Friday, May 04, 2018

New Oral History: Virginia Tilden

Historical Collections & Archives is now posting on Library Notes! Check out this post, and others. there.

This post is by Archives Assistant Rosie Yanosko.

Image of Doctor Virginia Tilden
Virginia Tilden, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
We recently added an interview with Virginia Tilden, Senior Associate for Research at the School of Nursing, to our Oral History Collection. I highly recommend reading this interview, but in case you're short on time, I'd like to share some of Tilden's fascinating story. Her father was a Foreign Service Officer, so her formative years were spent in the Commonwealth of Nations and the Far East. Her upbringing instilled her with a "sense of a pretty large world, and the suffering of many people." While Tilden was in high school, her family moved back to the States, and she decided to study Nursing at Georgetown University. She described her time at Georgetown as follows:
They were the early years ... nursing was very traditional. It was very much subservient to physicians. It was very much follow orders. You know, that would make me bristle. Follow orders? Wait a minute. I mean, so that was a challenge for me. Why I stayed was I loved psychiatric nursing because it was where I could connect with people, with their suffering, with their limitations.
Tilden's empathy for the suffering of others and dedication to challenging the status quo are evident throughout her career.

After graduating from Georgetown in 1967, Tilden needed a change of pace, and she decided to pursue her Master's in Psychiatric Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Describing herself as "a little bit of a rebel," Tilden lived in the storied Haight-Ashbury district. At that time, few schools had Ph.D. programs in Nursing, so she studied under a group of nursing faculty with doctorates in psychology, anthropology, sociology, and other fields. This interdisciplinary approach had a marked influence on Tilden, who incorporated these divergent viewpoints into her own work. After completing her Master's degree, Tilden served as a clinical instructor before going on to pursue her Ph.D. in Nursing from UCSF. Her groundbreaking doctoral dissertation studied the psychology of women during pregnancy and childbirth, including a sub-study of women who were single by choice.

She completed her Ph.D. in 1981 and accepted a faculty position at OHSU's School of Nursing the following year. Along with Barb Limandri and others, Tilden studied domestic violence and abuse. In 1989, she became the Associate Dean for Research and earned a postdoctoral certificate in Clinical Bioethics from the School of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW). Tilden remembers a lecture at UW that focused on the case of Nancy Cruzan, a young woman in a vegetative state whose family sought to withdraw life support. The nursing home caring for Cruzan refused to comply with her family's wishes, and the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This case had a profound impact on Tilden:
I had this interest in families during gestation and childbearing. And then family violence ... I was very interested in what [her] family went through. And as a result of that, I kind of moved my research program to trying to understand what families experienced when they went through ethical dilemmas.
Shortly thereafter, Tilden partnered with other OHSU faculty to create an Ethics Center, where her research supported the creation and development of Physician Orders for Life-Saving Treatment (POLST).

To learn more about Tilden's work and her remarkable contributions to the field of Nursing, consider reading her oral history.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

An Intimidating Prospect: The Records of Peter Kohler

Historical Collections & Archives is now posting on Library Notes! Check out this post, and others. there.

This post is by Archives Assistant Jeff Colby.

This past year saw the Historical Collections & Archives crew involved in a massive, all-hands-on-deck project to conclusively finish organizing the massive amount of records (of all types) gathered primarily through the period of administration of OHSU President Peter O. Kohler, which spanned from 1988 to 2006. They include not only Dr. Kohler’s own papers but those of his Vice-Presidents as well. As is to be expected, reams of bureaucratic paperwork are pretty charmless in and of themselves. However, at the end of it all, it gives one a greater appreciation of the sheer breadth and depth of the concerns of a major modern academic medical center.

early plan for South Waterfront development, circa 2000
 An old saying is that money runs the world, and in this case finances were an integral part of the collection. And an especially alarming part, as a series of politically motivated tax laws and continuing budget cuts led to the drastic decision of OHSU to cut loose from the State and re-invent itself as a Public Corporation. While this did not totally stop OHSU from trying to massage funding from State and Federal Legislatures, it did lead to a much wider net being thrown to haul in more private investors. This would lead to the “Oregon Opportunity” campaign, which endeavored to bring more biomedical research into Oregon.

Partnerships with other local entities, like the City of Portland and Portland State University, were another major component of the collection. Like the Public Corporation and Oregon Opportunity, these efforts were part of an overall process of strategic planning in which it was felt essential for OHSU to give up its “Shining City on the Hill” aloofness and come downtown. We joined with PSU in the new South Waterfront campus, now up running and still expanding, with the OHSU Dental School, OHSU/PSU School of Public Health, and the Center for Women’s Health.

early tram inspiration, from a 2005 PowerPoint presentation
Other important issues are likewise dealt with, such as Medicare/Medicaid and the medically under-served populations of rural Oregon. The first is a perpetual headache that must be survived. The second had a happier outcome with the extension of rural clinics and Area Health Education Centers (the AHEC program) to help create a new generation of healthcare workers themselves living in these rural areas.

This in turn led to attention to curriculum changes to take advantage of all these new efforts and incorporate the lessons of this new research into our own student lessons. Add to all this the miles and miles of budget files and the personnel files with their many (restricted) grievances, one gets a mind-boggling idea of the scale of things heaped up on our Administrations’ plates … ‘tis not for the weak of heart.

For more information, review the finding aid for the Office of President Peter Kohler records.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Goodbye "Historical Notes"

For many years, OHSU's Historical Collections & Archives has maintained this blog, Historical Notes, separately from the other OHSU Library pages. However, we've recently decided that it will be better for everyone if we bring together the HC&A blog and the official OHSU Library Notes blog - one place for all your favorite library posts.

For the next few weeks, we'll be cross-posting on both blogs to allow everyone a bit of time to make the transition. But, by the start of June, we plan to only be posting on the OHSU Library Notes blog. But don't worry, our posts will be tagged in the Historical Collections & Archives category and you can still subscribe to email updates or the RSS feed to fulfill all of your notification needs.

And don't worry, this blog site isn't going anywhere. We'll keep it going to retain access to old posts (we are archivists, after all), but you can also visit our Web Archive to find them there (just in case). So check out the new space, update those bookmarks, and sign up to get notifications of new posts. We hope you'll keep following us for years to come.