Why Oregon

Why GlobalOregon™?

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The OHSU Global Health Center is a university-wide entity designed to foster global health education, research, service and advocacy at home and abroad. Global health addresses diseases, injuries and other health issues that affect populations worldwide, including the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Innovative disease and injury prevention is a key goal. Global health matters to Oregon, to the state’s economy and to Oregonians’ health and security, for several reasons:

• Oregon has global ties:
- through trade and commerce. In 2007, Oregon exported $16.5 billion worth of goods to 200 foreign destinations. Some of Oregon’s trade partners include developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
- through foreign investment. Oregon benefits from foreign investments and the creation of “in-sourced” jobs—employment by companies that are based outside the United States. About 47,400 Oregonians work for foreign-owned companies, which invest in Oregon’s economy as they expand their operations in the Beaver State.
- through travel and tourism. Every day, some 750 passengers depart from cities all over the world destined for Oregon’s Portland International Airport. Among the arrivals are international tourists and business people who spend millions of dollars a year in Oregon, generating wages and jobs that contribute significantly to the state’s economy.
- through its colleges and universities. In the 2006-2007 academic year, over 5,700 foreign students studied at Oregon universities. International students and their families contributed more than $145 million to the state’s economy.
- through its refugees and immigrants. Oregon continuously receives refugees from all over the world, especially from low-income countries. They enter the community, settle, and become part of the workforce.

• Global ties benefit Oregon. Oregon’s global ties benefit the state’s economy, providing billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. For example, one in five manufacturing workers in Oregon depends on international exports for his or her job.

• Global health crises jeopardize Oregon’s global ties. Oregon’s global ties link the state’s economic health to the health and economic growth of other countries and regions. When health care crises in other countries threaten economic and political stability, they can end up affecting Oregon as well.

• The emergence of new infectious disease threats. The global emergence of HIV, SARS, avian influenza and H1N1 influenza, shatter the belief that infectious diseases are a thing of the past. They lead to increasingly explicit linkages being drawn between national security and global health, particularly in the post-9/11 era. Building capacity in developing countries to cope with emerging disease threats not only serves U.S. interests — it is an investment in the well being of the world’s poorest individuals. Pandemic preparedness increases the long-term security of vulnerable communities, creating a ripple effect that improves the security of all nations.

• Global health is one of the National Institute’s of five new priority research foci. The focus on global health translates into an increasing number of research opportunities for Oregon. In 2007, Oregon received $282 million in NIH research grants and grants, including over $174 million to OHSU. Some of these grants are used to spur medical innovation and improve domestic and global health. Grants like these bring jobs and higher wages to Oregon at the same time they help make progress in global health.

is a proposed initiative of the OHSU Global Health Center
The OHSU Global Health Center proposes to stimulate and guide the formation of GlobalOregon.org in a manner that recapitulates the GlobalWashington.org initiative created by our northern neighbor. GlobalWashington.org is a group of academic centers, businesses and nonprofit organizations engaged in global development [1]. The Global State of Washington has committed to global health as a segment of its economic pie going forward. Global health activity, including jobs focused on refugee, immigrant, First Nation and international health, has a sizeable and growing economic impact in Washington State [2]. While today Washington “is world-renowned for producing apples, airplanes and software, in the very near future, cures, vaccines and medicines addressing the world’s most pressing health concerns may be added to that list.” [2].

Disease and injury prevention advances with development of low-income communities, and development requires local sources of energy. The “Global State of Oregon” brings leadership in the development of green energy products that can power the state, the nation and the world in an environmentally sustainable manner. Low-income countries that benefit from this technology will have locally available power to pump clean water, preserve food, light homes, energize workplaces, and build infrastructure. These are places where educators teach, researchers advance knowledge, health professionals prevent and cure disease, and businesses can trade, thereby promoting development, and personal and community health. GlobalOregon™ will serve as the organization that brings together individuals with diverse professional backgrounds and skills to work in synergy to develop creative solutions for disease prevention and health promotion locally and globally. To be eligible for inclusion in the GlobalOregon™ Directory, as with the Global Washington Directory, nonprofit organizations, foundations, businesses and university centers must have a presence in Oregon and be engaged in activities dedicated to improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of people with health disparities worldwide. The GlobalOregon™ Directory will be a searchable database of academic centers, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations engaged in global development. Fusion of Global Oregon.org and GlobalWashington.org in the long-term could form the basis of a future Northwest specialized industry of global health.

1. http://globalwa.org/ and view their directory at http://globalwa.org/?page_id=90

2. Beyers B, Devine J, Weatherford A, Hagopian A. Economic Impact Assessment of Global Health on Washington State’s Economy. University of Washington, August 2007.


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