November 22, 2013.
A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
Some elective surgeries were postponed, some student dining halls were closed and some classes were canceled Wednesday as a one-day labor strike had a noticeable yet uneven impact at UC’s medical centers and campuses Wednesday. The walkout by thousands of service workers, patient care employees, student tutors and others was reported to be peaceful with no arrests at nine campuses and five medical centers from Davis to San Diego. Tom Rosenthal, chief medical officer for the UCLA hospital system, said the day turned out to be “an easier proposition” than originally feared and that some replacement workers were sent home early. Still, he said as many as 15 surgeries were postponed and $2.5 million incurred from replacement workers’ wages and lost revenues. UC Irvine reported 40 postponed surgeries. UC system spokeswoman Shelly Meron said the strike was pointless. “Patients and students suffered and it got us no closer to the contract, which is really the end goal here,” she said.
See additional coverage: Salon, Sacramento Bee, U-T San Diego, Orange County Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise (video), Associated Press, Bay City News, CBS Los Angeles (video), CBS Sacramento (video), CW 6/City News Service (video), Fox San Diego (video), KCOY (video), KGO (audio), KION, KPBS (audio), KTLA (video), KTVU, NBC San Diego (video), Reuters
UC campuses and medical centers are preparing for a one-day strike Wednesday by service workers, patient care employees and student tutors. Some elective surgeries and treatments have been postponed at the system’s hospitals and replacement workers are being hired, officials said. The main strike is by the union that represents 22,000 custodians, gardeners, food workers, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians and others at UC’s five medical centers and nine of its campuses. AFSCME 3299 conducted a two-day strike at the hospitals in May and now its leaders contend that UC administrators are seeking to enforce unfair labor practices and dangerously low staffing levels. UC administrators are urging the union to call off its strike and resume talks. They deny the labor allegations of harassment and contend that the main sticking points in contract negotiations include the union’s resistance to higher employee contributions for pensions that other workers already pay.
See additional coverage: San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, U-T San Diego, ABC 10, CBS Los Angeles (video), NBC Bay Area, Sacramento Business Journal, Orange County Register
With front-line patient-care workers set to go on strike Wednesday, University of California officials said today that a walkout would postpone surgeries, upend cancer treatments and delay everything from emergency care to simple lab-test results. Meanwhile, the Public Employment Relations Board has said it will seek a temporary restraining order on the union planning the one-day strike, AFSCME Local 3299, to limit the number of workers who can participate.
See additional coverage: U-T San Diego, Sacramento Business Journal, San Francisco Business Times
The University of California reached a tentative contract agreement with unionized nurses at its medical and student-health facilities, averting a one-day walkout that had been scheduled for Wednesday. The four-year agreement still needs to be voted on by the 11,700 UC nurses who belong to the California Nurses Assn., or CNA. Contract highlights released by UC call for annual 4% pay increases through 2017. The nurses have agreed not to join in a one-day strike on Wednesday in sympathy with a walkout still scheduled by the AFSCME local 3299, which represents 22,000 patient-care workers, custodians and food workers at UC’s five medical centers and 10 campuses.
See additional coverage: KCBS (audio), Sacramento Business Journal
UCSF Medical Center is moving 300 finance and patient registration workers to Emeryville, according to an informed source and internal UCSF emails.The move was originally scheduled for early December but has been pushed back to Jan. 10, according to a source familiar with the hospital’s plans. The staffers, who now work at 2300 Harrison Street in San Francisco, are moving to 6425 Christie Street in Emeryville, a building that has a Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland site on the first floor.
Net income at the UC Davis Health System increased last year, as core business remained steady, revenue climbed and admissions rose almost 2 percent.
This story reports on the new Ronald A. Katz Center for Collaborative Military Medicine at UCLA, where faculty will partner with the armed forces to address the unique challenges of healing and caring for the nation’s most critically wounded warriors.
As Salesforce grew into one of the largest employers in San Francisco, CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, have emerged among the city’s top philanthropists. In 2011, they donated $100 million toward building the new children’s hospital at UCSF, which is slated to open in 2015. Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center, is quoted.
Even if you’re a Nobel laureate, getting your science funded can be difficult, especially in the current, post-sequester fiscal climate. UC Berkeley professor Randy Schekman, who shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with James Rothman and Thomas Südhof, is quoted.
A Senate select committee last week held a hearing in Santa Ana to examine a successful public-private autism research and treatment partnership in Orange County, and to see what legislation might be needed for autism care in the next year. One part of the solution is the autism work that’s been done within the public Children and Families Commission of Orange County and the private not-for-profit Thompson Center for Autism. Ralph Clayman, dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine, is quoted. “I would envision something in Southern California similar to the MIND Institute that you have in Northern California,” he said. The MIND Institute — for Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders — is a research facility based at UC Davis.
California’s 58 counties, each operating its own health system under an established set of rules over the past several decades, are undergoing fundamental shifts in how they provide health care for low-income residents. The rules are changing. The two biggest vehicles of change are the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion. In addition, the relationship between state and county governments in California is being realigned, shifting responsibility and funding for physical and mental health care. Dylan Roby, a researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, is quoted. Roby co-wrote a UCLA safety-net study released last week that examined California’s experiment with low-income health programs.
Ken Jacobs, chair of UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, offers a tip to people hunting for health insurance, saying: “People should be conservative in their [income] estimates,” to avoid having to repay subsidies. “If your income changes, that should be reported right away. … Doing so makes a very big difference in what people can owe at tax time.”
This story about research into Alzheimer’s disease quotes Dr. Gil Rabinovici, a neurologist in UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center, and Dr. Lennart Mucke, director of the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.
It affects the part of the body no one wants to discuss and remains one of the most stigmatized of diseases: anal cancer. In the general population, the disease strikes more women than men. But in HIV-infected men, the risk is much greater. Dr. Joel Palefsky, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, saw the connection between anal cancer, HPV and HIV when he founded the Anal Neoplasia Clinic at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the world’s first clinic devoted to researching, screening and preventing the disease. Palefsky is also the president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society, which will hold its first international conference this weekend in San Francisco. As part of a projected $89 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, Palefsky will be the lead investigator for a national study to screen about 17,000 people for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, the abnormal cellular changes that put someone at high risk of developing anal cancer.
This story reports on a study by Dr. William Aronson that found that men on a low-fat fish oil diet were able to change their prostate cancer tissue. Aronson is a clinical professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and chief of urologic oncology at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
A feature on research, including work at UCLA, studying the connections between the brain and gut and in particular, the impact of the bacteria that lives in the intestines. Dr. Emeran Mayer, UCLA professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases and director of the Oppenheimer Family Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, is interviewed.
A joint program between the division of pediatric hematology and oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and the Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC) in Bakersfield officially opened its clinic this week. The local clinic will provide access to renowned UCLA pediatric oncologists and reduce the need for children and their families to travel outside of Kern County for their care. Dr. Noah Federman, assistant professor of pediatric hematology/oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, is interviewed.
Recently in the U.S., centers for regenerative medicine — the science of growing cells, tissue and organs to replace or repair damaged ones — have been growing in number. The National Center for Regenerative Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland listed UC Davis as one of the biggest researchers in this field.
Julie Schweitzer and Faye Dixon from the UC Davis MIND Institute are interviewed about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults.
Health and food experts warn against juice cleanse programs. Elizabeth Applegate, a senior lecturer in the nutrition department at UC Davis, said juice cleanses are not effective for weight loss, and described some of the other perceived benefits as “placebo effect.”
The mystery man who reported seeing a person in a locked stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital four days before a missing patient’s body was found there has come forward, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday. The man is a researcher at UCSF who works at San Francisco General, said spokeswoman Rachael Kagan. He contacted authorities last week after learning that police, sheriff’s deputies and hospital officials were eager to talk to whoever had reported to a nursing supervisor Oct. 4 that he had seen a prone person on a stairwell landing.