From the dean: a season for giving and reflection

December 20, 2016


John Hunter, M.D., F.A.C.S.Thank you to all who continued to serve patients and assist with education, research and campus operations during the inclement weather. Being part of an institution critical to health and safety is a big responsibility. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated. 

A season for giving 

Our school community is engaged in many activities during this season of giving and celebration. A few I'd like to mention include the special reception that Bill Cameron, Ph.D., associate professor of behavioral neuroscience, holds each year at which students across our institution gather to show their appreciation to families who donate the bodies of deceased loved ones to science. Read the reflections of several students on the 96,000 Square Miles blog. The reception is a powerful experience for all involved, and we appreciate Bill for the care he puts into this remarkable event.

Many School of Medicine departments and offices participate in service projects this time of year.  

Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine provided five bags of groceries at Thanksgiving to the OHSU/Partnership Project, which serves persons living with HIV and persons from transgender non-conforming communities, and this month is collecting gifts and supplies for a Salvation Army emergency shelter. The Department of Surgery is providing gifts for a mom and her three sons through the Good Neighbor House in Tigard. Family Medicine gave half of the proceeds of an employee giving campaign to help patients in need of medication assistance, warm clothing and groceries. And the Dean's office provided holiday gifts to more than 45 children and teens living in transitional housing through Central City Concern, to name just a few. 

I also want to acknowledge the hundreds of people who have given to the Mark A. Richardson Deanship Endowment and note that on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. we will dedicate the Simulation Center Laboratory in Dr. Richardson's name. 

Looking ahead

Among events to welcome the new year will be a campus-wide gathering on Friday, Jan. 13, at the OHSU Auditorium to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy in advance of the national holiday. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation for this lunch-hour event begins at 11:45 a.m.

Dr. King's legacy and commitment to social justice is a rallying point for our campus community. The event will feature a special video and remarks by executive leadership, faculty and students.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. at the OHSU Auditorium, please join me for a State of the School address where I will share highlights from our busy and productive year that has included world-class recruitments in the basic sciences, opening the Center for Radiochemistry Research and breaking ground on the Knight Cancer Institute research building; some excellent planning around restructuring our Faculty Practice Plan to most effectively and efficiently serve patients, and progress on rethinking our Ph.D. programs. The address will be followed by a reception. 

I invite your observations about our accomplishments and the challenges you see ahead of us. In January, I will be launching weekly listening sessions with faculty and students. If you are interested in participating in a session, please contact Erin Hoover Barnett, SoM communications director. You can also always share your thoughts with me via email or by making an appointment

Thanks for all you do to keep our school strong. Best wishes for a happy holiday season and may you have time for some relaxation and celebration with family and friends. 

John Hunter, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Interim Dean
OHSU School of Medicine