We are grateful to be a part of the progress OHSU Research is making in spinal cord injury and neurological diseases! While Dave was the motivating force behind this for us, we probably all have family or friends who have been affected by neurological injury or illness.
We are especially thankful to all the folks who have graciously purchased our CDs, allowing us to continue sending funds to support that research. It wouldn’t be happening without you!!
We thought you’d enjoy some excerpts from a January 2014 update from Mary Heinricher, Ph.D., Professor and Vice-Chair for Research, Neurological Surgery, OHSU this winter:
I hope this message finds you and the rest of Dave’s friends and family well. We were so sorry
to hear that Dave had passed away. The responses that you and your community made to the
challenges that he faced has truly been special, and something I will always remember.
Although this is a sad time, I do want to take this opportunity to keep you up to date on what
your gift has helped us accomplish. First, I should tell you that your student Sophie Davis
remains committed to rural health medicine. She is currently interviewing at top schools around
the country, and we should know where she is going later this spring.
(Note ~ A quick update as of March: Mary says that Sophie has chosen OHSU for medical school. They are delighted!)
The Matheny Project:
- Helps us develop the next generation of investigators/clinician-investigators by providing a concrete, living, breathing focus for our work. It says (to them): This isn’t a textbook anymore, we don’t have the answers, and there is someone right here and now who needs us to get answers. That means a lot to kids like Sophie Davis.
- Can (also) allow us to pursue risky ideas that aren’t going to be supported by big funders and government agencies.
The developing collaboration with Bob Hart the spine surgeon is an example of this. Your gift has helped us develop a new assay for brain changes in people with chronic pain. This was an amazing leap for us!
We first validated this assay in patients with fibromyalgia, and are now working with Dr. Bob Hart at the OHSU Spine Center, to see if we can apply it in patients with PTSD-like experiences after spine surgery. We think this approach is going to help patients, showing them whether their pain is caused by changes in their brain, and helping them avoid additional surgery if it is unlikely to help them.
I cannot thank you enough for your gift.”
Mary Heinricher, Ph.D.
Professor and Vice-Chair for Research, Dept. of Neurological Surgery, OHSU.
And from OHSU Development Coordinator, Nicole Good:
“We send our thanks to you and to everyone who is continuing to work of the Matheny Project! We so appreciate this long association with your family and OHSU. It is inspiring to know that a relationship “that far away” can flower. And we appreciate the support! It is wonderful to honor Dave in this way, too.”