A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
The drawn-out medical degree, The New York Times
A recent, unpublished survey of 120 medical schools, conducted by the New York University School of Medicine, found that 30 percent were considering or already planning to start three-year programs, according to Dr. Steven B. Abramson, the senior vice president and vice dean for education, faculty and academic affairs. N.Y.U. enrolled its first three-year medical students a year ago. A handful of other pioneers include the medical schools at Mercer University in Savannah, Ga.; Texas Tech in Lubbock; the University of California, Davis; and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Some doctors in the state of California will soon be able to practice after three years of medical school instead of the traditional four. The American Medical Association is providing seed money for the effort in the form of a $1 million, five-year grant to the University of California at Davis.
See additional coverage: California Healthline
For medical students, it’s summer ‘vacation’, The Riverside Press-Enterprise
Even after a grueling year of study, Esther Chu Zarecki and most of her fellow students in the UCR School of Medicine’s inaugural class opted not to spend their summer breaks decompressing on a distant beach. Instead, they bolstered their medical studies through externships, research or individual pursuits. The five students The Press-Enterprise has been following as they study to become doctors – including Zarecki – were similarly engaged.
New cancer classification system shows promise as lifesaver, San Francisco Chronicle
Classifying cancer tumors by their molecular structure rather than the tissue or organ where they were found, such as the breast or bladder, may lead to more accurate diagnoses and potentially better treatments and outcomes for patients, a new study finds. In the largest undertaking to analyze and compare different cancer types based on genomic sequencing, researchers found at least 10 percent of tumors – and possibly as high as 30 to 50 percent – would be identified differently if oncologists determined their diagnoses by a tumor’s molecular makeup. Those quoted include Dr. Christopher Benz, a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, a breast cancer specialist at UCSF and co-senior author of the study, and Josh Stuart, professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz and a senior author of the paper.
The kids who beat autism, The New York Times
This feature story about kids who beat autism mentions applied behavior analysis, which was developed at UCLA.
UCSF researchers hoping to study current Ebola outbreak, San Francisco Examiner
UC San Francisco researchers who are studying strains from five previous Ebola virus outbreaks in central Africa are hoping to receive samples from the current strain to better understand what has reportedly become the deadliest outbreak of the virus. Dr. Charles Chiu, an assistant professor in laboratory medicine and infectious diseases who specializes in infectious disease diagnostics, has been in touch with collaborators in West Africa, where more than 800 people are believed to have died from the virus as of Friday, in an effort to acquire noninfectious samples of the strain.
Two insurers to pool medical records in California, The Wall Street Journal
Two major California insurers are teaming up to create what will be one of the nation’s largest health-information exchanges, making the medical records of about nine million plan members available to participating doctors and hospitals. It is an ambitious effort, as dozens of similar information exchanges have closed or consolidated because of financial and administrative problems. Blue Shield of California and WellPoint Inc.’s Anthem Blue Cross said they would spend $80 million to fund the first three years of the California Integrated Data Exchange, or Cal Index. The new entity will be set up as an independent nonprofit organization, though each insurer is appointing a member of its board. David T. Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System, will chair the new nonprofit’s board. He said UCLA would conduct due diligence but that he was certain that the system would participate and it was likely that other University of California health systems would join.
Study: Emergency room closures can be deadly for area’s residents, Los Angeles Times
It stands to reason that when a hospital emergency room closes, people in the surrounding neighborhood suffer. But how much? A new study quantifies the impact in California, finding that patients affected by ER closures were 5% more likely to die after being admitted to a hospital than were patients who didn’t lose an ER in their neighborhood. The authors of the study, published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, couldn’t say exactly how the disappearance of emergency rooms translated into higher mortality for hospital patients. For the new study, a trio of researchers from Harvard Medical School, UC San Francisco and the Ecologic Institute in San Mateo examined data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to see how many hospital emergency rooms were in operation and what happened to the patients they treated.
See additional coverage: Kaiser Health News
Study: Poor people with diabetes 10 times more likley to lose limb, Los Angeles Times
Diabetic people in low-income neighborhoods in California were up to 10 times more likely to lose a leg or a foot than diabetic patients in wealthier ZIP Codes, UCLA researchers have reported.
Because of their very name, sports and energy drinks are often viewed by consumers as a healthier alternative to sugar-sweetened sodas. A study out Wednesday from UC Berkeley researchers disputes that view, finding that 21 popular beverages have high sugar content and other additives including caffeine and sodium, which may be harmful to children and teens.
UC San Diego is a pioneer in using cutting edge 3-D imaging tools as a guide during brain surgery. In the second of a two-part series, KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg goes inside the operating room, where the surgeon treats a woman with a deep-seated brain tumor.
It’s not brain surgery — well it is for Accurexa and Dr. Daniel Lim, San Francisco Business Times
Dr. Daniel Lim was frustrated. A neurosurgeon and assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Lim regularly uses a surgical device to deliver potentially life-changing treatments into patients’ brains. But he thought the crude syringe invented in 1986 could be better. Lim sketched his new device and turned it over to a group of UC Berkeley engineering students, who created a prototype. Then he won a $1.8 million grant in 2010 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state’s stem cell research funding organization, to push it through preclinical testing. Now Lim and Accurexa Inc., the tiny San Francisco company that hopes to sell the device, are on the cusp of asking the Food and Drug Administration for marketing clearance.
Nurix, Imprint Energy top UC Berkleey and UCSF spinoff companies list, San Francisco Business Times
Bionic exoskeletons, health diagnostic kits on your smartphone and 3-D augmented-reality glasses are just a few of the cool products being commercialized from technologies created at UC Berkeley and UCSF.
UC Davis Children’s Hospital telemedicine program gets help to young patients who can’t easily come to Sacramento. News10 and the Children’s Miracle Network are teaming up for the Give for Kids Telethon on Friday, Aug. 8.
The UC Davis Children’s Hospital has established a car sear education program to prevent trauma and keep kids safe.
The science of being happy, Sacramento News & Review
UC Berkeley neuroscientist Emiliana Simon-Thomas works as science director at the Greater Good Science Center. Simon-Thomas is one of a pair of GGSC instructors offering an upcoming free massive open online course, or MOOC, on the edX platform called The Science of Happiness. The class, still open for enrollment, launches on Sept. 9, and has so far signed up a whopping 65,000 students. UC Davis professor Robert Emmons, a psychologist and national expert on the benefits of gratitude, gets hyped up quick about the “new generation of researchers” that have entered the gratitude field. “Some of the findings are really amazing,” he said. According to Emmons, clinical trials show that the practice of gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Additionally, it can reduce lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance-abuse disorders. “Gratitude is good medicine!” says Emmons.
Loma Linda University Health plans $1.2B Inland Empire expansion, California Healthline
Following a string of development projects in the Inland Empire, Loma Linda University Health is about to launch its most expensive and extensive project to date. The health system is planning a $1.2 billion expansion on its main medical campus in Loma Linda. The health system also is planning to expand its hospital complex in Murrieta. ”Health care is a very regional industry,” said Dylan Roby, assistant professor and researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “There is quite a lot of consolidation in Northern California. In L.A. and Southern California, you see a different situation.” In Southern California, hospitals that perceive financial opportunities related to expansion are taking action, he said. For example, UCLA is expanding its primary care capacity in the South Bay and San Fernando Valley.
Google Glass may help medical professionals treat patients, Chicago Tribune
This story about the medical use of Google Glass quotes Dr. Warren Wiechmann, associate dean of instructional technologies at the UC Irvine School of Medicine.
UC Davis nursing school in line for $2.1M to study diabetes care, Sacramento Business Journal
The UC Davis nursing school has initial approval for a $2.1 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute in Washington, D.C., to study ways to improve health for individuals with diabetes. The three-year project will study whether approaches such as mobile technology and nurse coaching help people with diabetes better manage the chronic disease.
A group of San Diego hospitals and research centers was awarded a $5.8 million grant Monday. The federal grant will help fund a program designed to reduce heart attacks. The 3-year project will involve about 4,000 high-risk patients; the goal is to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Participants will get blood pressure cuffs to monitor levels at home and work closely with a health care coach. The program is set to start later this year. Cardiologist Dr. Anthony Demaria of the UCSD Health System talks about the grant as well as what it means to San Diego.
Retired doctor, 104, a survivor, trailblazer, U-T San Diego
Looking back on 104 birthdays, retired Dr. Trude Hollander said she’s had a wonderful life: a long and happy marriage, a trailblazing career in medicine, good health and great friends. But things weren’t always easy for the gracious La Jolla resident, who survived the Holocaust in Germany, then dealt with intense sexism when she moved to the U.S. in the mid-1930s to launch her medical practice. For 45 years, Trude Hollander ran her practice, and her husband became world-renowned in the field of dermatology, serving on the teaching staffs at Harvard and Boston universities and at UC San Diego. Although losing her husband was the most difficult life challenge she faced, Hollander stayed active in local causes she has endowed, including UCSD ophthalmology department and the Shiley Eye Center. Don Kikkawa, who works at Shiley Eye Center in La Jolla, is quoted.
UCLA medical researcher studies using hallucinogenics, ecstasy to treat autism, Torrance Daily Breeze
A small supply of a drug known widely as Ecstasy or Molly, highly controlled since it was outlawed nearly 30 years ago, sits inside a safe bolted to the floor of a locked room that is only accessible through another locked room at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Until recent years, even psychotherapists who suspected the empathy-inducing drug might ease symptoms of some of the most difficult-to-treat mental illnesses were denied access to Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA. Dr. Charles Grob, a psychiatrist at Harbor-UCLA and investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, or LA BioMed, was the first to win approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration to begin clinical trials of MDMA. Since he began the testing about 10 years ago, he has found that the drug may be helpful to adults grappling with varying degrees of autism. And just recently, Grob began a new round of research on patients with the neurodevelopmental disorder.
UCSC engineering lab awarded $2.28M grant, Santa Cruz Sentinel
The National Human Genome Research Institute awarded a three-year $2.28 million grant to a UC Santa Cruz lab headed by professor Mark Akeson for its research on low-cost genome sequencing.