Gratitude Tree Wellness Project returns to spread kindness through SOM

Dean Sharon Anderson is bringing back the Gratitude Tree Wellness project for a second year and she invites all employees and learners to participate in spreading messages of gratitude and kindness across the school. The Gratitude Tree project is a school-wide effort to recognize and appreciate the work of staff, faculty and learners during the month of December and culminating with a celebratory gathering. This year the all-school appreciation event “Gratitude, Cookies and Carols,” hosted by Dean Anderson will be held on Monday, Dec. 16. All are invited to attend.

For the next month, watch for displays around the school and take a moment to create and share words of gratitude for the people who are doing the important, but often unrecognized work of supporting discovery, teaching and healing every day. All school departments, offices, labs, and programs are invited to participate and create displays in their spaces.

Here’s how your office can participate:


  • Provide cards on which coworkers or classmates can write messages of gratitude or recognition for individuals or teams.
  • Create a display to showcase cards in your space. Hang cards on a real tree, in a formation, as a bulletin board display–let a spirit of appreciation and creativity inspire you.


  • Share a photo of your ‘tree’ on social media using the hashtag #SoMgratitude and tag @OHSUSoM anytime through Dec. 16.
  • Copy and send a selection of messages by Dec. 11 to Mariah Dula in the SoM Dean’s office, fourth floor, Mac Hall, Mail Code L102 or via email at
  • Individuals are also welcome to email messages of appreciation or recognition directly to the Dean’s office at the email above.


Join us for an all-school celebration where Dr. Anderson will share a selection of gratitude messages:

A celebration and recognition gathering
hosted by School of Medicine Dean Sharon Anderson

Monday, Dec. 16
2-3 p.m.

Mac Hall Cafe
Ground floor, Mackenzie Hall
Add to your calendar

Hot cocoa, cookies and caroling.
Bring baked goods to share if you wish.

The Gratitude Tree project was inspired by a display of appreciation notes in a department office that Dean Anderson saw as embodying an expression of recognition and kindness that is a vital part of wellness.  The Dean’s office introduced the Gratitude Tree Wellness project as a way to encourage people to recognize and appreciate one another during the month of December. Soon trees of brightly colored cards and creative snowflake hangings radiated cheer on walls from Mackenzie Hall to the Medical Research Building. Participant’s creativity with the project, captured in the photo above, was second only to the creativity and kindness exhibited in the messages themselves.

Questions? Mariah Dula, communications specialist, or Rachael Braun, executive assistant, OHSU School of Medicine.