A message from William Hersh, MD:
A new academic year is upon us, and I am writing this letter to provide alumni and friends of the OHSU Biomedical Informatics Education Program an update on new developments in our department. I am also inviting your participation in a new fund-raising effort for the program to which I have made the first gift. First, let me share a sampling of exciting news with you all:
- This past June, we celebrated our 20th cohort of graduates. A total of 48 students participated in convocation ceremonies, including three PhD students, six MS students, 20 MBI students, and 19 graduate certificate students. This brings our total number of alumni to 666, with 738 degrees and certificates awarded!
- In 2016, for the third year in a row, an OHSU biomedical informatics student team won the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Student Design Challenge. The winning team created an application that provides clinicians with an at-a-glance awareness of their patients’ social determinants of health issues.
- We continue to achieve success in receiving research grants that push the boundaries of informatics science. In September, the department received notices of funding for ten grants, ranging from two career development awards for young faculty to a large multi-institution award aiming to transform the data and information products of scientific research in a more open and collaborative manner. Additionally, the National Library of Medicine renewed our Biomedical Informatics Training Grant for a sixth five-year cycle.
- The demand for our educational programs transcends national boundaries. We are developing educational programs in India, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, among other places. While most of the teaching is provided online, our faculty are visiting these locations and others to disseminate our expertise.
- We are pleased to announce our first philanthropy-funded scholarship, the Dr. Frank Naeymi-Rad and Dr. Theresa A. Kepic Scholarship for Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Naeymi-Rad is the founder of Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), Inc. and Dr. Kepic is an obstetrics and gynecology physician. This $25,000 scholarship will be awarded to an MS student in the winter quarter, following a competitive review process.
Despite all of our success, the majority of the funding described above is restricted. Federal grants, for example, do not allow investment in new faculty, students, or research explorations. As we face an increasingly competitive environment in the informatics field, it is critical that we have unrestricted support to pursue new research opportunities and compete for the best and brightest students.
I am so excited by this new funding drive that I have been its first contributor, making a $10,000 gift of my own to launch the effort. I invite you to join me with a gift of your own.
William Hersh, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology