Reflecting on 2017

Letter From the Chair

01/02/18  Portland, Ore.

2017 Recap

Happy New Year! As we ring in 2018, it is a wonderful time to reflect and celebrate the many miles we've traveled together over the past year. And, what a year we've had together! Thank you for your contributions to our wonderful Department of Family Medicine team. At the beginning of 2017, we announced the Department of Family Medicine's revamped strategic plan. With newly-appointed Vice Chairs of Research, Education, and Clinical Care at the helm, we embarked on a journey to find new ways of integrating all of our mission areas and improving primary care from all angles. We faced many challenges and opportunities, and I am happy to say that we succeeded in making some big changes. Here's just a few highlights from 2017:

New primary care clinics

In February 2017, we and our OHSU Internal Medicine partners opened two primary care clinics in Washington County.

  • Primary Care at Beaverton found its home in the Knight Cancer Institute building near the Nike campus. This primary care clinic is now one of many new clinics in the building providing our Washington County patients with the care they need, when and where they need it.

  • Primary Care at Orenco Station was formerly a Tuality Healthcare clinic, and continues to be "westward facing" as we give our Washington County patients the opportunity to receive care in their own neighborhood.

In December 2017, Primary Care at Beaverton and Orenco Station launched open scheduling, which gives people completely new to the OHSU system the opportunity to make primary care appointments online. Preceded only by the OHSU Comprehensive Pain Center, these two clinics are helping OHSU roll out new and exciting ways for patients to connect with our system.

The launch of these two clinics is also exciting because: (1) We've taken a great step towards building an expanded clinical system that will support growth in our educational and research programs; (2) We are collaborating with Internal Medicine and other primary care partners to join forces in taking care of our communities; and (3) We are strengthening our relationship with Tuality Healthcare, which will help both organizations care for families across quickly-growing Washington County.

Postdoctoral fellowships

In the fall of 2017, we launched a new postdoctoral fellowship program and welcomed three new postdoctoral fellows. The Department's postdoctoral program is unique in that fellows spend a significant amount of time embedded in our clinics, both learning and teaching. I am excited to watch these three fellows help us integrate our research and clinical mission areas in ways we might not have even imagined.

Launch of a new "clinic-first" curriculum in the Portland residency

For Family Medicine residents in Portland, the 2017–2018 academic year marked the start of a "clinic-first" curriculum: interns began their residency with a month-long clinical experience at their home clinic, and rotation schedules for all classes now follow a "2+2" model (two weeks on outpatient rotations, followed by two weeks on inpatient rotations). This clinic-first approach improves patient access by providing residents a more consistent clinic presence while also providing a better educational balance between inpatient and outpatient experiences.

Cascades East residency emerges with sense of resiliency and community

2016 was a difficult year for our residency in Klamath Falls. A bus accident rendered several residents and faculty injured, a retired faculty member passed away, followed by the death of a recent Cascades East graduate. Having learned important lessons in resilience and the importance of community, the program forged ahead to complete a successful 2017. Recent successes include a resurgence of national presentations by faculty, with one group even presenting on best practices and lessons learned for surviving a residency disaster. The team also grew their Point-of-Care Ultrasound curriculum, with faculty presenting a workshop at AAFP's National Conference for Residents and Students in Kansas City, MO.

Varied electives and continuity offerings added to Medical Student Education

In addition to the four-week core rotation (formerly known as the clerkship), MSE now offers an eight-week continuity core as well as twelve-week rural continuity rotations. The OHSU Cascades East faculty developed several rural electives, and the Portland faculty worked to offer new/improved electives in inpatient and outpatient settings. These varied course offerings enable students to choose the practice focus that best meets their future interests in medicine.

JADECOM Endowed Scholarship

In October 2017, we celebrated the gift of an endowment from our dear friends in JADECOM, as well as the naming of our first JADECOM Endowed Scholar, Daisuke Yamashita, M.D. From this exchange, we have learned a great deal about "the degree to which [JADECOM's] doctors and hospitals are connected to the needs of the community they serve." Several of our students, residents, and faculty have had the opportunity to travel to Japan over the past 20 years;and we have had the opportunity to welcome JADECOM students, residents, and faculty to Oregon. We look forward to our continued partnership with JADECOM and place great value on this unique friendship.

John and Sherrie Saultz Endowed Professorship

In May 2017, we announced the John and Sherrie Saultz Endowed Professorship, and I was very honored to be named the first John and Sherrie Saultz Endowed Professor. With the funds, I committed to "support the department's efforts to seek innovative ways of creating community laboratories and classrooms in places where people live and to bridge the department's research, clinical, and educational programs, especially those related to generating practice-based evidence." These funds are currently helping to support our new postdoctoral fellowship.

Northwest Native American Center of Excellence

In 2017, Oregon became home to the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence thanks to the work of its director, Erik Brodt, M.D. and many colleagues at OHSU and Portland State University. The Northwest Native American Center of Excellence at OHSU will comprehensively and sustainably address the health care needs of all people by increasing Native American voices in the U.S. health professions workforce. To learn more, read here and here.

Starfield Summit: Expanding Primary Care's Role in Achieving Health Equity

In April 2017, we welcomed nearly 200 colleagues from across the globe to Portland for the second Starfield Summit: Expanding Primary Care's Role in Achieving Health Equity. This Summit provided a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and recommit ourselves to health equity efforts, and I am proud that so many people from our department joined a great team of sponsors to help make this event such a tremendous success.

New hires and promotions

As we grow in new and exciting ways, we've had the opportunity to welcome many new faculty and to celebrate the promotion of many current faculty.

In 2017, we welcomed:

  • Robert Alaimo, M.D. (MCMC)
  • Gabriel Andeen, M.D. (Scappoose)
  • Connor Burke, M.D. (Cascades East)
  • Matthew Chan, M.D. (Scappoose)
  • Samuel Crane, M.D. (Orenco Station)
  • Carol Federiuk, M.D. (Gabriel Park)
  • Brian Garvey, M.D. (Scappoose)
  • Kristin Grigsby, P.A. (South Waterfront)
  • Jessica Hart, D.N.P. (Orenco Station)
  • Heather Holmes, M.D. (Orenco Station)
  • Richard Kellis, M.D. (Orenco Station)
  • Sarah Kuppenbender, F.N.P. (MCMC)
  • Sean McHugh, P.A. (MCMC)
  • Ryan Norton, M.D. (Beaverton, Orenco Station)
  • Emma Peiris, M.D (MCMC)
  • Jennifer Schlobohm, L.C.S.W. (Richmond)
  • Carmen Vance, F.N.P. (MCMC)
  • Barbara Weathersby, L.C.S.W. (Cascades East)
  • Leah Werner, M.D. (Gabriel Park)
  • Jennifer Willingham M.D. (Scappoose)

And we congratulated the following faculty members in their promotions:

  • Deb Cohen, Ph.D. from Associate Professor to Professor
  • Nellie Wirsing, M.D. appointment from Provisional Associate Professor to Associate Professor
  • Laurel Hallock-Koppelman, F.N.P., D.N.P. from Instructor to Assistant Professor

From Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

  • Cliff Coleman, M.D.
  • Melinda Davis, Ph.D.
  • Bob Jackman, M.D.
  • Dwight Smith, M.D.

These are just a few of the many, many highlights to celebrate from 2017. I'm looking forward to having another opportunity to celebrate 2017 at our upcoming State of the Department Address in the spring of 2018. Please send me your highlights to include in this year's address!

As we wrap up a busy 2017 and set our sights on 2018, I want to personally thank every person who has diligently kept us on course and propelled our amazing forward motion! In this new year, I look forward to setting even bigger goals and admiring our department as we continue on this successful course, continuing our momentum towards a bright future.