CATEGORY: In the media, News

In the media: Week of March 11

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

UCR medical school closing on funding milestone, The Riverside Press-Enterprise

UC Riverside officials say the university is close to achieving a funding goal they believe might allow them to open a medical school in 2013. Last July, accreditation for the school was denied, largely due to the loss of direct state funding from the state of California. Since then, officials have been working to raise the money through other means.

UC Davis Cancer Center gains elite ‘comprehensive’ status in Sacramento, The Sacramento Bee

Cancer care has reached a new level in the Sacramento region. Today UC Davis Cancer Center officials, surrounded by long-term survivors and elected leaders, will announce the Sacramento facility has joined an elite group of cancer centers across the country, becoming the first in the region designated “comprehensive” by the federal National Cancer Institute.

David Vlahov is new UCSF nursing school dean, San Francisco Chronicle

A profile of UCSF School of Nursing Dean David Vlahov.

Match Day celebration for UCI med students, The Orange County Register

One by one, students dropped a dollar bill into a 61-year-old physician’s bag and stepped up to the podium, fumbling with the letters that will dictate their next several years – and possibly their lives. One-hundred-and-two students in UC Irvine’s School of Medicine class of 2012 discovered which residency program they will attend in July, along with medical students across the country Friday. Read more about Match Day.

Robotic pharmacy delivers right meds to patients at UCSF (video), ABC 7

A combination of high-technology and robotics is now making sure patients at UCSF get the medicines they need. The new system tracks thousands of doses of medications even as nurses are administering them.

NQF, Joint Commission honor safety efforts, Modern Healthcare

A New York hospital and a Detroit hospital system were among the healthcare providers recognized recently for their patient-safety efforts by the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission. New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit were named this week as 2011 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards for improving patient safety and quality at the local level. Other awardees included Dr. Kenneth Shine, executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Texas System, Austin; the Society of Hospital Medicine in Philadelphia; and Jerod Loeb, executive vice president of the division of healthcare quality evaluation at the Joint Commission. UC San Diego clinical professor of medicine Gregory Maynard, senior vice president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and others throughout the UC system played a major role in the society’s award-winning work.

Is California ready for millions of newly insured?, California Healthline

Three million to four million Californians will become eligible for health insurance in 2014 thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but will the state’s health care workforce be able to handle the new demand? “Because persons who have health insurance tend to use more primary care than persons who are uninsured, there is concern that the current supply of primary care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) may not be adequate to meet demand,” said Janet Coffman at UC-San Francisco’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. UC’s PRIME medical education program also is mentioned.

40 years of change at VA Medical Center, San Diego Union-Tribune

When San Diego’s VA hospital opened March 15, 1972, it revolutionized how local veterans received care. “We have some of the best people providing care here, primarily because it’s a university-affiliated place,” said Dr. Joshua Fierer, referring to the hospital’s relationship with UC San Diego. “You have people here at this VA who are world experts in their field.” The groundbreaking for the 400,000-square-foot hospital was held May 30, 1969, on 17 acres deeded by UC San Diego to the federal government.

Million-dollar hospital bills rise sharply in Northern California, The Sacramento Bee

A million dollars can buy a mansion in one of Sacramento’s nicest neighborhoods, near its best schools and parks. Or it can buy an ever-dwindling number of weeks in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. This article highlights examples from UC Davis Medical Center and quotes Robert Pretzlaff, chief of pediatric critical care medicine, and hospital spokeswoman Carole Gan. It also quotes Adams Dudley, UCSF professor of medicine and health policy.

Program helps advance hearing testing; experts in Sacramento check ears in Redding, Redding Record Searchlight

Gracie Lee recently slept through most of what Mercy Medical Center officials consider one of the newest methods to treat hearing problems. While 5-week-old Gracie rested on her mother’s lap in the Redding hospital last week, the audiologist testing the infant was at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

San Diego gets telemedicine for its tiniest patients, San Diego Business Journal

Oceanside-based Tri-City Medical Center is teaming with UC San Diego Medical Center to offer telemedicine services for premature babies in greater San Diego.

Buildings go up as universities’ budgets go down, California Watch/San Francisco Chronicle

California has slashed public university budgets, yet construction is booming at campuses statewide. The UC system has $8.9 billion in building projects under way at its 10 campuses and five medical centers, including about $2 billion at UCSF, which is near the top of the spending list. With less money to operate the new buildings once they’re finished, universities are straining maintenance and energy budgets. At least one new UC campus building is sitting empty because the university can’t afford to operate it. The most glaring example of what happens when universities put up buildings they can’t afford to operate is at UC Riverside, which finished a $36 million building last year for a planned medical school. But it had to push back the medical school’s opening to next year at the earliest because it doesn’t have the money to run it.

Steep climb for vets with brain injuries, The Sacramento Bee

Researchers at the Martinez campus of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have been collaborating with colleagues at UC campuses in Berkeley, Davis and San Francisco to determine how to best diagnose and treat brain injuries. David Woods, adjunct neurology professor at UC Davis, is focusing on the diagnostic area and studying a more accurate method of spotting traumatic brain injury abnormalities in brain tissue.

Pfizer agrees to new deal with QB3, San Francisco Business Times

Pfizer is reupping a three-year, $9.5 million research collaboration with the University of California’s QB3 institute, but this time it is bringing money for startup life sciences companies to the table.

Shaved heads at Sacramento pub add up for children’s cancer research, The Sacramento Bee

Henry, Simon, and Mark de Vere White are the sons of Ralph de Vere White, director of the UC Davis Cancer Center. The brothers own de Vere’s Irish Pub in downtown Sacramento, where about 250 people shaved their heads as part of the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising event for pediatric cancer research. Also on hand was Robyn Raphael, founder of the Keaton Raphael Memorial that raises money for cancer research at UC Davis.

College students’ No. 1 routine health concern? Contraception, The Sacramento Bee

At UC Davis, student health officials regularly haul out “The Love Lab,” a roving cart filled with contraceptives. Twice a week, they place this array of free condoms, lubricants and other safe-sex products in high traffic areas around campus. After two hours, everything is usually gone. “It is one of the most popular student services on campus,” said Jason Spitzer, health educator for University of California, Davis, Student Health and Counseling Services. UC Davis has “The Love Lab.” Sacramento State has condom bowls. And Sacramento City College has Planned Parenthood on campus once a week to provide birth control prescriptions, condoms and information about reproduction, among other services. Contraception, a topic that has embroiled Congress and talk radio in heated debate the past few weeks, routinely intersects campus life here for college students.

Stress shown to have modest effect on pregnant women, San Diego Union-Tribune

The effect of stress upon a pregnant woman and her unborn child is neither well nor fully understood. When a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Chile in 2005, researchers saw a novel opportunity to investigate the question. A Q&A with Dr. Yvette Lacoursiere, an assistant adjunct professor of reproductive medicine in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, who talks further about stress and pregnancy.

Debate grows over colorectal cancer screenings, San Francisco Chronicle

A colonoscopy, a dreaded medical procedure for people 50 and older, is the best, one-shot way to screen and detect colon cancer for now, most health professionals agree. But an increasing number of experts are beginning to voice support for alternative methods, which they say could be used more widely to prevent colorectal cancer, which occurs in the colon or rectum. The article quotes James Allison, professor emeritus of medicine at UCSF and an adjunct investigator at the Kaiser Division of Research.

Ninad Athale: Deciding to be a family doctor, Napa Valley Register

A feature on Ninad Athale, a UC San Diego School of Medicine graduate who volunteers at one or more of the UC Davis School of Medicine’s seven student-run clinics in Sacramento. Athale, 31, joined Napa County-based Clinic Ole’s full-time staff in September, shortly after wrapping up his residency in Sacramento with the Sutter Health Family Residency Program.

New UCSD website is all about the brain (audio, video), KPBS

The myth that classical music makes you smarter is not true, according to Nick Spitzer, co-director of UC San Diego’s Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. Also false: drinking alcohol kills brain cells, he said. While chronic drinking does damage the brain, a glass of wine with dinner actually has “salutary effects,” Spitzer said. Spitzer is editor in chief of a new website launching in May, The site will debunk myths like these and provide layers of information for anyone interested in the brain.

Honoring San Diego’s health heroes, San Diego Union-Tribune

Heroes come in many forms. Twenty-two of them were honored Thursday at the Combined Health Agencies’ 2012 Health Hero Awards breakfast in Balboa Park. Recipients included UC San Diego’s Rohit Loomba, William Mobley, Howard Taras and David Barba.

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