non-binding letter of intent to integrate with Legacy Health. The combined health system would become the largest employer in the Portland metro area, with more than 100 clinical locations, 10 hospitals and more than 3 million patient visits annually.

Meanwhile, OHSU logged a series of notable milestones during the year.

  • David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., earned the Lasker Award, known as “America’s Nobel,” for developing a widely used type of imaging technology that prevents blindness and is increasingly used to diagnose and treat conditions of the heart, brain and skin.
  • OHSU served as a safe haven for scores of patients denied reproductive health care in states outside of Oregon, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2022 that allowed states to ban abortion or impose extreme restrictions.
  • The newly established OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center is applying a public health approach to reduce firearm injuries and deaths, highlighted by a roundtable discussion in October.

Following is a sampling of other OHSU innovations and accomplishments during the past year:

Accomplishments

OHSU sees the most complex cases from throughout the region, and clinicians continue to lead new innovations in improving the health and well-being of patients in Oregon and well beyond. Throughout the year, OHSU continued efforts to diversify its workforce and address the health risks caused by climate change.

Discoveries

OHSU scientists operate on the leading edge of research, and in 2023 researchers published important findings ranging from next-generation cancer treatments to new avenues for treating alcohol use disorder.

Community impact

As the state’s academic health center, OHSU is a statewide resource for all Oregonians, from the coast to the high desert of Central Oregon to the Owyhee country in Malheur County.

Accolades

OHSU scientists and clinicians were recognized for being among the most accomplished in their respective fields.

In September, David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., became the latest OHSU scientist to earn the Lasker Award, followed by a White House ceremony in October where President Joe Biden told honorees: “You’re literally changing the world for the better.” It capped a year in which Huang was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and was among scientists and clinicians across OHSU who earned national and international accolades.

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