A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
UC Davis names new medical school dean, The Sacramento Bee
UC Davis officials announced Tuesday they’ve named a new dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for human health sciences – Dr. Julie Freischlag, a department director and surgeon-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Freischlag replaces Dr. Claire Pomeroy, who resigned last November amid controversy over an investigation into three highly unusual surgeries on brain cancer patients.
See additional coverage: Sacramento Business Journal
UC Irvine to open Orange County’s first academic eye institute, The Orange County Register
When the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute opens its doors to the public Tuesday, UC Irvine will become home to Orange County’s first academic eye institute.
Celebrities join UC online crowdfunding campaign for financial aid, Los Angeles Times
In an unusual effort to bolster financial aid for undergraduates, UC on Wednesday publicly launched an online crowdfunding campaign that has movie stars, politicians, students and faculty pledging to host parties, lead hikes, sing rap songs and work in soup kitchens to win donations.The Promise for Education campaign, which will last six weeks, is designed in part to attract donations from young alumni and others who might not respond to more traditional fundraising appeals but may be intrigued by a social media one and donate to a particular person’s activity. Gov. Jerry Brown, with a $10,000 goal, said he will host a brown-bag lunch with a student from each University of California campus. The article also mentions that in another matter, the governor criticized the UC policy of paying hefty annual incentive bonuses to some executives in its healthcare and financial investment programs if they achieve certain goals, such as reducing patient infections or substantially growing the endowment.
California’s employment relations board that deals with public employees is investigating complaints against University of California for threatening striking workers last May. UC says it takes the allegations very seriously and strongly disagrees with the union’s claims. AFSCME Local 3299 has been negotiating with the UC system for more than a year over a new contract. This segment interviews Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for human resources, and Kathryn Lybarger, president of AFSCME Local 3299.
UC medical workers allege unfair labor practice, The Associated Press
A complaint has been filed on behalf of thousands of University of California hospital workers who claim they were threatened when they went on a two-day strike in May. AFSCME, which represents some 13,000 hospital pharmacists, nursing assistants, operating room scrubs and other health care workers, took the claims to the state Public Employment Relations Board. Last week, the board issued a complaint to force UC to answer the allegations. The complaint outlined alleged instances when UC administrators questioned workers about their participation in the walkout, told them their absence during the strike would be considered unauthorized, and threatened disciplinary action. UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said Tuesday the administrators believe they acted in accordance with the law. “We have negotiated tirelessly and we are going to respond appropriately to this,” Klein said about the complaint.
Prompted by reform incentives, hospitals aim for customer satisfaction, California Health Report
This story about hospital patient satisfaction quotes Tony Padilla, patient affairs director at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
The UCLA School of Nursing role in containing the outbreak of tuberculosis on Skid Row is featured in this story. Dr. Mary Marfisee, medical director for the UCLA School of Nursing Health Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission, is quoted in the article, as is medical assistant Antonio Vera. The report also cites the work of medical students from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
Electronic cigarettes: Should they be banned or encouraged? (audio), KCRW Which Way, L.A.?
The Electronic Cigarette Convention will take place this weekend in Anaheim. Vendors and users can sell and sample the battery-powered inhalers that deliver nicotine from flavored liquid called “juice.” E-cigarettes are becoming popular with teen-agers – the number has doubled in the past year, and that’s led to proposed restrictions in Seal Beach and Los Angeles, among other places. UCLA nursing professor Linda Sarna and UCLA public policy professor Mark Kleiman are interviewed.
UC Davis hopes to become genomics leader with new testing center, The Sacramento Bee
UC Davis’ three-year effort to establish itself and the Sacramento region as a hub for genetic testing on the West Coast took a step forward last week with the opening of university’s new genomic testing facility in Sacramento.
Insurers limiting doctors, hospitals in health insurance market, Los Angeles Times
Insurers in California’s new health insurance exchange are holding down premiums by limiting choices, raising concerns that patients will struggle to get care. The article mentions that for Covered California, Anthem Blue Cross says that it’s the only insurer that includes UCLA Medical Center and other UC facilities statewide.
Researchers helping legislative staff craft health care reform message, California Healthline
Shana Alex Lavarreda, director of health insurance studies at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, helped stage a recent symposium in Los Angeles for legislative staff members. Along with other UCLA researchers, Lavarreda briefed staffers on the mountain of health care information they’re about to need. UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Director Gerald Kominski also is quoted.
Changes on horizon for California’s safety net’s care of undocumented, indigent, California Healthline
“Undocumented and Uninsured,” a study published last month by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, underscored concerns echoed by community clinic officials throughout the state. The ACA “specifically excludes one group from all its provisions: the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in this country,” the report stated. “Access to health care in California is significantly worse for undocumented immigrants.”
Preventive care services and the Affordable Care Act (video), NBC Los Angeles
This story on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California highlights UCLA’s Risk Factor Obesity Program, a medically supervised, comprehensive weight-management program. Dr. David Heber, professor of medicine and director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and Dr. Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and a professor at the Fielding School of Public Health, are interviewed.
ED use could surge under ACA, study suggests, MedPage Today
Increases in California emergency department use were driven in large part by Medicaid patients, presaging increased burdens after the Affordable Care Act kicks in completely, researchers found. From 2005 to 2010, the number of visits to California emergency departments rose by 13.2% from 5.4 million to 6.1 million annually, with a significant 35% increase in the number of patients insured through Medi-Cal (as Medicaid is known in California) driving this rise (P<0.001), according to Renee Hsia of UCSF and colleagues.
Drug-resistant superbugs multiplying: CDC report IDs ‘urgent threats’, Los Angeles Times
Thoughtless use of antibiotic medications continues to promote the growth of drug-resistant superbugs in the U.S., threatening doctors’ ability to combat infections, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The article quotes Dr. Daniel Uslan, director of the UCLA Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, who oversees UCLA’s efforts to make sure its patients get the right dose of the right antibiotic for the right duration.
New blood clot treatment vacuums out clot (video), ABC Los Angeles
This story reports on a Thousand Oaks man who had a two-foot blood clot vacuumed out of his heart by a minimally invasive device called the AngioVac, sparing him from open-heart surgery. Dr. John Moriarty, an interventional radiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is interviewed.
UCSF study turns anorexia treatment on its head, San Francisco Chronicle
When adolescents are hospitalized with anorexia nervosa, feeding their malnourished young bodies is of urgent importance. On the complicated path to recovery, gaining weight is a critical step .But how hospitals approach that first step, called refeeding, has in recent years been subject to rethinking. Now a quartet of studies to be published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health offers evidence in favor of a new approach – and suggests an emerging shift in the way hospitals approach treating the disorder. UCSF research is highlighted.
UC Davis professor strives to close gaps in mental health care, The Sacramento Bee
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola has been fascinated by the inner workings of the mind since reading Sigmund Freud as a youth. Now he is the UC Davis School of Medicine’s go-to academic for topics related to access to mental health care, especially in relation to the needs of the Latino population.
West Coast medical center lands Davies, Healthcare IT News
UC Davis Medical Center has won the 2013 Enterprise HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence in the use of health information technology.
More than 70 percent of Sacramento-area boomers are overweight or obese, The Sacramento Bee
Almost three of four people ages 49 to 67 – the baby boom generation– are overweight or obese in the four-county Sacramento region, according to a new survey from the UCLA Center of Health Policy Research.
Weigel: Is kindness contagious?, Chicago Tribune
A new documentary called “Good Virus” includes an interview with psychology professor Dacher Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, an interdisciplinary research center. This column also mentions UC San Diego associate professor James Fowler.