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Oregon Health & Science University Partnership

The pace of collaboration between OHSU and PSU has picked up in the past decade with a number of major initiatives that could be models for future joint educational and research ventures.

Public Health

OHSU and PSU are investigating how to serve the growing public health needs of the urban and metropolitan regions of the state by expanding public health education and research. They are pursuing a new School of Public Health that would allow the universities to qualify for more research funding as demand grows for leaders in the fields of health policy and health services research. The complexity of health services in the United States calls for a workforce with skills in research, planning, analysis, and evaluation to help confront America’s most pressing health problems. Enhanced capacity to respond to the public health needs of Oregon will position the universities to provide expanded workforce development and engage in relevant scholarly activities that advance solutions to public health issues.


OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building

The OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building is the first of its kind in Oregon and considered a model for future educational and research collaborations in the state. PSU’s parent agency, the Oregon University System, partnered with OHSU to finance and build the new state-of-the-art, sustainable facility, on 20 acres of undeveloped riverfront property in Portland’s South Waterfront, easily accessible from PSU and OHSU by streetcar, buses and an aerial tram. Expected to open in 2013-14, the 279,000-square-foot complex will be home to education and research in biosciences and medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing and other programs from PSU, OHSU, and Oregon State University. The project aims to expand the health care workforce and life sciences and biomedical research to stimulate economic development and attract and promote private partnerships. Read more about the Collaborative Life Science Building (pdf)

Oregon Master of Public Health

The Oregon Master of Public Health (OMPH) Program is built on the collective experience and expertise of three partner institutions: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Oregon State University (OUS), and Portland State University (PSU). A unique collaborative program that began in 1994, the Oregon MPH Program serves the urban, rural, and beach communities of Oregon and SW Washington and beyond. Students enrolled in the OMPH Program have the opportunity to take courses at any of the three campuses, and to interact with nationally an dinternationally known faculty from three dynamic universities. Visit OMPH


Joint faculty and research

When OHSU's Advanced Imaging Research Center needed a chemist to develop the next generation of contrast agents two years ago, it asked PSU’s chemists for help with hiring. In interviews, the top candidates said they wanted to be affiliated with PSU's chemistry department with access to graduate students and research colleagues, as well as access to OHSU’s state-of-the-art imaging facility. PSU saw an opportunity to fill its need for an inorganic chemistry professor and researcher. The two institutions pooled their resources and worked together to create a joint appointment with a competitive salary and start-up package. The professor now divides his time between OHSU and PSU and is considered a vibrant and productive faculty member who makes significant contributions to both institutions.

There were many administrative hurdles to this appointment, however. A strategic alliance will smooth the path to joint appointments and encourage more departments to initiate them. For instance, PSU’s Chemistry Department plans to relocate to the OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building, where the faculty hopes to create more joint appointments with OHSU. Other possible areas of partnership expansion include parasitology, cancer, toxicity, and biomedical engineering.


Joint MBA in Healthcare Management

In 2009, OHSU and PSU teamed up to start the Joint MBA in Healthcare Management Program to help fill a growing need for health care managers with graduate-level business degrees. The three-year program is an additional option to PSU’s long-standing graduate health management programs in the College of Urban and Public Affairs: the Master of Public Administration in Health Administration and the Master of Public Health in Health Management and Policy (part of the collaborative Oregon Master of Public Health program). The new Joint MBA combines OHSU’s strength in the health care industry with PSU’s comprehensive School of Business Administration to train busy professionals with a blend of online and on-campus instruction. The goal of both institutions is to prepare leaders for the rapidly changing health care system.

Although the program has to follow the different rules of each institution, the faculty and administrators work well together and there have been no serious conflicts. The provosts for both schools were committed to the program and have cleared obstacles to make it happen. Read more about the Joint MBA in Healthcare Management


Public Health

OHSU and PSU have worked together in the field of public health since 1994, when they, along with Oregon State University, started offering the Oregon MPH program to fill the need for new policy, research and education leaders and practitioners in public health. The program’s 320 graduate students enroll in a home university and can take courses toward their degrees on all three campuses, each with its own specialty. The collaboration allows students to benefit from a rich and deep range of courses, faculty, and research opportunities.

OHSU and PSU are investigating how to serve the growing public health needs of the urban and metropolitan regions of the state by expanding public health education and research. They are pursuing a new School of Public Health that would allow the universities to qualify for more research funding as demand grows for leaders in the fields of health policy and health services research. The complexity of health services in the United States calls for a workforce with skills in research, planning, analysis, and evaluation to help confront America’s most pressing health problems. Enhanced capacity to respond to the public health needs of Oregon will position the universities to provide expanded workforce development and engage in relevant scholarly activities that advance solutions to public health issues.