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Announcing the establishment of US Cochrane West

Cochrane is delighted to announce the official opening of the West Coast branch of the US Cochrane Center (USCC).

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon has become the West Coast branch of the US Center of The Cochrane Collaboration.

US Cochrane West will promote evidence-based decision making in health care in the US. It will work in conjunction with its primary center at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health by facilitating accurate, up-to-date Cochrane Reviews and providing support and training to new authors of Cochrane Reviews.

US Cochrane West will be led by Mark Helfand, a professor of medicine, medical informatics, and clinical epidemiology at OHSU, and a staff physician at the Portland VA Medical Center. He is a vastly experienced US leader in systematic healthcare reviews and evidence-based medicine.

Speaking this week, Professor Helfand outlined the importance of the relationship between Cochrane and OHSU.

“This new partnership with The Cochrane Collaboration will allow us to continue our evidence-based practice work, while also helping us move toward our goal of expanding that work to include more perspectives and feedback from patients and the physicians who help them every day,” Helfand said. “It's time to bring evidence-based medicine even closer to the ground, closer to patients. And it makes sense that Oregon and OHSU would be at the forefront of that.”

OHSU Provost Jeanette Mladenovic also spoke of this exciting announcement: “We are honoured that the internationally respected Cochrane Collaboration has chosen OHSU to be a partner in its important work. Health care, and the education of healthcare professionals, will improve only when we have the best evidence-based understanding of what works in medicine. That view has driven people at OHSU for years, and we're excited and proud to now be even more strongly involved in that movement.”

USCC Director Dr Kay Dickersin is also the Director for the Center for Clinical Trials at Johns Hopkins University. She recently received the 2014 Ingram Olkin Award for lifetime contribution to the development of evidence synthesis methods.

Dr Dickersin said, “We are incredibly fortunate to have Mark Helfand as the new leader of US Cochrane West. His expertise in systematic review methods, experience as a practicing clinician, and track record in engaging consumers and patients in the healthcare decision making process is unique. In addition, Mark’s extensive ties to policy makers, professional societies, and health services researchers complements existing Cochrane expertise and strengthens and expands our presence in many domains.”       

US Cochrane West will have two Associate Directors. The first is Dorie Apollonio, an associate professor at the University of California at San Francisco in the School of Pharmacy’s Health Services and Policy Research Pathway. Her research focuses on health policy and tobacco control, and her recent work considers the ways that clinical research is used in developing policy interventions and public knowledge.

Jeanne-Marie Guise, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology in OHSU School of Medicine, will also serve as an associate director of US Cochrane West. Among other things, Dr Guise served as Director for Quality and Safety for Women and Children’s services for the OHSU Hospital from 2008-2012, developing evidence-based inter-professional clinical policies and education for maternity and paediatric services.


Editor’s notes:

1)    For further information, please contact: Cochrane’s Senior Media and Communications Officer, Jo Anthony: Email: or email  or Todd Murphy, Senior Communications Specialist, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road Portland, Oregon 97239-3098

2)    For Interviews: To arrange an interview with Mark Helfand, Director of US Cochrane West, please email Todd Murphy, Senior Communications Specialist,

3)    Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, health professionals and consumers of health care; carers, advocates and people interested in health. It responds to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. Cochrane is a not-for-profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.

4)    Follow us on twitter @cochranecollab

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Cochrane CEAD
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Updated on: August 25, 2014, 2:34