A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
UC Riverside makes rare second attempt to add medical school, Los Angeles Times
UC Riverside didn’t give up after being denied accreditation for a medical school, and officials hope that new funding will mean students can enroll next year. Those quoted include G. Richard Olds, a tropical-disease expert who is the founding dean of the UC Riverside medical school; student Regina Inchizu; and John Stobo, the UC system’s senior vice president for health sciences and services. A follow-up editorial says now is not the time for a new UC medical school.
California faces headwinds in easing doctor shortage, CHCF Center for Health Reporting/Ventura County Star
The Supreme Court’s validation of President Obama’s landmark health law sets off a scramble across California to find enough primary care doctors and other professionals to serve an estimated 3 million newly insured patients by 2014. The article mentions the UC Riverside School of Medicine and the PRIME program at UC Merced with ties to UC Davis and UCSF-Fresno and cites a UCLA study. G. Richard Olds, founding dean of the UC Riverside School of Medicine, is quoted.
UCLA Medical Center earns high marks in U.S. News rankings, Los Angeles Times
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center nabbed top honors among California hospitals in the latest U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. The Los Angeles medical center ranked No. 5 nationally in the publisher’s annual honor roll of best hospitals. Only one other hospital in the state, UC San Francisco Medical Center, made the national honor roll of 17 hospitals. It ranked No. 13. All five UC medical centers were ranked by U.S. News — read UC Health story.
UC to hike professional degree fees, San Francisco Chronicle
Over the objections of student protesters, the University of California regents hiked fees by up to 35 percent for dozens of professional degree programs – from nursing to business – even as the board agreed to freeze this year’s undergraduate tuition if voters approve a tax measure on the November ballot.
California university asks for its own board, Nature News
UC San Francisco released a series of proposals aimed at fixing finances at the biomedical powerhouse.
UCLA Mobile Clinic Project benefits both sides of the clipboards, Los Angeles Times
UCLA mobile clinic fosters students’ skills and compassion as they care for needy patients.
California health care exchange prepares for 2014 launch, The Sacramento Bee
Peter V. Lee wants to make buying health insurance “as easy as buying a book on Amazon.” He heads the nascent California Health Benefit Exchange, the cornerstone of the state’s effort to put in place the federal health care overhaul. Lee envisions that 15 months from now, uninsured California residents will log onto any computer to shop for health care the same way they purchase novels. All told, the exchange expects to connect about 2 million Californians with health insurers by 2019. Starting in 2014, it will be California’s vehicle to deliver subsidized care to people who earn income up to four times the federal poverty level, currently $92,200 for a family of four. The largest share will be people who lack insurance now, though hundreds of thousands who purchase health care on the open market or receive it through work will also use the exchange, according to a simulation conducted by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Safety-net hospitals stand to lose funding under reform law, California Healthline/Reuters
New payment procedures under the Affordable Care Act that will grant bonus payments to facilities that score higher on certain performance measures, such as patient satisfaction surveys, could have negative effects for safety-net hospitals, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Reuters reports. In an editorial accompanying the study, Katherine Neuhausen of UCLA and Mitchell Katz of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services agreed that funding cuts are not the most effective strategy.
Task force starts with population health, California Healthline
The state’s recently formed “Let’s Get Healthy California” task force convened Tuesday for the first of four scheduled webinars. The meetings are part of the task force’s plan to eventually organize the unruly health care system in California by creating a priority list and action plan for what needs to be done, according to Diana Dooley, Secretary of Health and Human Services. The article quotes Ken Kizer, director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis and the moderator of Tuesday’s webinar.
UCLA’s Donated Body Program is featured in this segment about options available for people who wish to reduce funeral costs by donating their bodies to medical research. Program director Dean Fisher is quoted.
Job growth expected from stem cell grants, Sacramento Business Journal
Almost $80 million in grants for stem cell research and related technologies has flowed to the Sacramento region since voters approved a ballot measure in 2004 to jump start the industry with $3 billion in state bond financing. So far $1.4 billion has been awarded statewide by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine — and more is coming. Up to $240 million in new disease-specific grants will be announced July 26. Researchers at UC Davis, which already has received the lion’s share of local CIRM stem-cell funding, hope to nab an additional $54 million.
FDA approves Truvada as HIV preventive, San Francisco Chronicle
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the marketing of the first drug shown to curb the transmission of the HIV virus, a development heralded by AIDS advocates and physicians as a turning point in the battle against the decades-long epidemic. Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences in Foster City, was approved in 2004 to treat people already infected with HIV, but studies have shown the drug is also effective at reducing the risk of contracting the virus. The article quotes Robert Grant, a UCSF professor and a researcher with the Gladstone Institute for Virology and Immunology who led one of the two studies on which the FDA approval was based.
Cancer Support Community’s new service, San Francisco Chronicle
Open to Options, inspired by a similar program at UCSF, uses counselors to show patients how to express their concerns to their doctors and helps them formulate a list of questions that will be given to their doctors in advance of medical appointments.
The ABC7 News I-Team has learned that UCSF Medical Center is dealing with a racially charged incident — a noose hung in an office out in the open. It happened July 10, deep inside the UCSF Medical Center building on Parnassus Avenue in the inventory warehouse for facilities management.
EPA hears public views of changes to soot standard, The Sacramento Bee
Several dozen people attended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sacramento Hearing on national air quality standards Thursday. Tony Wexler, director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis, believes the financial cost of clean air is justified. “It’s cheaper to have stricter regulations, because health costs are much higher,” he said. “Industry groups only see the costs in front of them.”
New sheriff in town (audio), KPCC The Loh Down on Science
This piece reports on a new mouthwash developed by Wenyuan Shi, professor of oral biology at the UCLA School of Dentistry, that was shown in a study to effectively kill the bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay and cavities.
Tablets increase UCLA neurosurgery residents’ study time, FierceHealthIT
Students in a UCLA neurosurgery residency training program given tablets and access to a digital library of resources studied more outside the hospital, according to an article published in Neurosurgery. Last academic year, Harvard and Yale made iPads part of their medical school curriculum. Yale handed out 520 iPads to all of its medical students, while Harvard created a set of apps just for medical students. They joined medical schools including Stanford, Brown, the University of California Irvine and the University of Minnesota in adding a technology component.
Questioning surgery for early prostate cancer, The New York Times
A new study shows that prostate cancer surgery, which often leaves men impotent or incontinent, does not appear to save the lives of men with early-stage disease, who account for most cases, and many of these men would do just as well to choose no treatment at all. Leonard Marks, a professor of urology at UCLA, is quoted.
UCSD health clinic gets new landlord at Hillcrest, San Diego Business Journal
Coast Income Properties Inc. of San Diego has purchased a Hillcrest medical office building known as Lewis Medical for $9.7 million. The building is fully leased by UC San Diego Health System, which will continue to operate a primary care clinic there, according to a statement from brokerage firm Colliers International.
Expert paints bleak air pollution picture to children’s asthma group, Long Beach Press-Telegram
John Froines, professor emeritus of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, is featured in this article about a talk he gave concerning increasing levels of air pollution in California.