CATEGORY: In the media, News

In the media: Week of Dec. 9

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

$100-million gift to cover costs for 30-plus UCLA medical students, Los Angeles Times

More than 30 incoming medical school students will get a full ride to UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine thanks to a $100-million gift from the school’s benefactor. The donation by Geffen, a philanthropist and entertainment executive, will create a scholarship fund to cover the recipients’ entire cost of medical school, including tuition, room and board, books and other expenses. The UCLA scholarships are “unprecedented,” said John Prescott, chief academic officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

See additional coverage: The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, ABC News, Bloomberg, Forbes

UCR opens new medical building, The Riverside Press-Enterprise

UC Riverside celebrated the dedication of its newly finished School of Medicine education building, marking the final step in readying the new medical school for its first class of 50 students next fall.That opening represents a decade-long struggle to open the first new UC medical school in 47 years, said the school’s dean, G. Richard Olds. He has said the school will help to address a physician shortage in the Inland region and will focus on training family practice doctors who will remain in the area once they are out of school.

UCSF, Dignity move forward on partnership talks, San Francisco Business Times

UCSF Medical Center and Dignity Health’s San Francisco hospitals are making progress on talks to create an “integrated health care system” in San Francisco, according to the organizations.

Jerry Brown treated for prostate cancer, San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Jerry Brown has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, has begun undergoing treatment and is expected to continue his routine as the head of the state, his office said Wednesday. It’s the second time the 74-year-old governor has battled cancer since taking office in 2011, the first being a slow-growing form of skin cancer on his face that was removed last year. Both illnesses are common as people age. In a statement, Brown’s oncologist at UCSF, Dr. Eric Small, said, “Fortunately, this is early-stage, localized prostate cancer, which is being treated with a short course of conventional radiotherapy. The prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects.”

New prostate biopsy may end era of blind testing (audio), KPCC

A new method of diagnosing prostate cancer may reduce unnecessary biopsies and allow for earlier detection, UCLA researchers announced Monday.

23-year-old donates kidney to dying father (video), CBS Los Angeles

This piece reports on the story of Justin Hostert, a 23-year-old who donated a kidney at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for his father, Craig, who received the life-saving organ at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange. Craig Hostert is a founder, with his wife Kathleen, of the Donate Life Run/Walk in Orange County.

Young liver recipient honors his donor, San Francisco Chronicle

Almost three years ago, teenager Alfonso Garcia found himself just days away from death after being struck with sudden liver failure. Fast-forward to Jan. 1: Garcia will be on national television waving from a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena – next to a portrait of the 22-year-old man who saved Garcia’s life while losing his own. Garcia had his transplant surgery at UCSF.

CIRM awards $18 million to UCSF, Stanford stem cell researchers, San Francisco Business Times

Up-and-coming UCSF and Stanford University researchers landed a total of $17.8 million in grants from California’s stem cell research funding agency Wednesday for research ranging from ear hair cells that may reverse hearing loss to cells aimed at correcting sickle cell disease and other blood disorders before a baby is born. The awards are part of a total of more than $36 million earmarked for physician-scientists by the San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Researchers from UC Davis, UCLA and UC San Diego also were awarded grants. Read more.

UCSD shuts down Nevada clinic, expansion plans challenged, San Diego Union-Tribune

UC San Diego announced Wednesday that it will cease patient care at its Nevada Cancer Institute only 10 months after purchasing the operation with the goal of expanding its clinical trials and patient recruitment activities into Las Vegas.

See additional coverage: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Feds inspect UCD Medical Center in probe of questionable neurosurgeries, The Sacramento Bee

A team of eight inspectors arrived unannounced Monday for a floor-by-floor survey of the UC Davis Medical Center, part of a widening probe of the hospital over untested surgical procedures performed by two neurosurgeons on three terminally ill patients who later died. The team, sent by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, arrived to conduct a “full validation survey” on all 22 conditions the hospital must meet to continue participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to an internal memo posted Monday to medical staff. Read a related editorial.

Cost of Dying: Some Bay Area hospitals combat death aggressively with expensive treatment, San Jose Mercury News

How you die — and what it costs — depends largely on where you get care. That’s the revelation of a major national database widely regarded as the best hospital-by-hospital look at the cost of dying. It shows that Bay Area residents are about twice as likely to die in a high-cost, high-tech intensive care unit as people in Minot, N.D., or Portland, Ore. But they are far less likely to get ICU care than residents of Manhattan. Within the Bay Area, the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care depicts hospitals’ widely different approaches to care for dying people: Hayward’s St. Rose Hospital ranks twice as high as Stanford in “intensity of care,” a measure that considers the amount of time that dying patients spend in the hospital and the aggressiveness of physician services. The article quotes UCLA Dr. Michael Ong and UCSF Drs. Steven Pantilat and Sei Lee.

As doctors grow older, hospitals begin requiring them to prove they’re still fit, Kaiser Health News/The Washington Post

This article focuses on an emotionally charged issue that is attracting the attention of patient safety experts and hospital administrators: how to ensure that older doctors are competent to treat patients. The article quotes geriatrician William Norcross, 64, founding director of a program at the University of California at San Diego that performs intensive competency evaluations of doctors referred by state medical boards or hospitals. The program — known as PACE,for Physician Assessment and Clinical Education — is one of about 10 around the country. The article also quotes UCSF rheumatologist Ephraim Engleman, who will turn 102 in March. He said he plans never to quit.

Food for thought, The Economist

A study led by UC Berkeley public health professor Gail Woodward-Lopez found that sugary drinks accounted for at least 20% of America’s weight gain between 1977 and 2007, a troubling finding given rapid global growth in the soft drink market.

UC Davis Medical Center seeks help in purchasing newborn life-saving machine (video), CBS Sacramento

UC Davis Medical Center wants a gift that keeps on giving. On its wish list this year is a piece of equipment that could save babies’ lives.

Social media both a ‘blessing’ and a ‘curse’ for healthcare, FierceHealthIT

In a recently published commentary in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Richard Kravitz of UC Davis and Paul Pirraglia of Brown University wrote about new opportunities and ethical concerns in healthcare social media.

PHL hero dog Kabang receives Red Cross award for valor, GMA News

The Philippine hero dog Kabang has received the “Animal Hero” award from the Red Cross last week, recognized during an event at UC Davis. The dog is currently undergoing treatment at the university for a tumor and heartworm disease.

Should your dog get a flu shot? The real facts about canine influenza, Vetstreet/Yahoo

Kate Hurley of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine discusses how canine influenza is spread, what puts dogs at risk and why she doesn’t vaccinate her own dog for canine influenza.

Study shows seniors feeling better as they age, San Diego Union-Tribune

There are currently about 40 million Americans over the age of 65, with the fastest-growing segment of the population over 80 years old. Traditionally, aging has been viewed as a period of progressive decline in physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning, and aging is viewed by many as the “number one public health problem” facing Americans today. But this negative view of aging contrasts with results of a comprehensive study of 1,006 older adults in San Diego by researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Stanford University.

Northern California addresses safety-net challenges, California Healthline

Under the Affordable Care Act, as many as four million previously uninsured Californians will gain coverage, but providers and time to care for them will be scarce at the state’s already-busy community clinics and health centers. Although the ACA will provide opportunities for more Californians to obtain coverage, it also will put pressure on community providers to care for the influx of newly insured. Stephen Shortell, dean of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, is quoted.

Special Reports: California hospitals team up on disaster plans, but federal budget cuts could affect efforts (audio), California Healthline

In a Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, experts discussed how hospitals across California are forming partnerships to bolster their emergency response efforts. The report includes comments from Kurt Kainsinger, Disaster Resource Center manager at UCLA Health System.

What factors influence timing of menopause?, The Boston Globe

Ellen Gold, epidemiologist at UC Davis, answers a question regarding menopause and the factors that influence the timing, which include family history, genetics, smoking and even lower socioeconomic status.

Sitting on a potential health hazard, The Detroit News

A study co-authored by Berkeley and Duke researchers has found that a great majority of couches tested in the U.S. contain chemical flame retardants, including toxic chemicals that have been linked to a variety of health problems.

Op-ed: The UC system’s modesty problem, North County Times

Kathryn Lybarger, president of AFSCME Local 3299, which represents more than 17,000 UC employees, writes an op-ed that mentions UC medical centers.

Infection files: Introducing the global sex trade, Los Angeles Daily News

A column by Dr. Claire Panosian Dunavan, clinical professor of medicine in the division of infectious disease at UCLA, about the sex trade in Manilla, Philippines, and other parts of the world.

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