Nike CEO John Donahoe and his wife, Eileen, along with Nike Chairman Mark Parker and his wife, Kathy, today joined Phil and Penny Knight in a $7 million donation to Oregon Health & Science University to accelerate statewide efforts to contain, diagnose and treat COVID-19.
Based on the novel coronavirus’s initial impacts in Oregon and elsewhere, it is anticipated that this outbreak will place unprecedented strain on our state’s existing clinical infrastructure and workforce. These funds will significantly help relieve that strain by enabling OHSU to quickly deploy resources for top public health priorities: to improve statewide care coordination, increase patient access, and enhance diagnostic testing for COVID-19.
“We are operating in unprecedented times, and I would like to express my deep gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Knight, and the leaders at Nike, for greatly augmenting OHSU’s ability to better serve the people of Oregon during this global health crisis,” said OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. “People across the state have come together to face this challenge collaboratively, and this support will have a profound impact on our ability to meet it.”
OHSU, working closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and with other health systems in the Portland area and across the state, is fulfilling a key leadership role in the statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our priority is to care for the patients who need us the most,” said Renee Edwards, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer of OHSU Health. “We are so thankful for this generous gift. We are working with everything we have, alongside our health care partners, to get the supplies and systems needed to care for Oregonians. This gift provides a substantial lift to these critical efforts, at a critical time.”
The funding will be used to:
• Utilize OHSU’s existing, highly sophisticated “mission control” platform to organize people and personnel throughout the Portland-metro region that could improve the ability of OHSU and health care partners to coordinate care for people with COVID-19. The intention is to help ensure that patients receive the right level of care at the facility best able to serve their needs at any particular moment in time.
• Provide digital tools to increase patient capacity and triage health care needs. There is an increased, urgent need to care for patients using virtual technologies. New digital tools will give health care providers the ability to screen patients online, even outside of regular business hours, which may allow patients to stay home safely when possible and preserve space in clinics and hospitals for those who need it most.
• Provide the equipment, supplies and staffing needed to expand diagnostic testing, including the ability to scale mobile and satellite testing stations. The demand for diagnostic testing is increasing. Meeting this demand will depend on two key factors: operational readiness and the availability of testing supplies. These funds will support ramping up OHSU’s state-of-the-art technologies and systems for screening, so that as long as supplies are available, OHSU will be able to expand diagnostic testing. As more people are tested and we inevitably identify more exposed individuals, our community will need more suitable spaces for diagnostic testing and patient isolation.