CATEGORY: In the media, News

In the media: Week of Feb. 12

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

Commentary: Medical research funding threatened, San Francisco Chronicle

Claire Pomeroy, UC Davis vice chancellor for human health sciences and medical school dean, writes that legislative paralysis within Congress threatens the work of UC Davis and other research centers across the country.

Commentary: Medical research is key to our nation’s health, San Diego Union-Tribune

David Brenner, UC San Diego vice chancellor for health sciences and medical school dean, and Bess Marcus, UC San Diego professor and chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, write about the importance of National Institutes of Health funding.

Editorial: UCLA Medical Center loses its Blue Shield, Los Angeles Times

An editorial on the contract dispute between Blue Shield and UCLA/UC Health. UC health officials say they’ve gotten the message; that’s why they created the Center for Health Quality and Innovation in October 2010 to find ways to deliver more effective healthcare services and to control costs. The university system and Blue Shield also have agreed on a new approach at UC San Francisco Medical Center that shares the financial risk of providing care for certain policyholders, holding cost increases at or below the rate of inflation. The question is how to bring that focus on efficiency and value to UCLA and the rest of the UC system. Here’s hoping the two sides find an answer soon.

UCLA School of Public Health gets $50-million gift, Los Angeles Times

Jonathan Fielding works 70-hour weeks in a relatively obscure and overwhelming job: He is Los Angeles County’s top public health doctor. Friends and colleagues have long praised his professional contributions to the field. But to their surprise, Fielding and his wife are now making another huge contribution: $50 million to the UCLA School of Public Health.

UCLA program brings Latino doctors to underserved areas (audio), KPCC

As California’s Latino population grows, so too does the need for doctors who speak fluent Spanish and who understand the Latino culture. Yet proportionately, few Latinos graduate from medical schools in California, and that’s created a void that threatens care to Spanish-speaking populations. But UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine has a solution in its novel International Medical Graduate’s (IMG) program.

Afghan war vet speaks out (video), CNN

This segment reports on Joey Paulk, a soldier who was treated by UCLA’s Operation Mend, which offers free reconstructive surgery to military personnel who are disfigured during service. Paulk and Dr. Timothy Miller, professor of plastic surgery and surgical director of Operation Mend, are interviewed.

UC Davis Cancer Center pinpoints cancer therapies, The Sacramento Bee

Oncologist David Gandara is providing specialized treatment at UC Davis Cancer Center, which is at the forefront of what many consider the future of cancer care, with treatment designed specifically for each patient. It is the lead institution in a pioneering program that works with genetically designed mice to test drugs individually for each patient.

At UCSF, chancellor isn’t worried about industry ties, The Wall Street Journal

Many universities are wringing their hands over the increasing coziness of medical schools and their corporate partners. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor at the University of California, San Francisco, has no such qualms. As head of the only UC campus dedicated exclusively to graduate programs in health and biomedical sciences, Desmond-Hellmann has advocated getting closer with the industry in order to spark new ideas, fund research, access high-tech equipment and speed medical advances to patients.

UCSF boss blows up the boxes, San Francisco Business Times

When UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann started her Twitter account last month, she had two goals: do her own micro-blogging and never tweet about eating a tuna fish sandwich for lunch.

Retiring UCSF pharmacy dean leaves legacy of innovation, San Francisco Business Times

A feature on the retiring UCSF pharmacy dean, Mary Anne Koda-Kimble.

UC Merced plans to grow, Merced Sun-Star

Well past the need to boost enrollment, the campus faces expansion challenges. The article mentions that UC Merced will admit five or six more students in its San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education for this fall. The pioneers of PRIME — five students from Modesto, Fresno, Fowler, Salinas and Bakersfield — started the program last fall. The increase in enrollment for the PRIME will be made possible with a grant by United Health, Leland said. Officials will be able to increase enrollment for the next five years.

Keyota Cole, mother, risks life to have baby while battling heart disease (video), The Huffington Post

This piece reports on how UCLA Health System cardiac specialists guided a mother with a congenital heart defect through a high-risk birth and performed lifesaving open-heart surgery on her newborn.

Speaking of sweethearts, San Diego Union-Tribune

As you munch your way through yesterday’s goodies (it was Valentine’s Day, in case you somehow didn’t notice), keep in mind that dark chocolate is not just for sweethearts. It’s also pretty sweet for good hearts. In recent years, a number of studies have found that moderate consumption of dark chocolate can confer measurable cardiovascular benefits. More specifically, researchers at UC San Diego Health System report that a daily dose of dark chocolate appears to help protect the heart during a heart attack. We asked Dr. Francisco Villarreal, a physician-researcher in the division of cardiology at UC San Diego, to explain.

Lance Armstrong campaigns for California cigarette tax measure, Los Angeles Times

Proposition 29, if passed, would increase taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1, and the money would be distributed for the benefit of cancer research and anti-smoking programs by a panel that would include the chancellors of UC campuses at Berkeley, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz.

Tony Gwynn having mouth surgery (video), ESPN

Tony Gwynn, the Hall of Fame outfielder who 18 months ago blamed smokeless tobacco for a malignant growth inside his right cheek, was in his 13th h During the operation, which is being performed at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California San Diego, doctors will conduct further biopsies of Gywnn’s parotid gland, Alicia Gwynn said. She said if the cancer is localized, Gwynn should be able to return as San Diego State’s baseball coach in about a month.our of surgery Tuesday evening to remove a new cancerous tumor in the same spot.

Oxytocin makes the romantic heart tick, San Diego Union-Tribune

In recent years, much research has focused upon how oxytocin affects matters of the heart. Dr. Kai MacDonald, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, is looking at how oxytocin might apply to the heartsick. A Q&A with MacDonald.

A reality check on the benefits of chocolate, KOMO News

For weeks now, I’ve been hearing news stories about the wonders of chocolate. Now that Valentine’s Day is over, it’s time for a little reality check. The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter examined the research. Yes, there are studies that show chocolate is good for you. But as Dr. John Swartzberg explains, those are only “observational” studies.

Is adding fiber to food really good for your health? (audio), NPR Morning Edition

I’m standing in the cereal aisle with three items in my basket: a box of sugary kids’ cereal, some yogurt and a bottle of apple juice. According to their labels, all three of these foods are good sources of fiber, which, if you think about it, may say as much about us (the shoppers) as it does about the food we buy. “We’re looking for elements within things,” says John Swartzberg, a professor of public health at University of California, Berkeley. “Almost a mystical kind of thinking.”

Patient satisfaction is costly but maybe not so healthy (video), Los Angeles Times

Four family medicine doctors at UC Davis have found that a satisfied patient is not necessarily a healthier patient. Following 51,946 Americans between 2000 and 2007, the findings showed that those who were most satisfied with their healthcare were on more medication, made more doctor’s office visits and more likely to have stayed in the hospital despite overall better physical and mental health. And the highly satisfied were still more likely to die in a few years after taking the survey than those who were least satisfied.

Cash payments help cut HIV infection rate in young women, study finds, The Guardian

A team of researchers from the World Bank, UC San Diego and George Washington University in the U.S. carried out a randomised controlled trial in Malawi to find out whether monthly payments to schoolgirls and their families would help change the girls’ behaviour and safeguard their health. UC Berkeley adjunct public health professor Nancy Padian co-authored a commentary in the Lancet about research that found cash payments can help young women avoid HIV infection.

Using mobile phones & social networks to fight noncommunicable diseases, Internet Evolution

With a pharmacy-based program for low- to middle-income pregnant women suffering diabetes in Mexico, a team of business students from UC Berkeley and the Universidad Ramon Llull in Barcelona won a global competition for innovative ways of managing the toll of noncommunicable diseases.

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