A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
The votes were cast and the protesters’ chanting died down. Now months of political wrangling and budget negotiations are ahead before UC students know for sure how much next year’s tuition will be. Under the plan for a tuition increase, approved by the UC regents on Thursday by a 14-7 vote, students could pay as much as 28% more over five years, depending on state funding. Gov. Jerry Brown and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, both regents, voted against the measure and their next steps on state funding for the 10-campus university will be key. The regents took other steps that officials said will boost revenue and save millions of dollars, but which may upset critics of high pay. Patrice Knight, an IBM executive, was hired as chief procurement officer for UC hospitals and health divisions. Regis Kelly, a bioscience institute administrator at UC San Francisco, will be working three-quarters-time as a special advisor to Napolitano on getting UC inventions into the marketplace faster while keeping his current job one-quarter-time. Read UC coverage.
UC raises tuition amid students’ cries of opposition, San Francisco Chronicle
The regents of the University of California approved a plan to raise tuition by up to 28 percent over five years on Thursday as furious students in the audience shouted “Shame on you!” and “We’re still going to fight it!” The students briefly shut down the meeting as the regents concluded the 14-to-7 vote to raise tuition and fees by up to 5 percent a year beginning next fall. The Board of Regents, meeting at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, adopted price increases for undergraduates and for UC’s 59 graduate professional degree programs — including 20 percent higher fees for nursing at San Francisco, Davis, Irvine and Los Angeles campuses — with no comment.
Innovation, entrepreneurship evangelist Reg Kelly to spread gospel throughout UC system, San Francisco Business Times
Regis Kelly preaches about better ways to translate the University of California’s lab research into drugs and tools that can help Californians live healthier longer. Now his congregation is getting bigger. Kelly — the director of the three-campus California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, or QB3 — on Dec. 1 will join the UC Office of the President as senior advisor on innovation and entrepreneurship. His initial focus will be to help each of the UC system’s 10 campuses identify ways to more efficiently morph research into products, but he also will work closely in helping UC officials develop a venture fund of up to $250 million. Kelly, a biochemist by training and a former vice chancellor at UC San Francisco, over the past decade has built QB3 into a hub of biomedical entrepreneurship. Working with scientists at UCSF, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, QB3 has set up a network of incubators, including a new partnership with StartX near Stanford University, and created a portfolio of programs to help researchers move science into the commercial realm.
Tech isn’t biggest S.F. industry; health care is, San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco’s health care industry generated more than $28 billion in economic activity this year — outpacing even the city’s much-hyped tech sector, according to a report released Tuesday by a hospital trade association. The Hospital Council of Northern California attributes the growth — up $11 billion since 2012 — to bigger and newer hospitals and more biomedical firms. One of the reasons for the growth in economic activity is due to several hospitals and medical facilities being expanded or built, with about $5 billion invested in the projects in the next five years, the report said. Those properties include California Pacific Medical Center, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, a Kaiser Permanente medical building in Mission Bay and the Chinese Hospital.
Jesse Jackson joins UCI panel on Ebola and civil rights, Orange County Register
Don’t reject the infected, reject the infection. That was the message civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered during a panel discussion titled “The Constitutional Implications of Ebola,” hosted by the UC Irvine School of Law on Nov. 19. Joining Jackson in the forum were Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, Andrew Noymer, associate professor at UCI’s Department of Public Health, Dr. George W. Woods from the International Academy of Law and Mental Health and Michele Goodwin, professor of law at UCI. At the heart of the discussion was how the ongoing Ebola crisis is affecting civil rights and personal liberties in the United States.
UC Merced takes grassroots approach to reducing obesity, California Healthline
An NIH grant designed to help researchers build partnerships with community organizations could lead to a better understanding of the obesity epidemic, particularly in low-income Latino communities in Merced County. “NIH is increasingly recognizing that to address many health issues, research needs to be more closely anchored in the communities affected by the health problem,” said Jan Wallander, a professor of psychological sciences at UC-Merced who co-wrote the grant proposal. The three-year, $90,000 grant awarded to UC-Merced and the Merced County California Regional Obesity Prevention Program from NIH’s Child Health and Human Development Institute allows academics from various disciplines to engage directly with community members affected by obesity.
Healthy aging a complex goal, U-T San Diego
Living well while growing older could mean finding creative ways to stay healthy, such as using interactive video games to exercise or sprinkling raw chocolate on everything you eat to boost antioxidants. Those topics were among several dozen discussed during a two-hour public forum Nov. 16 hosted by UC San Diego’s Think Tank on Healthy Aging, a two-year project featuring 14 renowned doctors and researchers. They hope to guide the country’s response to the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age. “Aging is not a disease to be cured, but a process to be enhanced,” said Dr. Dilip Jeste, a UC San Diego professor coordinating the group. The creation of the think tank marks the official opening of UC San Diego’s Center for Healthy Aging, an umbrella organization for all of the university’s age-related programs. It’s part of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.
Triclosan may cause liver cancer, U-T San Diego
Triclosan an antimicrobial agent commonly found in antibacterial soaps, causes liver fibrosis and cancer in mice in a manner that may pertain to people, according to a study led by UC San Diego scientists.
When Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo entered medical school in 1995, only one in ten teens had the beginning signs of diabetes. Now, 19 years later, one in four teens are at high risk of developing diabetes. As an internist at UC San Francisco and a researcher on diabetes prevention, Bibbins-Domingo is alarmed at how fast diabetes rates are rising in the general population, and how young people are when they first develop the disease. The culprit? Too much sugar. And Bibbins-Domingo is part of a new initiative at UCSF called SugarScience. The project, a collaborative effort with researchers at UC Davis and Emory University School of Medicine, is a public health campaign backed by more than 8,000 scientific papers on how sugar affects our bodies and contributes to conditions like diabetes (which can cause blindness and the need for amputations), stroke, heart attacks and tooth decay, to name a few. The new site says SugarScience aims to be “the authoritative source for the science about added sugar and its impact on our health.”
UCSF to study early menopause vs. preventive cancer surgery risks, San Francisco Chronicle
For Mimi Cavalheiro, who is genetically at risk for both breast and ovarian cancers, the question of a diagnosis is not an “if” but “when.” Now she’s faced with tough decisions. The 37-year-old San Francisco resident could have her breasts removed or opt for intensive screening. She could have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, but at the risk of plunging into premature menopause. “The idea of going through menopause 10 years early is a little stressful,” Cavalheiro said. “I don’t know how it’s going to affect me, my love life, my energy level, my weight.” Medical experts don’t fully understand all the physical ramifications either. So a new UCSF study is trying to find out. Cavalheiro is one of about 100 Bay Area women between 35 and 50 years old with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations who are participating in a clinical trial that is examining changes in cardiovascular health, bone density, sexual function, quality of life and other effects on women who go into early menopause.
UCSF study suggests secondhand marijuana smoke as bad as tobacco smoke for heart health, CBS San Francisco
Secondhand marijuana smoke may be just as bad for your heart as breathing tobacco smoke, according to preliminary research from UC San Francisco.
A Berkeley biotech startup with a powerful new way to edit DNA said Tuesday it is licensing that technology to a company that intends to use it to develop therapies for genetic diseases.
Berkeley biotech licenses gene-editing tool to new company, San Francisco Chronicle
The newly created, Cambridge-based Intellia Therapeutics is off to a promising start with $15 million in financing led by pharmaceutical giant Novartis and investment firm Atlas Venture. The company was co-created by Atlas and Caribou Biosciences of Berkeley, which is led by some of the scientists who have shaped the gene-editing technology known as Crispr-Cas9. That tool can snip and edit DNA with more precision and ease compared to other gene-editing methods, allowing scientists to repair, knock out or replace specific genes in humans, other animals and plants. It works by harnessing the natural immune system of bacteria. Interest in Crispr-Cas9 soared two years ago when a team that included UC Berkeley scientist Jennifer Doudna figured out a way to use up the system to slice up any DNA sequence of their choosing. Doudna last week was among the winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, a $3 million prize funded by heavyweight tech CEOs, and also co-founded both Caribou and Editas Medicine.
Many seniors do not seek medical attention after a fall, UCLA study finds, MyNewsLA
More than half a million older Californians — 12.6 percent of the state’s senior population — fall more than once a year, but nearly 60 percent of them fail to seek medical attention afterward, according to a study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
State health exchange signs up 11,000 in first four days, Orange County Register
Health plan sign-ups in the first four days of Covered California’s second season outpaced the early days of last year’s maiden enrollment period by nearly four times, the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange said. Dylan Roby, a professor at UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research, is quoted.
State law requires hospitals to report medical errors to the California Department of Public Health. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit discovered that meaningful details about adverse events are not readily available or easily searchable for California consumers. The Investigative Unit filed a public records request to CDPH obtain this information and have now posted it online. According to the state data obtained by the Investigative Unit, over the past four fiscal years, two Bay Area hospitals, Stanford Medical Center and UCSF, lead the state in total number of adverse events. However, the majority of the adverse events at both of these facilities were bedsores. Dr. Josh Adler, chief medical officer at UCSF, said his staff is dedicated to tracking every error that occurs in order to better prevent them in the future and improve care for patients. “I believe we are a very safe hospital and part of the reason we are safe is that we have been in the error-finding and resolving business for a long time,” Adler said.