The Doris and Mark Storms Chair in Compassionate Communication is a new position established in the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to facilitate, mentor, and coordinate teaching and innovation that will transform the culture of health care through skillful, compassionate communication. Respectful and skillful communication is at the heart of ethics and professionalism teaching, advancing the culture of medicine for future generations.
Compassionate communication has long been a focus of the Center for Ethics in Health Care’s work. In 2018 OHSU became the first medical school in the country to require that students demonstrate a high level of communication skills in order to graduate, and in mid-2019 a new directorship in Serious Illness Communication was established. The new Chair position will build upon these and other innovations to expand the scope of education, professionalism and research in communication skills beyond end of life care. The vision for this program is to catalyze a greater and specific focus on communication skills for trainees at OHSU and to also provide mentorship and synergy to enhance the communication skills curricula in the Center for Ethics in Health Care’s statewide outreach educational activities.
The ideal candidate would have advanced degrees in a health care discipline, advanced training in health care ethics, and demonstrated achievements related to communication skills in an academic or health care environment. Advanced education and experience in health care education are desirable.
This position is at the .5 FTE. Beyond chair responsibilities, the individual may have FTE in other OHSU units (up to 1.0 FTE total) or possibly an entity outside OHSU. The position includes duties in areas of curriculum development and educational innovation, service, and scholarship. The following time allocation relates specifically to the 0.5 FTE chair responsibilities only.
Curriculum Development & Educational Innovation (60%)
Responsibilities include coordinating and supporting the development of curricula and proficiency evaluations related to ethics and professionalism in compassionate communication for students and trainees of OHSU schools and programs and to health care professionals in Oregon. Innovations will be shared with colleagues nationally. This includes transforming didactic materials into practice.
Specific responsibilities will include mentoring those teaching ethics and professionalism curricula on performance, evaluation, and education methodologies. Goals of the program include preparing students and trainees to be powerful, effective, and compassionate communicators and to advance the skills of practicing professionals throughout our region. The program will grow and develop as new information and awareness about important communication skills are identified and integrated.
The chair will assume the leadership role in development of educational materials related to the ethics content area of communication, scholarship around approaches in ethical communication, and implications for policy systems. The chair will also participate in other Center for Ethics teaching events such as Bioethics Study Group, Senior Clinicians’ Seminar, and regional conferences.
The educational methods should promote collaboration and transparency consistent with deeply held values of the center. Modeling intercultural proficiency, employing innovative technology to enhance the educational effectiveness of campus-based and distance teaching are essential components of this position.
The chair will serve on the executive committee of the Center for Ethics in Health Care, and will be expected to attend Center for Ethics in Health Care Steering Committee meetings to present information on programmatic progress and implementation. When appropriate, the chair will serve on regional conference planning committees.
The chair will engage in scholarly activities related to the field of ethics, professionalism, and compassionate communication, fulfill all requirements for the ethical conduct of research, and comply with all rules, regulations, and requirements of the sponsoring organization and OHSU. The chair is expected to share project progress and research findings with the broader community through participation in the Center for Ethics in Health Care’s research program. In addition, the chair will present abstracts and papers and mentor others as well as present at local, regional, and national meetings.