A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
Facing walkout, UC medical centers canceling elective surgeries, Los Angeles Times
Facing a possible two-day strike next week by patient care and technical workers, the five large University of California medical centers are starting to cancel elective surgeries that had been scheduled as soon as Monday, officials said. Emergency care will not be shut and patients already in the five hospitals across the state will continue to receive care. But many elective procedures will delayed until after the potential strike, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, according to John Stobo, UC’s senior vice president for health sciences and services. Patients are being notified about the surgery delays at the hospitals in San Diego, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Davis, he said. The union representing the 13,000 nursing assistants, scanning techs, operating room scrubs, respiratory experts and others threatening the strike said it will keep weekend-level staffing in critical areas such as respiratory therapy for intensive care, neonatal and burn units during a walkout.
See additional coverage: Sacramento Bee
Bay Area hospitals brace for strikes, San Francisco Chronicle
Picket signs may be a common sight at Bay Area hospitals starting Friday, when registered nurses at Sutter Health hospitals in Alameda and Contra Costa counties begin a seven-day strike that might overlap with a strike at UC medical centers. Hospitals workers at UCSF and the four other UC medical centers, including respiratory therapists, MRI technicians and licensed vocational nurses, are scheduled to walk off their jobs at 4 a.m. Tuesday (May 21) and not return until the same hour Thursday unless UC officials are successful in obtaining a restraining order to stop the strike. The nearly 13,000 striking UC workers, represented by the AFSCME Local 3299, are expected to be joined on the first day by up to 3,400 employees from the UPTE-CWA Local 9119. The unions held rallies Wednesday at the UC medical centers in preparation for the strike, which centers on cuts to workers’ pension and health benefits. At the UC regents meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday, police arrested 13 health care workers during a sit-down protest. Read UC statement.
Increasing medical residencies could help Inland Empire, California Healthline
As the Inland Empire grapples with a shortage of primary care physicians, experts say the solution hinges on creating more medical residencies. New state legislation could help. AB 1176 proposes to increase the number of primary care medical residencies in underserved regions, such as the Inland Empire. The new slots would be funded by levying a fee on insurers. The bill, co-authored by Assembly members Paul Bocanegra and Rob Bonta, would encourage the creation of more family medicine residencies, an area of primary care for which there is a particular need statewide. G. Richard Olds, dean of UC Riverside’s new medical school, said there are not enough residencies to meet current demand, which is expected to intensify when 500,000 uninsured residents become eligible for health coverage in 2014. A related bill (SB 21), by state Sen. Richard Roth, would provide $15 million annually to the medical school.
One of San Diego’s busiest trauma centers has gotten a major upgrade. The trauma department at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest has a brand new center. The new unit at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest has the capacity to treat four patients at once. That’s a big plus for a department that sees more than 3,000 severely injured people every year.
Want to help heal the world? Start by sharing your health data, The Huffington Post
What can you do to help yourself, family, friends — and why not everyone? — to heal from and perhaps avoid deadly diseases? Why not share your personal health data to help a new multi-industry, collaborative effort to improve therapies? That’s the drive behind a new website, MeForYou.org, part of a University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) awareness campaign around precision medicine, the topic of its recent OME Summit.
Tiny bit of formula promotes breastfeeding, San Francisco Chronicle
Giving a little bit of formula – the equivalent of a single bottle over several days – to a newborn who’s losing too much weight after birth might actually increase the likelihood that the baby will be breast-feeding three months later, according to a small Bay Area study. The article quotes Dr. Valerie Flaherman, lead author of the study and a pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
St. John’s bidding war escalates, Los Angeles Times
This story reports that UCLA Health and two large Catholic hospital chains may partner in a bid to acquire St. John’s Health Center.
Jonathan Fielding, the public’s MD, Los Angeles Times
A Q&A with Jonathan Fielding, who heads the L.A. County’s Department of Public Health. A pediatrician by training and the head of the county’s health programs since 1998, Fielding is such a believer that he and his wife, Karin, turned savvy investments into a $50-million gift last year to UCLA’s School of Public Health.
Health exchange awards $37 million in outreach grants, The Sacramento Bee
The UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency have a million reasons to celebrate after the state agency overseeing a federal health care overhaul Tuesday announced 48 winners of education and outreach grants. The two Sacramento-area groups were among 16 winners of million-dollar grants by Covered California, which is implementing federally mandated changes to health care by creating an exchange for buying health insurance. The agency cumulatively awarded 48 grants totaling $37 million, including one to UC Berkeley’s Health Initiative of the Americas.
See additional coverage: Los Angeles Times
UCSD creates brain mapping center, U-T San Diego
UC San Diego on Thursday will launch the Center for Brain Activity Mapping (CBAM), which is meant to be a focal point of President Barack Obama’s potentially transformative BRAIN Initiative.
Traumatic brain injury research gets $6 million, U-T San Diego
A research team including Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and UCSD scientists has been awarded $6 million to develop nanotechnology treatments for traumatic brain injuries and related infections.
Cheap device can detect internal bleeding, brain trauma, U.S. News and World Report
Next time you bump your head, a small, $50 device that detects brain trauma and internal bleeding could save your life. The device – which was developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley – won’t give those injured a photo like an X-ray, CAT scan or an MRI would, but according to developer Boris Rubinsky, it can determine whether someone needs to go to the hospital or not. In developing countries, that knowledge might be enough to save a life, he says.
Bayer inks startup matchmaking deal with QB3, Mission Bay Capital, San Francisco Business Times
Bayer HealthCare and venture funding company Mission Bay Capital LLC have signed a three-year deal with the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, or QB3, a UC-affiliated startup incubator, to evaluate, fund, and help startups spun out of university research.
Sacramento region poised for growth in bioscience, med tech, Sacramento Businesss Journal
Cary Adams, chairman of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance’s MedStart Program, believes the biosciences and medical technology economy in the region will double every four to six years, fueled in part by UC Davis’ commitment to research and advancement in bioscience and medicine.
UCSF dumps private office model in Mission Bay, San Francisco Business Times
At first glance, UC San Francisco’s planned Global Health & Clinical Sciences Building sounds like a community as well as an office complex. Employees will live in “neighborhoods”, chat in “huddle rooms” and connect in one of three “town centers” at the $94 million building in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. Scheduled to open in summer 2014, the 265,000-square-foot complex will house 1,500 employees across the street from UCSF’s new medical center, which is slated to open in February 2015. The building is viewed as an office of the future.
Subway might not be ‘healthy’ fast food, UCLA study finds, The Denver Post
If you think you’re eating healthy just because you choose a sub sandwich instead of a burger and fries, not so fast. New UCLA research finds that Subway, which bills itself as the healthy fast food restaurant, isn’t much healthier than McDonald’s. The study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that adolescents who purchased Subway meals consumed nearly as many calories as they did at McDonald’s.
The science behind Angelina Jolie’s choice of a preventative double mastectomy (audio), KPCC Airtalk
Actress Angelina Jolie actress made a stunning announcement in a New York Times op-ed that she underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of contracting breast cancer. Jolie said she was a carrier of the “faulty” gene BRCA1. The gene can be detected with a blood test and can alert patients to a higher-than-average risk of breast and ovarian cancers. What is the BRCA1 gene and how do you test for it? Are the tests reliable? If you are a carrier of the gene, what are your medical options? Is preventative surgery the best way to cut down your cancer risk? Guests include Nova Forster, co-director of the UCLA Breast Center at Santa Monica and associate clinical professor of surgery.
Catching up with Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, The New York Times
A profile of Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, clinical professor of medicine in the division of cardiology, director of imaging at the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and author of “Zoobiquity,” which examines the species-spanning nature of illness.
Wounded soldiers race to the South Pole, The New York Times
A blog post by Mark Wise, one of UCLA’s Operation Mend patients who will join a team of other wounded American veterans on a 225-mile race across Antarctica racing for more than two weeks against similar teams of wounded veterans from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia to raise awareness and funds for the program that can assist in reintegration issues from post traumatic stress, unemployment, drug or alcohol abuse and suicide. Wise, who was injured in a blast while serving in Afghanistan, credits Operation Mend with providing him with free facial reconstructive surgery that allowed him to feel comfortable in public again.
A mild case of nerves can have benefits, San Francisco Chronicle
A story about stress includes discussion of a recent study led by UC Berkeley biology professor Daniela Kaufer finding that significant but short-term stress can have beneficial effects on mental performance. The researchers found that brief elevations of the stress hormone cortisol induced stem cells to generate new nerve cells in the brain’s hippocampus, a region associated with memory. The story also mentions research by UCSF assistant professor of psychiatry Kristin Aschbacher.
Placenta research up — may be autism tie, San Francisco Chronicle
Increasingly, scientists in the Bay Area and across the nation are beginning to pay the placenta more attention. It might not be at the cool kids’ table just yet, but the placenta is climbing the social ranks as scientists find it may hold secrets to a child’s future health. The placenta could predict neurological problems or other disorders. In other words, the placenta “can give us a window into a part of that person’s life that’s usually somewhat mysterious,” said Dr. Cheryl Walker, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UC Davis.
Materials in some household products tied to lung damage, HealthDay News
Kent Pinkerton, director of the UC Davis Center for Health and the Environment, is a senior author of a new study that shows inhaling particles from “nanomaterials,” which are used in a growing number of household and commercial products, can cause lung inflammation and damage.
This story about valley fever quotes George Rutherford of UC San Francisco.
Find out how to cut carcinogens out of your grilling (video), CBS Sacramento
Jim Felton and his team of researchers at the UC Davis Cancer Center have spent years researching how and why cooked meats can potentially cause cancer, and they have several tips for how to reduce the risk of causing these chemical reactions.
Oprah’s ‘all-time favorite guest’ to graduate from UC Berkeley (video), ABC San Francisco
Tererai Trent, a woman to whom Oprah Winfrey has given more than $1 million to support her work to educate young girls in Zimbabwe, is about to graduate from UC Berkeley with a master’s in epidemiology. The mother of six had been forced to marry when she was 11 years old. She is now 52.