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By Josh Friesen
For Ignite Magazine
Photos by Jason Hill
Photos of Danielle Pinn by Bryon DeVore

The future of health is changing.

While so much progress has been made, OHSU is still pushing forward. OHSU and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital are building a future that brings health and well-being to everyone in Oregon and beyond.

From advancing specialized treatments for cancer patients to changing the conversation about gun violence, people across OHSU are transforming their fields and inspiring change through innovation, empathy and hope.

Here are just a few of the incredible people at OHSU whose work is shaping the health landscape of tomorrow.

These are the Changemakers.

Transforming health through fetal medicine

Andrew Chon, M.D., Raphael Sun, M.D.

Thinking outside the box is a necessity for OHSU fetal surgeons Andrew Chon, M.D., and Raphael Sun, M.D. Chon and Sun are part of the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Fetal Care Program, a comprehensive, expert team of neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, radiologists, pediatric subspecialists and anesthesiologists. It is one of only a handful of centers in the country to provide the highest level of maternal, fetal and neonatal care in one location.

Changing the conversation about gun violence

Kathleen Carlson, Ph.D.

Gun violence in the U.S. is a public health crisis, and injury epidemiologist Kathleen Carlson, Ph.D., is trying to figure out why. Carlson, the director of the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center and professor of public health in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, has positioned OHSU as a national leader in understanding the public health toll of firearm injury.

Paving a clear path to a cure for HIV

Jonah Sacha, Ph.D.

More people worldwide are living with HIV now than in any other time in recorded history. Jonah Sacha, Ph.D., a professor at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, is confident he can help change that. He is working to reverse-engineer the process that has cured five individuals of HIV, the groundbreaking insights of which will illuminate the roadmap to HIV-specific immunotherapies.

Building a future that brings health and well-being to all

Shandee Dixon, Ph.D.

How can we guarantee everyone equal access to the benefits of innovation? Every day, Shandee Dixon, Ph.D., gets closer to answering that question. The research thread director of the Wy’east Post-Baccalaureate Pathway in the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence, Dixon helps students navigate and validate their place in their academic careers. Her work is building a future where health care providers and researchers look like and understand the people they serve, a future where structural gaps at the root of health inequities are filled.

Improving the precision of brain surgery

Ahmed Raslan, M.D., FAANS

The dichotomy between the brain’s incredible complexity and beautiful simplicity captivates Ahmed Raslan, M.D., professor and interim chair of neurological surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of functional neurosurgery. Balancing his efforts as a surgeon and researcher, Raslan has spent his career at OHSU on the leading edge of science and discovery, impacting patients in the operating room and through scientific innovation.

Advancing specialized treatments for cancer patients

Divya Sood, M.D.

Divya Sood, M.D., sees patients who often have nowhere else to turn. Sood, an assistant professor of surgery (surgical oncology) in the OHSU School of Medicine, specializes in treating patients with abdominal cancers, focusing on metastatic cancers that have spread from one part of the abdomen to another. Her work is encouraging oncologists to rethink their approach to metastatic cancer treatment. One treatment in particular, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), is offering something metastatic cancer patients have longed for: hope.

Expanding complete pediatric care beyond the walls of a clinic

Benjamin Hoffman, M.D., CPST-I, FAAP

Benjamin Hoffman, M.D., CPST-I, FAAP, a professor of pediatrics at the OHSU School of Medicine and medical director of OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Child Injury and Prevention Program and Tom Sargent Safety Resource Center, realized long ago that complete pediatric care expands beyond the walls of a clinic. His dedication to influencing policy, connecting with families and communities, and advocating for children’s health and injury prevention has led to his recent election as president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Forging a brighter future for reproductive health

Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H.

In the wake of increased efforts to restrict reproductive health access across the U.S., OHSU has made its stance clear: Abortion is health care. “It’s critical to have a community around us that recognizes and supports the care that we’re doing,” said Alison Edelman, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and division director of Complex Family Planning in the OHSU School of Medicine. “It’s this support that enables us to provide this essential health care and expand services to meet the existing need for Oregonians while also caring for those forced to travel to our state.”

Prioritizing marginalized communities in the health care system

Armando Jimenez, M.P.H., CPH

Communication is everything for Armando Jimenez, M.P.H. ’20, CPH, the director of language services at OHSU. Transparent, honest and accurate communication isn’t just key to increasing health care access — it’s vital for establishing trust. Jimenez and his team work to ensure access to anything a patient might need in a non-English language.

Advocating for the well-being of individuals experiencing homelessness

Danielle Pinn, OHSU School of Nursing student

Danielle Pinn understands how a little hope can go a long way. Pinn, a third-year nursing student at the OHSU School of Nursing in Ashland, experienced homelessness for over two years, and witnessed and experienced the shortcomings of the health care system. Today as a nursing student and student member of the OHSU Street Nursing Team in Ashland, Pinn strives for a health care future that treats every patient with the dignity they deserve.

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