Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a public university in Oregon with a main campus, including two hospitals, inPortland. The university was initially founded in 1974 as the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, combining statedentistry, medicine, and nursing programs into a single center.
It was renamed Oregon Health Sciences University in 1981 and took its current name in 2001, as part of a merger with theOregon Graduate Institute (OGI), in Hillsboro. In addition, the university has several partnership programs including a joint PharmDPharmacy program with Oregon State University in Corvallis.
The Willamette University School of Medicine, OHSU’s earliest predecessor, was founded in the 1860s in Salem, and was relocated to Portland in the 1870s. In 1915, Willamette University and the University of Oregon merged their medical programs to form the University of Oregon Medical School, and in 1919 the school moved to its present location on Marquam Hill in Southwest Portland. The Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company donated 20 acres (8.1 ha) and C.S. “Sam” Jackson, publisher of the now-defunct Oregon Journal donated the remaining 88 acres (36 ha) to the school two years prior to the move after the property had been deemed unsuitable for the construction of a railroad yard.
Over the next forty years, the school diversified its educational offerings to include nursing and dental programs, and expanded with facilities built during this time on Marquam Hill, including the Multnomah County Hospital, the Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children, and an outpatient clinic.
In 1955, Oregon state Senator Mark Hatfield co-sponsored a bill to transform the medical school into a teaching hospital, and in 1974 the State of Oregon merged the institutions located on Marquam Hill into the University Hospital independent of the University of Oregon. His continued support of medical research in Oregon in general and the hospital, in particular, was recognized by the institution in 1998 with the dedication of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center and the creation of the Hatfield information wall on permanent display in the lobby of the main hospital. In 2008, Governor Kulongoski released an executive order designating the Mark O. Hatfield Chair of the OHSU Board of Directors to commemorate Hatfield’s commitment to the institution.
The main campus, located on Marquam Hill (colloquially known as “Pill Hill”) in the southwest neighborhood of Homestead, is home to the university’s medical school as well as two associated hospitals. The Oregon Health & Science University Hospital is a Level I trauma center and general hospital; Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is a children’s hospitalwhich specializes in pediatric medicine and care of children with long-term illness. The university maintains a number of outpatient primary care facilities including the Physician’s Pavilion at the Marquam Hill campus as well as throughout the Portland metropolitan area.
A third hospital, the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center is located next to the main OHSU campus; this hospital is run by the United States Department of Veterans Affairsand is outside the auspices of OHSU. A 1992 pedestrian bridge connecting OHSU Hospital and the VA Medical Center is the longest suspended pedestrian skybridge in North America, with a length of 660 feet (200 m).
The School of Nursing at OHSU offers nursing programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The graduate nursing program was most recently ranked 7th overall in the nation by the US News and World Report and 5th in the gerontology/geriatric specialty.
In 2006, the animal rights group PETA brought attention to OHSU research involving sheep. The research, which is being conducted in conjunction with Oregon State Universityis designed to understand the biological mechanisms involved in sexual partner preference. These experiments were being funded through public grants through the year 2008.