OHSU Family Medicine and Japan Celebrate Long-Standing Relationship

Dr. John Saultz Shares Anniversary Letter

06/17/16  Portland, Ore.

Last week, OHSU Family Medicine and the Japan Association for Development of Community Medicine (JADECOM) celebrated 30 years of collaboration and exchange. Over the years, OHSU Family Medicine residents have traveled to Japan to explore their healthcare system and use their cultural experiences to inform their practices in the States. Likewise, Japanese residents have flown to Portland to participate in classes, meetings, clinical observations, and rotations in rural health care centers throughout Oregon. 

In honor of the occasion, a group of OHSU Family Medicine residents, faculty, and medical students flew to Japan to celebrate. John Saultz, MD, kicked the celebration off with a heartfelt greeting, included below: 

JADECOM Anniversary Greeting

June 10, 2016

My colleagues from OHSU and I are honored to share this celebration with our friends from JADECOM on the occasion of your 30th anniversary. I am well aware that 30 years is a long time because OHSU's partnership with JADECOM spans over half of those 30 years. Furthermore, in three weeks, I will celebrate my own 30th anniversary of joining the faculty at OHSU. So I'd like to pay tribute tonight to both your accomplishments and to our friendship.

Friendships are strongest when they are built of a foundation of shared values. It was clear from our earliest meetings that we share a belief that successful health care is based on a strong and simultaneous commitment to service and education.

Service is the principle that drives how we deliver health care to our patients and communities. It is about caring for people now in the most efficient and effective way. It is about putting the needs of those we serve ahead of our own, thereby living up to the promises physicians have made dating back to Hypocrites.

Service is about the present;Education is focused on the future. Education is about planting seeds long before we will enjoy the shade of trees that grow from them. JADECOM and OHSU Family Medicine share a belief in serving in the present while investing in the next generation. Dr. Yoshiara and Dr. Yamada and many other JADECOM leaders over the years have planted the seeds of human potential and now a new generation is taking up their cause. They understand that education allows service to be sustained and to grow exponentially. The future is in good hands because of their efforts.

The same process is underway in our department at OHSU. I am grateful to you for allowing us the privilege of helping in this work. Both of our organizations understand that young people learn to serve by serving under the guidance of mentors in the real world of community practice. Whenever the times have been tough, it has helped to know we are not alone in these beliefs.

Over the past 30 years, both of our organizations have grown and thrived, sometimes in challenging times. Our friendship is one of the things I am proudest of in my own career and I speak for our entire faculty when I tell you that your belief in the importance of communities and your confidence in the next generation inspires us and many others around the world.

 In 1841, one of my favorite authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson, published an essay on friendship. In that essay, he stated, "The only reward of virtue is virtue;the only way to have a friend is to be one." JADECOM is built on the twin virtues of service and education, virtues that have and will continue to stand the test of time. And JADECOM is and will remain our friend because we share your belief in these virtues and because you have taught us much about what it means to be a friend. Congratulations.