Working together, we are stronger

November 10, 2015

I annually share a message with the faculty, staff and students on Veterans Day. This year, I’ve invited Drs. Jeff Kirsch and David Coultas, both of whom are directly involved in the OHSU-VA partnership, to share their perspectives. I could not have said it better. Thank you. – Mark Richardson

To the OHSU and VA community:

Drs. Coultas and KirschThis November, we want to jointly thank the men and women in our communities who serve or have served in the armed forces. We are deeply grateful for your service and your sacrifice and honored to be associated with you.

We also want to thank the many spouses, family members, friends and others who support our veterans in our community. A life dedicated to service is strengthened by such partnerships.

With that in mind, we express our gratitude to the individuals throughout our institutions who dedicate their professional lives to providing and improving health care for veterans. Whether you do this directly through health care delivery in a clinic or hospital, focus on research that has the goal of improving the well-being of veterans, help educate new health care professionals, or otherwise support these efforts, your role — your partnership — is essential.

We are also grateful to the many students and trainees who are veterans and have chosen to transition their service ethic into a new area, and chose our institutions for their training. We are privileged to be part of your educational journey toward the health and science professions.

There’s one other partnership we want to celebrate today (and every day) — the value and impact of the partnership between OHSU and the VA Portland Health Care System. This important, longstanding partnership dates back to 1926 when the University of Oregon Medical School (the precursor to OHSU School of Medicine) donated the land on Marquam Hill for the earliest VA buildings. Nearly a century later, now connected by a magnificent “sky-bridge,” both institutions and the patients we serve continue to benefit significantly from a close geographic and intellectual partnership across our shared missions of health care, research, education and outreach. Working together, we are stronger.

This Veterans Day, we encourage everyone in both of our communities, whether here at work or in your community at home, to find a way to honor those who have directly served our country in the military and their families, as well as those who provide love and support to these individuals and groups. Tell someone you appreciate their service, spend a moment in reflection, contribute to a cause or act in any way that feels meaningful to you.

To all our veterans and those who support them, we thank you again for your service and contributions. You are deeply appreciated.

David Coultas, M.D., Chief of Staff, VA Portland Health Care System, Professor of Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine (pictured above left)
Jeffrey Kirsch, M.D., Associate Dean for Veterans and Clinical Affairs, OHSU School of Medicine (pictured above right)