Dr. Sharon Anderson appointed dean of the OHSU School of Medicine

Dr. Sharon AndersonMay 24, 2017

I'm pleased to announce that I have appointed Sharon Anderson, M.D. R '82, as the next dean of the School of Medicine, effective July 5. Dr. Anderson will also serve as Executive Vice President of OHSU. Sharon will remain as chair of the Department of Medicine until a transition plan for that role is implemented.

Dr. Anderson's career reflects a "quadruple threat" in academic medicine, spanning research, education, clinical care, and administration. Since March 2015, she has served as chair of the Department of Medicine, after serving as interim chair for nearly two years. She previously served as chief of medical service at VA Portland Health Care System, where she maintains a staff appointment.

Dr. Anderson received her B.A. from the University of Maryland, and her M.D. from Louisiana State University Medical Center. After internal medicine residency training here at OHSU in 1982, she completed her clinical fellowship in nephrology at Beth Israel Hospital, and her research fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital –an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. After several years on faculty there, she joined the faculty at OHSU and the VA Portland Health Care System in 1991.  

I want to take this moment to thank the search committee for conducting a remarkably fast and thorough national search for the next dean, which yielded a highly qualified pool of external candidates. While in the end I determined that the best person for this role was one of our own, the work of the search committee helped solidify for me that choosing Dr. Anderson was the right choice for OHSU.

I would also like to extend an extra special thank you to Dr. John Hunter for his leadership of the School of Medicine these past eight months and for carrying on the legacy of Dean Mark Richardson during this transition period. Dr. Hunter will assume the new role of Chief Clinical Officer, as announced in February. 

I have mentioned to many that after the Dean search we would begin the recruitment of a Chief Scientific Officer to promote research alignment. I've had a number of extremely productive conversations with faculty members about this subject. It has become apparent to me that we need to spend significant additional time gathering faculty perspectives about how we organize research at OHSU and what are the right qualifications we want in our next research leader. The underlying issue is there is not agreement about how best to align research at OHSU. I intend to establish a formal, faculty-driven process to conduct this evaluation and will share additional details about its structure soon. 

Dr. Anderson has agreed to serve a term of up to three years. This will allow substantial time to conduct the needed research evaluation and then to search for a new Dean in concert with a Chief Scientific Officer and potentially other research leaders as informed by the faculty-driven evaluation process.

This is an incredibly important time for OHSU. As we look toward the future we are faced with the opportunity to revolutionize how health care is delivered, breakthroughs discovered and medical education delivered. But we simultaneously face unprecedented challenges to both our mission and values. I'm confident that Dr. Anderson is the right individual to help us navigate these waters on our ongoing journey to improving the health and well-being of Oregonians for generations to come. 

Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A.
President, OHSU

Above: Dr. Sharon Anderson