Dr. Christina Milano Wins Clinical Excellence Award

Honored at Women in Academic Medicine Conference

02/07/18  Portland, Ore.

Dr. Christina Milano stands with colleagues as she accepts her award

Left to right: Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., Christina Milano, M.D., Fran Biagioli, M.D., Megan McGhean stand together to celebrate Dr. Milano's Women in Academic Medicine award.

At last month's OHSU Women in Academic Medicine annual conference, Christina Milano, M.D. was announced the winner of the Clinical Excellence Award. Her nomination, submitted by OHSU Family Medicine Chair, Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., reads:

On behalf of the OHSU Department of Family Medicine, I am honored to nominate Christina Milano, M.D. for the OHSU Women in Academic Medicine Clinical Excellence Award. We are inspired by her impressive record of service to the University and the community, and by her tireless dedication to advocating and caring for underserved populations in her practice, in the region, and nationally.

Dr. Milano is an incredibly compassionate primary care physician and supportive member of the amazing team at OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond. As a family physician, she has dedicated her career to making quality health care accessible to members of underserved communities. Much of her academic, clinical, and service work has been centered on practice and care transformation, and she has been recognized as an expert and leader in the field of ambulatory health care transformation.

Dr. Milano has shown remarkable service leadership at the Richmond clinic, which is a Federally Qualified Health Center largely serving low-income and vulnerable populations. In addition to her work as a practicing clinician, she has developed new tools for facilitating appropriate preventive health care, for increasing efficiency of work between faculty and medical assistants, for integrating the electronic health record (EHR) into good patient care, and for optimizing workflows in the clinic. Her work creating a high-functioning multidisciplinary team to engage with and support their most vulnerable patients resulted in demonstrable improvements in the quality of care for patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and depression, and has helped reduce health disparities at the Richmond clinic. The success of this program garnered positive media attention for the approach and for OHSU, including visits from NPR's Morning Edition, Marketplace, and Modern Healthcare programs; Dr. Milano has also presented about her successes at regional and national conferences. Largely due to her efforts serving as the Richmond clinic's Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH) Clinical Champion, the clinic was among the first and highest-scoring clinics in Oregon to receive Tier 3 recognition by the Oregon Health Authority.

Dr. Milano's expertise has earned the confidence of multiple Portland-area health systems and the local government, resulting in her helping to restructure Oregon's Medicaid program and being asked to serve as the Medical Director of CareOregon Metro's Tri County Providers. This collaborative effort is part of Health Share of Oregon, a Coordinated Care Organization serving the Portland metropolitan area, involving many major healthcare organizations, including OHSU.

Above and beyond her work transforming traditional practices into high-functioning PCPCHs, Dr. Milano is a passionate and effective leader advancing care for transgender patients. She was an early advocate for, and partner in the creation of, what became the OHSU Transgender Health Program, and serves on several community-level committees and panels related to transgender care. Dr. Milano has been working with transgender patients for over 15 years, and treated her first transgender primary care patient at the Richmond clinic in 2006. She saw the unfilled primary care

need and wanted to make a difference—she realized that caring for this population was about more than just surgery or prescribing hormones, but that they needed safe and competent care options at every stage of life;many of these patients struggle to find a doctor willing and/or able to treat them. Dr. Milano helped push for cultural changes at a University level, and these changes made by OHSU leadership, in addition to the creation and success of the OHSU Transgender Health Program, have contributed to OHSU being consistently and continually recognized as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

Dr. Milano's many contributions to improving patient health exemplify a leader whose efforts move far beyond the medical care of individual patients and advocacy work throughout the Portland metro area—she also serves as a mentor and resource for her colleagues and the broader LGBTQ community. She provides transformational feedback and advice to peers, helping support them and their work, and serves as a role model in numerous ways. As a leader in this field, she has been invited to lecture nationally on the subject of transgender health advocacy, discussing the impact of collaborative care organizations and partnerships on the experience of transgender individuals being able to access services and competent providers. In her national work, she has served as an excellent ambassador for our institution by teaching others how programs she's helped to implement at OHSU could be effected in other areas and care environments.

Dr. Christina Milano has been a true inspiration, and we enthusiastically nominate her for the 2018 OHSU Women in Academic Medicine Clinical Excellence Award.