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An update on OHSU’s response to COVID-19

Every day we learn more about COVID-19 and the impact it’s having on our nation and the world. And every day, members of our community are stepping up to help ensure that our health care workforce has the resources needed to fight the pandemic and save lives.

I want to update you on what’s happening at OHSU and how OHSU staff members continue to lead through these unprecedented times.

OHSU has launched a clinical microbiology lab that will enable the university to test COVID-19 samples in-house rather than ship them to an outside lab. Fully compliant with federal testing guidelines, the new lab will significantly shorten turnaround time for these crucial results as it ramps up in the coming weeks. The lab started from nothing; it was constructed, stocked, staffed and operational in just 14 days. The process has been powered by a team of clinical, researchers and scientists who came together in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Philanthropy from donors has helped fund this new biomedical lab. Donations are also making an impact by expanding our capacity to offer diagnostic testing to more patients and health care providers — a continuing area of focus and priority at OHSU.

Another development on the front lines includes the Connected Care Center, a new hotline and telemedicine service for OHSU’s patients with questions regarding COVID-19. The hotline, funded by a $1.6 million donation by the Andrew and Corey Morris-Singer Foundation, offers a way to get questions answered while preventing OHSU’s primary and specialty care systems from being overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the surge of questions regarding COVID-19, this gift will expand patient access to health care professionals across Oregon — keeping patients safely at home when appropriate and helping to prevent overcrowding at OHSU hospitals and clinics. This gift will provide vital support to the primary care teams working tirelessly on the front lines of this public health crisis.

Now more than any time in recent history, we are grateful for our health care workforce at the front lines of this pandemic — and enormously proud of what the OHSU community has accomplished already. I’m also grateful for our donor community. In the last two weeks, the OHSU Foundation has received an outpouring of support from donors like you who have given to OHSU’s COVID-19 response fund. Philanthropy is allowing OHSU to prepare for COVID-19 and treat patients in ways that would otherwise not have been possible. Our donors are making a difference.

With gratitude,

Matt McNair
President, OHSU Foundation