Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Hambleton Project Records

by Rachel Blume

The Hambleton Project Records have been recently processed and the finding aid is available here.

Hello readers, we are back again highlighting issues of diversity and inclusion within our archival collections! 

The Hambleton Project Logo and Sharon Hambleton
This week, Historical Collections & Archives is excited to spread the news about a recently processed group of records that document the work of the Hambleton Project. Based in the Portland, Oregon area, the Hambleton Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide support to lesbian women with cancer and other life threatening conditions.

The organization began with Sharon Hambleton, who received help from a similar group in Washington, D.C. Impressed by the care given to her by that group during her treatment for cervical cancer, she was inspired to replicate that work in the Portland area. Unfortunately, Sharon Hambleton passed away from cancer in March of 1997 before the project could get off the ground, but the work she began was taken up and continued by her friends.
Buttons included in the collection

Because of prejudices at the time towards lesbians as healthcare patients, the Hambleton Project worked to guide and advocate for the patient, family, and friends of lesbians affected by cancer. The support of the group included providing services for individuals whose needs were not being addressed, bereavement groups for women who had lost a partner to cancer or illness, and outreach to the healthcare community in order to educate on serving these patients.

The Hambleton Project Records (collection number 2016-005) house records covering board and committee meetings, education and outreach events, and other related efforts from 1997 to 2007. Many types of textual documents are included in the materials, as well as some more unique items, such as DVD presentations, memorabilia, photographs, and a mammography comparison chart.
Hambleton Project Site

What is particularly exciting about this collection is the focus on revealing the specific experience of lesbian women with cancer and the struggle these women have had to receive quality healthcare. With in-depth documentation of committee work and events, researchers with interests in LGBT health and the changing perspectives and treatment of lesbians in healthcare will greatly benefit from these materials.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

MONDAY: Live and live stream, Dana K. Andersen, "Pancreatic Surgery: Conquest of an Uncooperative Organ"

Please join us on Monday evening for our next History of Medicine lecture:

Dana K. Andersen, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Monday, February 27, 2017
OHSU Old Library Auditorium

Successful surgery of the pancreas has required the understanding of complex anatomy and physiology, the development of methods to safely negotiate a hostile location, and technological advances which permit precise intervention. The transplantation of whole pancreas and islets illustrates the value of cellular transplantation, and has energized the development of a "bio-artificial" organ. Pancreatic cancer now kills more people than breast cancer, and the early diagnosis of this disease has become a healthcare priority. New methods of pancreatic imaging and interrogation provide opportunities for improved outcomes of pancreatic diseases compared to those obtained just a few years ago.

Dr. Andersen completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at Duke University, where he also trained in Internal Medicine as well as General Surgery. His career includes appointments at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn, at the University of Chicago and Yale University, where he was Professor and Chief of General Surgery, at the University of Massachusetts where he was Chairman of Surgery, and at Johns Hopkins where he was Vice-Chair of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He is a past president of the Association for Academic Surgery, and a co-editor of Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery. He is currently Scientific Program Manager in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, National Institutes of Health.

Light refreshments will be served before the lecture.

Sponsored by the Department of Surgery and OHSU Library.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Diversity Spotlight: Dr. David Rosenstein (part two)

by Rachel Blume

The following post is part two of a two-part series inspired by our oral history interview with David Rosenstein, DMD, MPH. The interview transcript is available here. (Part one of this blog post is available here.)

In 1982, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute announced that what was then known as Gay-related Immune Deficiency (GRID) had "reached epidemic proportions and the totals probably represented just the tip of the iceberg."(1) To make matters worse, despite the reassurance of epidemiologists that no evidence had been found that the condition spread from person to person like influenza or measles, healthcare professionals were often terrified to treat HIV-positive patients.

Portland, Oregon gay and lesbian pride march in 1987
Portland gay & lesbian pride march in 1987 (2)
In the midst of all this, Rosenstein was contacted by his immunologist to say that one of his HIV-positive patients was in need of dental work, but no one would treat him. Rosenstein states in his oral history that the level of homophobia was unbelievable. According to his interview: "patients were talking to me about how doctors would say, 'No, take the magazine. That’s for you to take home' simply because they had touched it."

Yet, Rosenstein and his staff were nonplussed. In fact, he describes working with these patients as a challenge he enjoyed. During one of the greatest highlights of his interview, Rosenstein describes his proudest moment in terms of selecting the right staff. Knowing they were about to receive their first HIV/AIDS patient, Rosenstein called in the county health officer to meet the staff and talk to them about HIV. In describing the meeting, Rosenstein states:
He came over to meet with our staff. And he talked about HIV. And you know, I think this is when it was called GRID. Gay-related Immune Deficiency. It wasn’t even called AIDS or HIV then. And he talked. And he said, “Does anyone have any questions?” And Colleen … she said, “What can we do to make sure that we’re helping them?” And that was the only question. There was no, you know, will I get it, how do I protect myself. The question was, what can we do for the patient?
In this manner, the Russell Street Dental clinic developed an expertise in treating HIV/AIDS patients, and they came from all over the Pacific Northwest including Montana, Northern California, and beyond.

David Rosenstein
Rosenstein thrived in his work with these patients despite being questioned on the issue by his university colleagues, including the dean. Rosenstein remembered a time when doctors were afraid to treat black patients out of fear of what their white patients would say and responded to these questions with: "the day will come when you can't get away with not treating AIDS patients." And so it did with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Rosenstein would go on to lead the establishment of the HIV/AIDS Section of the American Public Health Association.

Throughout his oral history, Rosenstein expresses his wish that the OHSU School of Dentistry would have given a chance to more students of diverse and under-represented groups, including the poor, saying "give them an education. Let them go out and help people." That simply wasn't a priority to the School at the time. Rosenstein predicts in his closing remarks that there will always be people who get left out in the cold in the private healthcare sector and, for that reason, public health dentistry will always be there as a place to care for those patients.

If you have any records relating to the Russell Street Clinic or its predecessor, the Fred Hampton People's Free Health Clinic, and would like to donate them to our archives, please contact Steve Duckworth, University Archivist, at 503-494-0186.

1. Altman, Lawrence K. (1982 May 11). "New Homosexual Disorder Worries Health Officials," New York Times, https://web.archive.org/web/20160306162552/http://www.nytimes.com/1982/05/11/science/new-homosexual-disorder-worries-health-officials.html?pagewanted=all
2. Gay and Lesbian history collection, Mss 2988-1, Oregon Historical Society Davies Family Research Library, http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv10913

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Diversity Spotlight: Dr. David Rosenstein (part one)

by Rachel Blume

The following post is part one of a two-part series inspired by our oral history interview with David Rosenstein, DMD, MPH. The interview transcript is available here.

Photograph of David Rosenstein, with a patient, at the Russell Street Clinic, sometime in the 1980s
David Rosenstein at the Russell Street Clinic
OHSU Historical Collections & Archives is excited about highlighting materials that showcase and celebrate diversity and inclusion within our collections. In this two-part blog series, I will be highlighting our oral history interview with Dr. David Rosenstein, which provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate this objective. While Dr. Rosenstein was an excellent Dentist and Professor at the OHSU Dental School, he also demonstrated an advocacy for diverse people and groups that we should all strive toward.

Growing up in the housing projects of Boston, Rosenstein spent his childhood living in poverty due to the physical disabilities of his parents. Despite this difficult start to life, including a stint in reform school as a boy, he went on to attend the Harvard School of Dentistry. His experience with his classmates would play a key role in shaping his future at OHSU, a point he makes during his interview:
They couldn’t survive the way the kids I grew up with survived. But their last names were names that you would recognize. And they were wealthy. And I thought, this is really a rip-off. And I really got angry. And I decided I was going to take my Harvard education and use it to help people who were like myself. You know, who lived in the shadow of life.
Dr. Rosenstein would get that chance with the opening of Portland’s Russell Street Clinic.

As a new faculty member at OHSU in the 1970s, David Rosenstein experienced discrimination on both a personal level and as a witness to it within OHSU and the dental school. Being one of a mere handful of Jewish staff and students, he was often treated differently (even though the OHSU community found his heritage less upsetting than his Democratic political views). Rosenstein’s views were a cause of great contention between himself and other OHSU members, including various deans and committees. But, they also connected him with other faculty working on mutually concerning issues. Dean Terkla, for example, was particularly admired by Rosenstein and he discusses Terkla's support for their African American students in particular. A story of specific influence explains an interaction between the Dean and faculty members that were upset to have an African American student at the bottom of the class and wanted to know what action would be taken. To this, Terkla replied:
So we’ll do with this black kid what we did with all the white kids. We’ll give him all the help we can and make him the best dentist we can. Now are there any more questions?
Photograph of Dean Louis Terkla from around 1975.
Dean Louis Terkla
But the issues with racism within the school continued to be an ever-present struggle. In 1979, Rosenstein would participate in what he called "the biggest deal of my career." An African American student accused a faculty member of failing him unjustly, citing racism as the cause. Because the student chose to file a grievance, the issue was taken to the Affirmative Action Committee, which Dr. Rosenstein was in charge of. The initial response of Rosenstein and the other committee members was that the grievance filed by this student was groundless, pointing out that the student did not have the best grades. Yet, through interviews and the investigation process a very different picture was painted. Rosenstein was shocked to hear faculty members make statements to the student like: "you should be driving a Pepsi truck" and "go back to Africa."

In the most severe turn of events the committee asked to see the grading rubric used for the course. After studying all the students, Rosenstein discovered that using the given rubric for the course many other students should have been failing as well. When confronted, the faculty members changed their minds and came back with a new grading scheme, but it yielded the same result. The African American student would indeed have failed had those formats been used, but so would have as many as 7 other students every time they reworked their system. After hours spent re-grading and evaluating, the committee came back and declared illegal discrimination. Not only was the student reinstated, he was offered free tuition for the duration of his education at OHSU.

In 1975, Dr. Rosenstein with the help of Gary Chiodo and other OHSU dental professionals started the Russell Street Clinic. Originally the Fred Hampton Memorial People’s Health Clinic, is was started in cooperation with the Black Panthers of Portland and participating doctors such as Jon Moscow in 1969. Finding it increasingly difficult for the African American Community to access the health care they needed, the free clinic opened its doors to address this need.(1)

Fred Hampton People's Free Health Clinic(2)
Taken over by OHSU, the clinic was converted into a free dental clinic thanks to a Kaiser grant program with the same overall mission in mind: to serve diverse peoples that desperately needed access to healthcare, but would not or could not be seen elsewhere. Rosenstein was finally fulfilling his aspiration from his college days. In 1980s, the Clinic was confronted with a challenge that came in the form of an epidemic that hit at the heart of the LGBT community, AIDS.

Next week, learn more about Rosenstein and the Russell Street Clinic's roles in serving the LGBT community and others affected by the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic. If you have any records relating to the Russell Street Clinic or its predecessor, the Fred Hampton People's Free Health Clinic, and would like to donate them to our archives, please contact Steve Duckworth, University Archivist, at 503-494-0186.

1. Gies, M. (2009). Radical Treatment. Reed Magazine. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.reed.edu/reed_magazine/winter2009/features/radical_treatment/index.html
2. Gies, M. (n.d.). Black Panthers In Portland. The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 31, 2017 from https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/black_panthers_in_portland/#.WKIQNBiZNYc

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Introduction: Rachel Blume, Student Assistant

Hello fellow readers! My name is Rachel Blume and I am an Archives Student Assistant here at the OHSU Library. Since I’ll be posting now and again (look for me soon!), I wanted to share a little about myself and my experience to give you all some authorial background.

As a Masters of Library & Information Science student at the University of Washington, I have bounced around a lot over the past two and a half years. At various local institutions such as Portland State and Lewis & Clark College, I completed internships in archival processing and library instruction. While I began my current position at OHSU in November (2016), this is not my first post within the OHSU libraries’ Curatorial Services. Last year I worked on the LSTA grant project as a Digital Projects Student Assistant, spending most of my time digitizing public health records. In addition to all this, I am also starting my culminating capstone project, “Preserving the Institutional History of the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry” at OMSI this week.

Before pursuing the Library & Archives profession, I was an undergraduate at Marylhurst University where I received my BA degree in English Literature & Digital Humanities. There I spent much of my time doing literary analysis using digital tools and participating in open access publishing. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my son (6) and my daughter (4). We enjoy hiking, camping, and anything to do with the beach!

As a Student Assistant here in the archives, I look forward to soaking up all I can before graduating in the Spring through both my duties and the mentorship of my coworkers.