Oregon Health & Science University


About OHSU Health

Your family’s well-being is important to us. That’s why OHSU’s Health magazine brings you the latest research news, expert advice and event listings to help you stay current and keep your family healthy. Our magazine is intended to educate and inform: If you have urgent medical issues or in-depth questions, please talk to your health care provider.

Got questions or suggestions? We’d love to hear your feedback: Email us at editor@ohsu.edu

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Growing to meet patient needs

OHSU is known for providing the most comprehensive health care services in the state. With the goal of improving the health of Oregon and beyond, OHSU is expanding the South Waterfront Campus with the addition of three buildings.

The Center for Health & Healing South building project broke ground in April 2016. It will be comprised of a health care building south of the existing Center for Health & Healing, as well as a parking garage and lodging, to be known as the Gary & Christine Rood Family Pavilion.

The new building will be connected to the existing Center for Health & Healing. It will offer inpatient and outpatient procedures and clinical space for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, the OHSU Digestive Health Center and the OHSU Preoperative Medicine Clinic.  Also planned are a retail pharmacy, lab services, lobby and restaurant, waiting areas and outdoor terrace.

The Rood Family Pavilion will provide parking, a conference center and rooms for patients and families who travel to OHSU from afar. Many struggle to find housing when they need to travel to OHSU’s Portland campus for treatments.

The third building will house researchers from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, many of whom will be focused on early detection of cancer, when it is easier to treat and hopefully prevent. This building, made possible by the support of the Oregon Legislature and donors to the OHSU Knight Cancer Challenge, will be on the cutting edge of cancer research. We are recruiting scientists worldwide to work there in conjunction with researchers from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

The first of those scientists, Sadik Esener, Ph.D., will join Brian Druker, M.D., director of the Knight Cancer Institute in the effort to fight cancer.

All three buildings will be finished in 2018.

Research News

A cure for HIV?

Research from the Oregon National Primate Research Center has shown that infant rhesus macaques treated with antibodies within 24 hours of being exposed to SHIV, a simian virus similar to HIV, were completely cleared of the virus. This discovery indicates that using new methods, such as antibodies, to limit infection after exposure in newborns could be advantageous. SHIV-infected nonhuman primates can transmit SHIV to their offspring through milk feeding, just as humans can transmit HIV from mother to child through breastfeeding and during childbirth (and only rarely during pregnancy). In humans, a combination of treatments for mothers and infants, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), cesarean section delivery and formula-feeding (instead of breastfeeding), have decreased the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission from 25 percent to less than 2 percent since 1994. Despite this decrease, approximately 200,000 children are infected with HIV each year worldwide, primarily in developing countries where ART is not readily available. The study was published in March in Nature Medicine.

Tetanus shots: Not as often as you thought

OHSU researchers are challenging the convention that tetanus and diphtheria vaccine boosters need to be administered every 10 years. Their analysis shows adults will remain protected against tetanus and diphtheria for at least 30 years without the need for further booster shots, after completing the standard five-dose childhood vaccination series. If a revised adult vaccination schedule were implemented, a simplified age-based vaccination plan could be designed to involve a single vaccination at age 30 and again at 60. This could impact U.S. health care costs, saving up to $1 billion within four years. Vaccination against tetanus and diphtheria has resulted in a significant decline in the incidence of these two serious diseases. Deaths from tetanus have declined 99 percent since the pre-vaccine era, and diphtheria is virtually nonexistent in the U.S. The study was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Mutations in our genes happen as we age

OHSU researchers at the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy have confirmed that as people age, they accumulate gene mutations in their mitochondria—the energy source within the body’s cells. These mutations, which happen randomly within individual cells as we age, can limit cells’ ability to create energy and function properly. Although potential therapies using stem cells hold tremendous promise for treating human disease, these type of defects in the mitochondria could weaken cells' ability to repair damaged tissue or organs. This knowledge of how aging damages cells means that scientists need to screen stem cells for mutations, or collect them at younger age to ensure their mitochondrial genes are healthy. The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Upcoming Events

Event Spotlight

4th World Parkinson Congress
Oregon Convention Center
September 20 – 23, 2016

The 4th World Parkinson Congress (WPC) is a unique international event designed to bring together the full spectrum of people who live with Parkinson’s disease and those who serve the Parkinson community.

In addition to the many events presented by the WPC, OHSU’s Brain Institute is hosting a free lecture and breakfast on Deep Brain Stimulation surgery on September 22, 7 -8 a.m.

Making Sense of Menopause
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 , 9 a.m.
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, 2730 S.W. Moody, Ave., Portland, OR
Learn about the latest in menopause research and treatment options from national experts on menopause, aging and women’s health.

Walk with us

NW Sarcoma Dragonslayer Walk
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, 9:30 a.m.
Cook Park, 17005 S.W. 92nd Ave., Tigard, OR
Walk to help raise awareness, funds for research, and honor the lives of those who have been touched by sarcoma.

Race for the Cure
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, 7 a.m.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR
Help show our community that OHSU employees, family, and friends are dedicated to making a difference to the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Don't miss the 25th anniversary of Race for the Cure Portland!

Purple Stride Portland
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, 9 a.m.
World Trade Center, 121 S.W. Salmon St., Portland, OR
Join Team OHSU at this family-friendly walk hosted by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Show our community that OHSU employees, friends and family are dedicated to making a difference in pancreatic cancer awareness, treatment and research.

Light the Night
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, 5 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR
An evening walk to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a longtime partner of OHSU.

Ask the Health Experts Seminars
Join us for informative talks about some of today’s top health concerns. Learn the latest developments in treatment, prevention and detection from the leading professionals in the field. Light refreshments will be served.

Depression: How to Know When It Is Depression or Something Else
George Keepers, M.D.
Thursday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m.
Everyone feels sad or anxious from time to time, but how do you know if these feelings are just a normal part of life or something more? Learn about the causes of depression, how to get properly diagnosed and treatments that are offering patients hope.

Understanding Gene-Based Tumor Testing
Michael Savin, M.D.
Wednesday Oct. 5, 7 p.m.
How do we evaluate the recurrence risk of cancer? Learn how gene-based tumor testing enables us to personalize cancer treatment to reduce recurrence risk.

Baby Talk

Considering fertility treatment? Want to learn about what options are best for you? OHSU offers a full range of fertility services. Join us for a free information session and meet briefly with a fertility expert, get to know our staff, learn about financial options and get your questions answered.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 5-7 p.m.
Financial sessions at 5 or 6 p.m.
Meet with fertility experts 5:30–7 p.m.

Health Spotlight

Each issue, we bring timely health tips and information to help you and your family live healthier lives. Got a question or health issue you’d like our experts to address? Email us at editor@ohsu.edu.

Safety: Always in season

Learn some tips (or get some reminders!) about how to keep your family healthy and safe all year long.

  • Car safety: Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. A car can heat up as quickly as an oven.
  • Home safety: Be mindful of chemicals and poisons in your garage and yard as you garden.
  • Insect bites: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to prevent bug bites and stings. Children older than two months can use bug repellent with DEET.
  • Safe sleep: Remember the ABCs: Alone (infant with blanket — no barriers or bumpers) Back (put infant to sleep on his/her back) and Crib (whether it’s a crib, or pack and play, make sure it’s a good mattress and flat, not elevated).
  • Sports: Keep children well-hydrated. Water is best; sports drinks often contain high amounts of sugar. Also, kids must wear helmets if they’re going to be on a bike, scooter or skateboard; choose one that meets the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Sunscreen: Children six months and older should wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
  • Water safety: Any child out on the water needs to wear a life jacket. Don’t leave any standing water around; even a bucket of water is a drowning hazard to a toddler. Make sure there’s fencing around a pool, with a gate that locks.
  • Windows: A two-story fall for a toddler is about the same as a five-story fall for an adult. If you have young kids, don’t open windows any more than four inches. Screens do not keep children inside; it takes only a small amount of pressure to pop a screen out.

Ben Hoffman, M.D.
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

Heart attack symptoms: They’re different in women

Heart attack symptoms in women tend to be undertreated compared with men, according to the American Heart Association. A woman’s heart attack can have different underlying causes, symptoms and outcomes than a man’s. Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. Most people associate heart problems with chest pain that radiates to the jaw or arm. However, symptoms of a heart attack in women may be different and can include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion or nausea
  • Pain in the jaw or upper back

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure or diabetes, seek medical attention immediately. Remember, basics of prevention are the same, regardless of gender: Eat healthy, don’t smoke, exercise regularly and consult with your doctor about your cholesterol.

Shimoli Shah, M.D.
OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute

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Past Editions of Health

  • Fall 2015
  • Spring 2016
  • Fine Print

    Health is a quarterly publication of OHSU serving the greater Portland area. Information is intended to educate and is not a substitute for consulting with a health care provider.

    Got questions or suggestions? We’d love to hear your feedback: Email us.

    If you would like to opt-out of receiving the printed version of Health you can do so here.

    Editor-in-chief: Heather Pease
    Managing editor: Ashley Uchtman
    Copywriter: Carin Moonin
    Graphic designer: David Riofrio