JADECOM Endowed Scholar Announced

Family Medicine & JADECOM Celebrate Gift

11/08/17  Portland, Ore.

jadecom endowment

In October, the Japan Association for Development of Community Medicine (JADECOM) made a gift which will establish a permanently-endowed professorship, one of the highest honors in academic medicine and higher education.

"These kinds of endowed positions are incredibly important for OHSU," explained Senior Vice President and Provost, Elena Andresen, Ph.D., "for the faculty, for the University, for the students, and for research. This kind of gift is able to propel faculty forward…[it] allows them to engage in activities, and to work with students in ways that they could not otherwise do."

The scholarship is an addition to an already long-standing partnership between JADECOM and OHSU Family Medicine. Both organizations have enjoyed a strong partnership for many years, with students and faculty from both countries building educational programs and forging lifelong friendships.

Members of both groups celebrated the signing of the endowment in Portland, Oregon with a reception and the gift of a Japanese doll (Momoyama) to symbolize the sincerity of the relationship between both parties.

The Endowment

Daisuke Yamashita and FamilyAt the signing, Daisuke Yamashita, M.D. was pronounced the JADECOM Endowed Scholar of Family Medicine. Dr. Yamashita first arrived at OHSU in 2006 to join the Family Medicine residency and completed his training in 2009. He currently serves as the Medical Director of the South Waterfront clinic, and has recently been a leader of OHSU's efforts to expand access to primary care for Portland's communities.

Dr. Yamashita worked closely with JADECOM founding member Takashi Yamada, M.D. prior to coming to Portland. At the time, Dr. Yamada was the president of the Japanese Academy of Family Medicine and led the young family physician group within the academy. At the endowment signing, Dr. Yamashita committed to making the exchange between OHSU and JADECOM "even more active and meaningful."

Why Japan?

The JADECOM-OHSU relationship began with a conversation between Michiyasu Yoshiara, M.D. in Japan, and Bob Taylor, M.D. at OHSU. The two physician leaders had a dream of a partnership that would benefit both organizations. And indeed, both have learned from each other to this day.

The nature of health care in Japan in unique – much of the country is made up of rural areas or fishing villages, requiring doctors to care for families across many miles. The ratio of physicians to families also means doctors must be experts in caring for all generations, with all kinds of needs. Community connections are not a luxury, they are a necessity. For that reason, explains former OHSU Family Medicine Chair, John Saultz, M.D., our job is to "figure out how to emulate the degree to which [JADECOM's] doctors and hospitals are connected to the needs of the community they serve."

Current OHSU Family Medicine Chair, Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., describes her first experience with the JADECOM exchange program. As one of the first OHSU residents to travel to Japan as a group, Dr. DeVoe worked with founding program member Dr. Yamada. "Dr. Yamada taught me many things about community medicine, population health, family medicine," she said, "including home visits with patients that were over 100-years-old living with their families, rounds in nursing homes, doing many procedures as well."

"It's very inspiring," Dr. DeVoe recalled, "the procedures and the competence of physicians in Japan. I have learned a great deal from our JADECOM colleagues about community medicine."

From OHSU, JADECOM has been able to strengthen the development of additional skills in primary care research and education. A theme OHSU has built upon this year in welcoming its inaugural postdoctoral fellow from JADECOM, Takahiro Mochizuki ("Mochi"), M.D. (full story here).

A Celebration of Friendship

In his closing remarks, Dr. Saultz perfectly summed up the nature of this venture between two parties: "I have not done anything in my career that has made me prouder than I am of the association we have with the work you've done in Japan, and to commemorate that at this stage, I think is just a wonderful tribute to that friendship."

"So, this is a different kind of philanthropy, a philanthropy that comes out of a celebration of friendship, and a sharing of information, from organizations that both can learn a great deal from each other."

Drs. DeVoe and Yoshiara Exchange Hugs

Photos (OHSU Foundation):

Top: (Left to right) Daisuke Yamashita, M.D.; Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., Elena Andresen, Ph.D.; Michiyasu Yoshiara, M.D. stand together to celebrate the signing of the endowment.

Middle: Daisuke Yamashita, M.D. and his family celebrate the announcement that he will be JADECOM's inaugural endowed scholar. 

Bottom: Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil. and Michiyasu Yoshiara, M.D. exchange a celebratory hug.