Enjoying a colleague’s success

From left: Mark Richardson, Stacy Nicholson, Jeffrey Kirsch, Jeffrey Koh

In January I was invited to a very special dinner celebration to acknowledge my friend and colleague Dr. Jeff Koh, head of pediatric anesthesiology at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Koh was being honored as the first holder of the Fred Fax Professorship of Pediatric Anesthesia. This endowed position, a gift from the estate of Alice and Fred Fax, will support the important work of Jeff and his colleagues at Doernbecher now and in perpetuity.

At the dinner, listening to colleagues from near and far who were visiting to join in the celebration, I was reminded of the special talents that Jeff brings to his care of patients at Doernbecher.

His calm, warm and wonderful demeanor with children changes their operative experience (and that of their parents) for the better. His focus and skill as an anesthesiologist brings an unmatched level of safety and care to their outcomes.

Indeed, when one of my own children needed an anesthetic for placement of ear tubes, Jeff took care of them. This passion for quality extends to all of Jeff’s anesthesia colleagues at Doernbecher, in part because he helps to inspire it.

Jeff is also a superlative leader, who keeps a complex operation room environment humming, makes sure everyone is at their best, and that everyone’s contribution is valued. Holding the Fax Professorship is emblematic of all these skills and of what Jeff brings to Oregon’s children.

My favorite part of the dinner was to see Jeff’s wife, children and even siblings and father, some from very far away, visiting to enjoy their family member’s success, and to better understand his contributions. That night, they too became part of our “Doernbecher family”!

Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D.
Mario and Edie Campagna Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery
Director, OHSU Neurological Surgery Residency Program
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital