Dr. Dana Nason: OPS Leader, QI Champion, & Crossword Puzzle Enthusiast
Dana Nason, MD, has been a long-time champion of clinical quality improvement. As an outgoing OPS board member who spent six years on the Executive Committee, including two years as board President, he was also committed to AAP chapter leadership. Dr. Nason recently spoke with OPS Membership Manager, Cheryl Matushak, about his road from the East Coast to the West, and to the Oregon Pediatric Society.
Dana Nason was always good at math and thought he would be a chemist. But role models come from all walks of life, and he credits his own pediatrician, Dr. Harwin, for guiding him towards medicine. After finishing his 4th year rotation in pediatrics at the School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut, he knew that was his calling. Dana felt an affinity for working with children rather than adults and besides, where else could he act like a kid all day and be goofy – it’s expected!
During his college years, Dana visited his older sister in Eugene where it was 100 degrees in the Valley. They drove to the Oregon coast to cool off, and he experienced his first marine layer, which brought temperatures down to a reasonable 60 degrees. That variation in climate left an impression on Dana, and he knew he wanted to come back to Oregon. So, he listed OHSU as his eighth residency option. Looking back, he realizes it was in fact the best choice.
Dr. Nason started at Hillsboro Pediatrics after finishing his residency, and he has worked there ever since. OPS member Dr. Larry Krupa was one of his colleagues when he began; the practice ultimately grew to its current team of seven MDs and seven Nurse Practitioners. Dana speaks fondly of his staff and their long-term stability. Many of them, like him, have been there more than 20 years.
Quality Improvement has always been Dana’s passion. He was part of an OPS learning collaborative when he met Dr. Greg Blaschke, who was then President of the Oregon Pediatric Society. As Dr. Nason puts it, “Greg cold-called me one day and asked if I would be Vice President of the board,” and the rest is history. Hillsboro Pediatrics has been involved in many of OPS’s QI projects, including HPV vaccination, Risk Evaluation of Autism in Latinos, and one of OPS’s current projects, Addressing Social Health and Early Childhood Wellness.
In his spare moments, Dana finds interesting ways to challenge himself. One year he completed all 365 New York Times daily crossword puzzles, and last year he strove to write one haiku each day. Now that he has finished his commitment to the OPS board, Dr. Nason will have more time to spend with his family and his two new kittens, Apollo Sage and Artemis Chai. We will miss his calm and steady nature, and we sincerely thank him for his service to OPS.