Center for Health Innovation

SciShort_9_17_15The College of Public Health at OSU has a new initiative, and though the name sounds pretty canned, the goal is ambitious. The Oregon Center for Health Innovation (OCHI) will create a web of cooperation between industry, academics, and public sector resources to fight preventable disease and improve health outcomes for the public.

“Innovation means asking different questions,” said Tammy Bray, OSU’s dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences in a press release. “Oregon has been a pioneer in health reform, and pioneering ideas and solutions are needed to host a prosperous economy, healthy population and environment. This center is a way for us to continue that work hand-in-hand with our community and business partners.”

That all sounds pretty vague, of course, but it is basically a center designed to make us all live longer, healthier lives, so it’s hard to be dismissive about it.

The changes to the way health care is delivered and paid for going on right now are unlike any ever seen in the industry before. Seeking new ways to respond to those changes should be a paramount concern of the science, technology, and economic sectors.

The interim chair of OCHI is Gloria Krahn, director of external relations for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. She commented in the press release on the need for new innovations.

“America spends much more on health than any other country in the world, yet we are far from the healthiest country on important measures such as lifespan, infant mortality, and rates of chronic conditions,” Krahn summed up succinctly.


We’re probably a ways from seeing hard results from OCHI, and it is yet to be seen how their partnership with insurer PacificSource Health Plans will pan out, but at this early stage it sounds like a worthwhile, if not existential, endeavor.

By Sidney Reilly