OHSU takes part in OMA annual meeting

Dr. Robert Orfaly installed as president; Dr. Charles Thomas receives outstanding contributions award

April 29, 2016

OHSU School of Medicine leaders and faculty members played notable roles in the Oregon Medical Association's annual meeting on April 23. The organization installed Robert Orfaly, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, as its 142nd president during the meeting – a daylong event devoted this year to the issue of opioids.

Dr. Orfaly has been active in the OMA for many years, serving on the Board of Trustees since 2008 and the association's Executive Committee since 2013. In addition, he served on and chaired the Health Care Finance Committee, beginning in 2011. He is a member of several OMA committees including Access, Workforce and Legislative.

Dean Mark Richardson, M.D., MBA, delivered remarks during the installation luncheon. He emphasized the importance of wellness among physicians and health professionals in achieving the goals of the triple aim: better outcomes, better patient experience and lower costs. This notion of provider satisfaction in the health care framework is commonly being called the quadruple aim.

Charles Thomas, M.D.Charles Thomas, Jr., M.D. (right), professor and chair of radiation medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, is the OMA's Doctor-Citizen of the Year. The annual award acknowledges a physician who has made outstanding contributions to the community and the practice of medicine, as well as to health policy in Oregon.

Dr. Thomas is trained in both medical oncology and radiation oncology, and joined OHSU in 2005. Under his leadership, OHSU has created strong ties to small community clinics in all corners of the state, helping cancer patients in rural areas receive high-quality care. He also is an outstanding mentor to students and fellow faculty members, and is committed to advancing minority students' educational opportunities.

"Dr. Thomas walked into a radiation oncology private practice at OHSU and turned it into a premier academic department with an international reputation," said Timur Mitin, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiation medicine, OHSU School of Medicine. "His daily motto is 'We are here to serve the people, whatever it takes.'"

Another award, the George E. Miller Patient Safety Award, went to David Gilbert, M.D. '64 R '69, professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, and chief of infectious diseases at Providence Portland Medical Center. Dr. Gilbert was nominated by the OMA's Community Health Committee, which declared that he is a clinician and academician who highly values quality care and ensures that patient protection becomes a priority for every resident he teaches.

Special guest speakers at the event included Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.;Gary Franklin, M.D., MPH, medical director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries;and David Barbe, M.D., a trustee of the American Medical Association, who delivered the keynote address to an audience of over 200 OMA members and guests.

Emergency physician Sharon Meieran, M.D., J.D., vice president of the OMA, and Dwight Holton, J.D., chief executive of Lines for Life, described the steps Oregonians have taken around the state to stem the opioid problem, including recent passage of a bill linking the Emergency Department Information Exchange with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Other speakers included Katrina Hedberg, M.D. '85, MPH, state epidemiologist and state health officer; Paul Lewis, M.D. R '13, MPH, Multnomah County and tri-county health officer; representatives of Oregon Pain Guidance; and pain specialist Paul Coelho, M.D., from the Corvallis Clinic.

The OMA's president-elect, Kevin Reavis, M.D. R '06, a surgeon with The Oregon Clinic, is a surgery resident alumnus of the OHSU School of Medicine. His term will begin in 2017. Learn more about the OMA at www.theoma.org.


KOIN6 News: Oregon ranks high in opioid, narcotic addictions

Curbing the nation's opioid epidemic

Q&A with OMA president-elect Dr. Robert Orfaly (OHSU login required)