TAG: "Administration"

UCSF Fresno celebrates 40 years of training physicians

Fundraiser highlights impact on health in San Joaquin Valley.

UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program will celebrate 40 years of training physicians for the San Joaquin Valley at its biennial fundraiser “Valley Visions.”

The event will be held on Saturday, April 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall, located at 848 M St. in downtown Fresno. Hundreds of physicians, other health care professionals and community leaders are expected to attend.

Since it was established as a regional campus of UCSF in 1975, UCSF Fresno has trained approximately 3,000 physicians. Up to 40 percent of them stay in the San Joaquin Valley to provide medical care for community members.

“UCSF Fresno has grown significantly over the past four decades,” said Michael W. Peterson, M.D., interim associate dean and chief of medicine at UCSF Fresno. “Today, we are the San Joaquin Valley’s largest physician training program. Currently, we train about 600 physicians and future physicians through all of our medical education programs every year, right here in Fresno.”Growth at UCSF Fresno since 1975:
  • The number of core faculty at UCSF Fresno increased from one to 230
  • The number of medical residents and fellows trained on an annual basis rose from 102 to 300
  • Seventeen fellowship programs were established
The number of medical students that conduct clinical rotations at UCSF Fresno increased from 186 in 2003 to more than 300 currently.Since 1998, UCSF Fresno has attracted more than $85 million in research, public service and training grants and contracts.

“Our progress and success is a result of the hard work and dedication of our partners, donors, faculty and staff,” added Peterson. “Valley Visions is a celebration of them as much as it is recognition of our 40th anniversary. We look forward to continue working collaboratively well into the future.Working together is the most effective way to move forward our missions of providing medical education, clinical care and medical research to improve health and health care in the region.”

The 5th Valley Visions will honor UCSF Fresno’s ruby anniversary with premium food and beverage tastings from local culinary artisans, wineries and breweries. A sit-down dinner also will be served,followed by live music and dancing. In addition, the event will include a silent auction featuring vacation packages, autographed sports and celebrity memorabilia, designer fashions and jewelry, dinners and much more.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit UCSF Fresno’s many medical education programs.

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UC Davis Children’s Hospital names NICU medical director

Neonatologist Donald Null joins from Primary Children’s Medical Center in Utah.

Donald Null

By Tricia Tomiyoshi, UC Davis

Donald M. Null, an internationally renowned expert in neonatal ventilation, has joined the faculty of the UC Davis School of Medicine as medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

Before joining the faculty, he was the medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where he established the extracorporeal life support program and led the pediatric transport programs.

“Donald Null is one of the most influential neonatologists in the country. We are delighted that he has joined our team and it is our privilege to welcome him here,” said Robin Steinhorn, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and medical director of UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

Null was a pioneer in developing high-frequency ventilation and successfully adapted these strategies to premature infants in the NICU at Wilford Hall at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center in the 1980s. These strategies revolutionized care of extremely premature infants, resulting in dramatic improvements in survival rates.

He also has 30 years of experience in Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), which is a piece of equipment that acts as a heart and lung for a patient, delivering oxygen into the patient’s blood.

Null provides care for premature infants, critically ill newborns and infants with a wide variety of birth defects. He has organized and moderated many conferences focused on novel ventilation strategies. His current research focuses on developing less invasive and less damaging modes of ventilation for neonates, including nasal high-frequency ventilation, and testing these novel approaches. He has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has conducted several groundbreaking clinical trials.

Null received his medical doctorate from the West Virginia School of Medicine, completed his pediatric residency at Columbus Children’s Hospital, which is now Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and his fellowship at Wilford Hall at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center. He is board certified in pediatrics and neonatology.

Null receives an annual base salary of $250,600. Additional information about his compensation is available upon request.

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UCSF Medical Center, John Muir Health affiliate

Relationship to serve as cornerstone of Bay Area network to provide more integrated care.

By Karin Rush-Monroe, UC San Francisco

UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health have finalized an agreement that will serve as the foundation for a Bay Area health care network intended to provide patients with high quality care at an affordable price.

The two health systems also have formed a new development company that will enable them to collaborate on building new medical facilities, increase the number of physicians in the health care network, and provide physicians and patients new tools to improve coordination of care, with the ultimate goal of an enhanced patient experience.

Under the agreements, both organizations remain independent. Together, UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health:

  • Have invested in a collaborative effort, called the Bay Area Accountable Care Network, to form a regional health care network. Establishing a Bay Area-wide network will provide patients from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California with a competitively priced option to access, close to where they live or work, many of the Bay Area’s most trusted and respected hospitals, health systems and physician organizations.
  • Will equally own and operate a new development company. The formal affiliation will enable both organizations to build on their strengths and work together to develop joint initiatives and a shared services organization to support programs and initiatives focused on better health care, at lower costs, for Bay Area patients.

“UCSF Medical Center, and John Muir Health are leading the development of a comprehensive Bay Area network of providers who share a common commitment to providing safe, high quality, patient centered care at an affordable price. We intend to offer this network to health plans who serve patients throughout the Bay Area,” said Mark R. Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. “We look forward to working not just with each other, but with other health organizations throughout the Greater Bay Area, in order to provide an exceptional health care experience for patients.”

The two organizations will apply for a restricted Knox-Keene license effective in the Greater Bay Area. This license, which is issued by the California Department of Managed Health Care, would enable the Bay Area Accountable Care Network to contract directly with health plans to develop an insurance product that provides access to high-quality care at an affordable price.

As a next step, UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health will coordinate their Epic electronic medical record systems and patient communication portals to enable better physician and patient communications. UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health also anticipate, with other provider partners, building enhanced physician practice management services to create alternatives for physicians throughout the Bay Area who wish to be participating providers in the Bay Area Accountable Care Network.

“Our affiliation brings together two forward-thinking organizations that share a vision for how health care will be delivered in the future,” said Cal Knight, president and CEO of John Muir Health. “We’re pleased to have finalized our affiliation so we can further our joint initiatives and efforts to develop a Bay Area Accountable Care Network. We’re focused on meeting the needs of patients by providing better access to high-quality and affordable care throughout the Bay Area from trusted and respected physicians, hospitals, outpatient facilities and health systems.”

Both John Muir Health and UCSF Medical Center already have experience in successful care models developed under the Affordable Care Act, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), that have demonstrated lower health care costs and improved health care quality. These experiences, as well as those of other organizations that choose to be part of the provider network, will be translated into the Bay Area Accountable Care Network. The goal is to provide the right care at the right time and in the most appropriate setting, whether that is the primary care physician’s office, an outpatient center or a hospital. When better coordination of care results in lower costs, the savings achieved are passed along to consumers in the form of lower health care benefit premiums.

By working more closely, the two organizations also will offer more convenient access to care for patients in Northern California. For example, an outpatient clinic for liver transplant services will be established at the John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Outpatient Center. This will allow patients who are waiting for transplants, or have recently received transplants, at UCSF Medical Center, which is nationally recognized for the quality of its program, to receive clinical services such as blood testing and monitoring at the new location. John Muir Health’s Physician Network is a comprehensive network of primary care and specialist physicians, covering virtually all conditions except transplants.

In addition, both organizations are widely recognized for the quality of care they provide. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked UCSF Medical Center, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek and John Muir Medical Center, Concord as the top three hospitals in the San Francisco-Oakland area. In addition, the John Muir Physician Network recently received the highest possible “elite” ranking from the California Association of Physician Groups.

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UC San Diego Health Sciences appoints CFO

Mark Harrison named chief financial officer for health sciences.

Mark Harrison

By Jackie Carr, UC San Diego

Mark Harrison has been appointed as the new chief financial officer (CFO) for UC San Diego Health Sciences, effective today (March 23). As CFO, Harrison will collaborate with university leadership to ensure the strong financial health of the globally recognized UC San Diego Health Sciences enterprise, overseeing a budget of more than $2.4 billion.

“We are pleased to have Mark join UC San Diego Health Sciences at a critical juncture of growth and integration of the health system’s clinical network,” said Paul Viviano, CEO, UC San Diego Health System, and associate vice chancellor, UC San Diego Health Sciences. “Mark’s extensive experience as an accomplished leader in the complex sector of health, finance and performance management will enhance our financial stability and help preserve our academic mission while providing patients the best value for care.”

Harrison will develop and implement financial strategies and budgets to achieve UC San Diego Health Sciences’ financial goals and objectives, as well as consistent systems of financial reporting standards and controls across UC San Diego School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UC San Diego Medical Group, and UC San Diego Health System.

Harrison will be responsible for ensuring efficient and effective funds flow between UC San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health System, as well as cost control and standardized reporting among the organizations. He also will oversee the implementation and operations of integrated financial support departments that will function as shared services for accounting, procurement, billing, decision support and contracting.

Previously, Harrison was principal and founder of Apex Healthcare Group, a company that advises boards and CEOs of health care companies, and the senior vice president, investments for growth, quality and total cost of care division at Accretive Health Inc., which focused on the development of population health offerings designed for health systems, medical groups and health plans.

In his prior role as CFO of DaVita, a Fortune 500 public company specializing in renal care, Harrison’s responsibilities included investor relations, general and administrative expense management, risk management and certain strategic roles, in addition to the finance functions. Prior to DaVita, he served as the CFO of Allina Hospitals and Clinics, a large integrated delivery system based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His executive oversight responsibilities at Allina included strategy and business development, internal consulting, supply chain, revenue cycle and payer contracting, as well as the finance function. Earlier in his career, Harrison was a founder and principal of Shattuck Hammond Partners, a health care specialty investment bank.

Harrison received his Master in Business Administration and Master in Public Health degrees from Columbia University in New York after obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He has been an active public speaker throughout his career and received the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s annual National Institute Distinguished Speaker Award in 2001. He has also produced many publications and was selected to receive a $570,000 research grant from the California Healthcare Foundation to assess the financial health of California’s hospitals.

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UC Irvine names dean of medicine

Georgetown Executive Vice President and Dean Howard Federoff will start July 1.

“I am quite excited to be joining UCI, which has a highly regarded history of medical care, education and research. I plan to bring a fresh perspective to this new position and guide our medical school and healthcare enterprise to new heights," Dr. Howard Federoff said. (Photo by Georgetown University Medical Center)

By Tom Vasich, UC Irvine

Dr. Howard Federoff – a nationally renowned clinical and research leader at Georgetown University and a groundbreaking investigator for neurological disorders – will join UC Irvine as vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

In this position, Federoff will oversee and guide the development of UC Irvine Health. In addition to leading the School of Medicine, he will provide strategic direction for the clinical programs of UC Irvine Medical Center and all affiliated patient care centers and will ensure the alignment of the clinical enterprise and the physicians’ practice plan with the university’s academic and research missions. He also will provide guidance on the development and integration of UCI’s health-related academic programs in nursing science, public health and pharmaceutical sciences. He will begin July 1.

At Georgetown, Federoff is the executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine. He is responsible for advancing the educational and research missions of Georgetown University Medical Center and working effectively with the leadership of MedStar Health, its clinical partner. GUMC is a $274 million biomedical research and educational organization that accounts for more than 85 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.

“Howard brings unique and exceptional abilities to this position during an important moment in UCI’s distinguished story,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “UCI is one of America’s leading research universities, and UC Irvine Health is Orange County’s only academic medical center. Howard’s background, experience and leadership skills will ensure that UCI accelerates its contributions to human health and provides the people of this region with world-class patient care.”

“I am quite excited to be joining UCI, which has a highly regarded history of medical care, education and research,” Federoff said. “I plan to bring a fresh perspective to this new position and guide our medical school and healthcare enterprise to new heights.”

After earning master’s, doctoral and medical degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Federoff held clinical and academic positions at Einstein and the University of Rochester before joining Georgetown in 2007. Board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology & metabolism, he also has advanced research in the areas of gene therapy and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. He holds a number of medical patents, with several other patents pending.

Federoff was lead author of a 2014 study – which included UCI researchers – that discovered and validated a predictive blood test for those at risk for Alzheimer’s.

“We reviewed many excellent candidates over several months, and the search committee was unanimous in its enthusiasm and support for Howard. His unique combination of leadership and experience in research, education, the clinical enterprise and philanthropy ensures that UC Irvine Health will continue to grow in national stature and impact. We are delighted that he has chosen to join our team,” said Bruce Tromberg, professor and director of the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, who chaired the search committee.

“Dr. Federoff has demonstrable experience at one of the signature medical centers in the United States,” said Terry Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “He is well-suited to assuming an important health care leadership position in Orange County, the region and the country.”

Federoff also will play a key role advancing philanthropic activities and community and industry partnerships for UC Irvine Health. He believes that patient-centered prevention, wellness and care delivery will be powered by the most compelling science.

“The current environment demands that we develop and translate our discoveries to promote wellness and deliver value-based medicine,” he said. “The health sciences, when effectively intertwined, enable providers to collaborate, ensuring that every patient receives the most compassionate and individualized care.”

“With his noteworthy accomplishments, Dr. Federoff will continue to enhance UCI’s growing achievements in advancing clinical and research breakthroughs that will improve and protect health, both in our community and around the globe,” said James Mazzo, chairman and CEO of AcuFocus and a UC Irvine Foundation trustee.

Federoff will replace Dr. Roger Steinert, the Irving H. Leopold Chair in Ophthalmology and director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, who has served as interim dean of the School of Medicine since Dr. Ralph Clayman retired from the positon in July 2014.

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Health Sciences and Services changes name to UC Health

Reflects role providing leadership to UC’s five med centers, 17 health professional schools.

The University of California Office of the President’s Division of Health Sciences and Services has changed its name to UC Health to reflect its role providing leadership and strategic direction for UC’s five academic medical centers and 17 health professional schools.

UC President Janet Napolitano approved the name change and promoted the head of UC Health, Dr. John Stobo, to executive vice president from senior vice president.

“UC’s campuses and medical centers are leaders in health education, research and patient care,” Stobo said. “Our new name recognizes our mission to bring together UC’s medical centers and health professional schools to create something where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our central office at UC Health is small but mighty, providing leadership and strategic direction to advance health in California and beyond.”

UC’s five academic medical centers – Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco – rank among the nation’s best hospitals, not only providing care but also training tomorrow’s leaders and tackling health’s toughest challenges.

Meanwhile, UC has the largest health sciences instructional program in the nation. Its 17 health professional schools on seven campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Francisco – rank among the nation’s best graduate schools.

According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings released today (March 10), five UC medical schools ranked in the top 50 nationally for research and four placed in the top 20 nationally for primary care rankings. Three UC nursing schools ranked in the top 50, including No. 2 UCSF, while UC Davis had the nation’s top veterinary school and in public health UC Berkeley ranked ninth and UCLA was 10th. In the most recent assessment (2012), UCSF ranked first in pharmacy. The surveys do not rank dental or optometry schools.

UC Health also provides oversight on the business and financial activities of the clinical enterprise and supports operational initiatives at individual UC campuses and development of systemwide initiatives. For example, the Leveraging Scale for Value initiative launched last year to collaborate as a system to reduce costs at UC medical centers. In addition, UC Health has shared responsibility for overseeing UC student health centers and self-insured plans for UC students and for UC employees.

For more information, visit UC Health.

Media contact:
University of California Office of the President
(510) 987-9200

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UC Davis biological sciences dean to lead Tennessee medical college

James Hildreth to become president of Meharry Medical College.

By Luanne Lawrence and Andy Fell, UC Davis

James E.K. Hildreth, dean of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, has announced his resignation from the university effective June 30, 2015, leaving to become president of Meharry Medical College in Tennessee.

Hildreth, who joined the university in 2011, is an active researcher and also a member of the departments of molecular and cellular biology, and internal medicine. His contributions to research, both his own and that of his college, are numerous. Under his leadership, the college created a new biology postdoctoral program as well as the Kingdom Crossing program that funded collaborations between investigators who work on organisms from different kingdoms of life. He built a research infrastructure program for his college.

Among his many achievements while dean, he introduced formal fundraising to the college, more than doubling the amount of private funds raised, including the college’s largest gift of $1.5 million from an anonymous donor. Hildreth hired 16 new faculty and introduced a program to resolve salary inequity among faculty. Hildreth is a passionate advocate for students, creating mandatory advising for all new students, and he opened the first-of-its-kind on-campus student advising center for CBS undergraduate students. He oversaw the creation of cohorts for freshmen, creating learning communities and an array of growth opportunities. Hildreth funded a summer research program to bring underrepresented minority students to UC Davis for summer research internships. He also supported faculty applications for the UC system Historical Black College and University grant programs, earning two such grants, the only two awarded in the system.

“While we regret losing James as dean, we congratulate him on his presidency,” Ralph J. Hexter, provost and executive vice chancellor, said. “His vision for ‘new biology’ and his programming for students will remain as his legacy here at UC Davis.”

Hildreth is returning to Meharry, after a former appointment there from 2005 to 2011 as the director of the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research. In his career, he also served as the founding associate dean for graduate studies and professor in pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, his doctorate from Oxford University in immunology as a Rhodes scholar (the first African American from Arkansas to hold such an honor) and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award and serves on the Harvard University Board of Overseers.

Hexter will immediately begin a process to identify an interim dean and also will move quickly to initiate the search process for Hildreth’s successor.

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Partnership to broaden fitness opportunities for Los Angeles adolescents

UCLA Health System partners with Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation.

Students at East Valley High School workout on new equipment that was provided as part of a new program called UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind. (Photo by WorldWise Productions)

By Roxanne Moster, UCLA

UCLA Health System and the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation have formed a partnership to provide practical ways to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles in Los Angeles. The new entity, UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind, funded by a $3 million pledge from Sound Body Sound Mind, will replicate the foundation’s existing program model.

The announcement was made today at North Hollywood’s East Valley High School during the unveiling of a new, state-of-the art fitness center provided by UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind.

“We are proud to establish UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind as a means of strengthening preventive health solutions for middle school and high school students,” said Dr. David Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System. “By encouraging students to embrace fitness in their adolescent years, we intend to address bad habits and inactivity before they become an integral part of their lives.”

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every student has the opportunity, knowledge and tools to pursue a healthy lifestyle through physical fitness,” said Bill Simon, co-founder of Sound Body Sound Mind. “Our collaboration with UCLA Health System will allow us access to their world-renowned resources and personnel. Ultimately, we believe this partnership will allow us to reach our goals faster and more effectively as we bring to bear the experience of both our organizations on this challenge.”

UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind will provide under-resourced schools with commercial-grade fitness equipment and an innovative curriculum designed to build students’ competence and confidence in a range of physical activities. The $3 million gift will enable UCLA Health System to expand its preventive care solutions among the city’s most vulnerable adolescent populations. The project exemplifies UCLA Health System’s commitment to community engagement.

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, a UCLA professor of urban planning and associate dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs, also has collaborated with the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools to evaluate the effectiveness of the Sound Body Sound Mind curriculum and find ways to improve community health through additional research and publications.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 42 percent of children in L.A. County are overweight or obese and therefore have a higher risk for serious chronic health problems. More than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, according to a 2012 study by the Children’s Defense Fund.

UCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind will give students the tools they need to take charge of their health by ensuring that they have access to fitness resources.

“Our population-based approach identifies and focuses on low-socioeconomic schools and formulates the best physical fitness resources for each school,” said Nathan Nambiar, executive director of the Sound Body Sound Mind Foundation. “This program will help to improve the health of thousands of young Angelenos, and over the long term it may drive down health care costs and help boost economic productivity.”

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Q&A with dean of UC San Diego’s pharmacy school

Skaggs School of Pharmacy is innovative in education and research, James McKerrow says.

UC San Diego

Last July, Dr. James H. McKerrow became only the second dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which opened its doors to its first class in the fall of 2002.

McKerrow is also an alumnus of UC San Diego — he earned his Ph.D. in biology in 1973, focusing on peptide chemistry and molecular genetics. He then went on to receive his M.D. from SUNY Stony Brook, with an internship in internal medicine. He completed his residency in pathology at UC San Francisco, then continued there as a postdoctoral fellow and clinical instructor, eventually becoming professor of pathology and most recently serving as director of the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases.

An expert in the area of neglected tropical diseases, McKerrow has brought a wealth of experience in natural product research and drug discovery and development to UC San Diego. His keen interest in these areas brings together cross-disciplinary researchers across our campus and in the community — in global health, biology, chemistry, engineering and drug development programs.

McKerrow is an active teacher and mentor in graduate and postdoctoral programs, lectures to medical and health profession students and has hosted underrepresented students each year for summer research internships. Committed to fostering science education in the community, he gives talks each year to elementary and high school students, and has presented several public lectures in the “Ask a Scientist” series in San Francisco.

At any given time, Skaggs School of Pharmacy faculty are teaching and training approximately 240 Pharm.D. students, 60 Ph.D. students and 30 pharmacy residents. The school offers an innovative and flexible curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, taught by health sciences faculty in close association with the clinical, research and academic programs of the UC San Diego School of Medicine.


What guided your transition from researcher to researcher-administrator? How do your experiences as a researcher inform your choices as a leader?

I think what attracted me to be involved in administration as well as research is the opportunity to build bridges, not only from laboratory to laboratory, which is how science is done, but from school to school. And so one of the things I wanted to do when I came here is break down any silos that might’ve existed not only between the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine, but between the pharmacy school and the campus as a whole.

How does being a UC San Diego alumnus help you in your current position?

As some people may know, I’m also an alumnus of UC San Diego — I got my Ph.D. here. So, I have connections with the Division of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry that other people might not have. And so that has made it a lot easier for me to reach out to colleagues across the campus and to foster what I would consider more interdisciplinary research than had occurred in the past.

What is unique about the Skaggs School of Pharmacy?

I think the important thing about the Skaggs School of Pharmacy is that it’s very innovative in two areas: the first is education and the second is research. It’s innovative in education because the role of pharmacists is rapidly changing. So now the pharmacist is becoming more of a primary health care provider. The Skaggs School of Pharmacy is at the forefront of understanding that and educating the pharmacists of the future, rather than the pharmacist of today.

The Skaggs School of Pharmacy is also one of few of what we’d call “research-intensive” pharmacy schools in the country. That means we have a very vibrant research program in drug discovery and development that goes hand-in-hand with our educational initiative.

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Chancellor announces major changes in UCLA health sciences leadership

John Mazziotta named medical school dean; hospital system CEO David Feinberg leaving.

John Mazziotta, UCLA

In an email to the UCLA campus community, Chancellor Gene Block today (Feb. 23) announced that Dr. John Mazziotta, a world-renowned brain imaging expert who established the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, has been appointed vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, effective March 1.

Block also announced that Dr. David Feinberg will step down from his position as president of UCLA’s health system and CEO of UCLA’s hospital system on May 1 to become president and CEO of the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania.

“While all of us are saddened to lose Dr. Feinberg, we are also excited that Dr. Mazziotta has agreed to take on this critically important role for UCLA,” Block wrote. “There is no better person than John Mazziotta to lead UCLA’s health science enterprise.”

Mazziotta will take over the responsibilities of Dr. A. Eugene Washington. Block announced in January that Washington would leave UCLA for a position at Duke University Health System.

Mazziotta, who joined the UCLA faculty in 1983, has served as associate vice chancellor for health sciences and executive vice dean of the Geffen School of Medicine since 2012. He has been chair of the department of neurology since 2002, and he has directed the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center since 1993. Mazziotta will step down as neurology department chair and an interim chair will be appointed.

“It is a great honor and privilege to lead one of the world’s finest schools of medicine and innovative, patient-focused health systems,” Mazziotta said. “Having worked very closely with Drs. Washington and Feinberg over many years, I know the transition will be smooth and the projects and initiatives we have developed together will proceed with full momentum.

“This will be a very productive and exciting time for the David Geffen School of Medicine and the UCLA Health System. I look forward to joining my colleagues of many years as we continue to ensure that UCLA is the future of medicine.”

Thanks to Mazziotta’s leadership, UCLA’s neurology department has ranked No. 1 nationwide in National Institutes of Health funding for nine consecutive years. And as director of UCLA’s Brain Mapping Center, he was principal investigator of the International Consortium for Brain Mapping, which led the creation of the first comprehensive atlas of the structure and function of the normal adult human brain.

Mazziotta, who Block called “a widely respected faculty administrator with a deep commitment to excellence in education, research, clinical care and public service,” has published more than 255 research papers and eight texts.

Among his numerous awards and honors, he has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians. Mazziotta earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University, and his M.D. and doctorate in neuroanatomy from Georgetown University. He completed his neurology and nuclear medicine training at UCLA.

In more than two decades at UCLA, Feinberg has built a distinguished record. Under his leadership, the health system continued an ongoing run of being named the best hospital in the West by U.S. News and World Report, as well as one of the top five in the nation, and patient satisfaction ratings soared to among the best in the U.S. among academic medical centers.

During Feinberg’s tenure, the health system built new partnerships with the Doheny Eye Institute, the Motion Picture and Television Fund health network, Cedars-Sinai and Select Medical, and other organizations. Feinberg also cultivated relationships throughout greater Los Angeles, including through his service on two health system boards and outreach to business and professional groups. His many honors include selection as one of the 50 most influential physician executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.

“Despite our excitement over Dr. Mazziotta’s new role, we are very sorry to see Dr. Feinberg leave us,” Block wrote in the statement. “I have no doubt that David will build upon his stellar record of accomplishment at Geisinger.”

Media contact:
Health Sciences Media Relations
(310) 794-0777

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UCLA notifies patients who received endoscopic procedures

UCLA issues statement.

The UCLA Health System notified 179 patients on Feb. 18 that they may have been exposed last fall to the carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria during an endoscopic procedure to diagnose and treat diseases of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. A total of seven patients were infected; the infection was a contributing factor in the death of two patients.

Only patients who underwent these endoscopic procedures from Oct. 3, 2014, to Jan. 28, 2015, are at risk of infection. Those patients are being offered a free home testing kit for analysis at UCLA to determine if they carry the bacteria in their intestines.

UCLA followed both national guidelines and the sterilization standards stipulated by Olympus Medical Systems Group, the instrument’s manufacturer. However, an internal investigation determined in late January that CRE may have been transmitted by two of the seven Olympus scopes used by the hospital during the four-month period.

UCLA immediately began reviewing every patient record to determine which patients underwent the procedure using this type of scope between October and January. In an abundance of caution, the hospital has notified all 179 patients who were examined with one of the seven instruments during that time.

The two infected scopes were immediately removed from use for return to Olympus. UCLA currently performs a more stringent decontamination process that exceeds both the manufacturer’s standards and FDA-approved manufacturer’s guidelines. Hospital staff thoroughly clean the instrument and place it in an automated machine for disinfection. Then the instrument is sent off-site for a second sterilization process using a gas called ethylene oxide.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and California Department of Public Health were notified as soon as the outbreak was detected. CRE exposures using the same type of scope have been reported in other U.S. hospitals. Concerned patients may contact their primary care physician or UCLA’s clinical epidemiology and infection prevention department at (310) 794-0189.

CRE Frequently Asked Questions

What are CRE?
CRE, which stands for Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a family of bacteria that can be difficult to treat because they are resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. CRE are an increasing public health problem throughout the world.

Enterobacteriaceae are a family of bacteria, including Klebsiella, E. coli and many other bacteria, that normally live in the colon of all people. Klebsiella and E. coli can become CRE when they obtain resistance mechanisms that make them more difficult to treat. While these bacteria usually do not cause any problems in healthy patients, they can cause infections in patients who have other serious medical problems or who are undergoing operations or other invasive procedures.

How were patients exposed to CRE at UCLA?
UCLA Clinical Epidemiology and Infection Prevention staff identified a small group of infections with CRE that appeared to happen after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). After further investigation with the assistance of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, it was determined that the routine cleaning of the ERCP scopes as recommended by the scope manufacturer does not completely eradicate CRE as it does for other bacteria and viruses. After discussion with local and national public health officials, it appears that the ERCP scopes will require additional cleaning techniques beyond what is recommended by the manufacturer or significant redesign of parts of the scope.

If patients did not have an ERCP procedure, are they still at risk of infection at UCLA?
No. Only patients who underwent ERCP between Oct. 3, 2014, and Jan. 28, 2015, may be at risk of exposure.

Do CRE always cause infections?
No. The most common types of CRE are Klebsiella and E. coli, both germs that are present in the colon of all people. CRE can live in the colon and not cause any health problems; this is called “colonization.” While most people who are colonized will clear the organism over time, there is a small chance that CRE can cause an infection. Most people who develop an infection with CRE have underlying medical issues or have undergone a medical procedure.

How do patients know if they have CRE?
If a patient has symptoms of fever or chills, it is possible he or she could have an active infection, though this is very uncommon. If patients have any of these symptoms, they should contact their primary doctor immediately or call UCLA Clinical Epidemiology and Infection Prevention at (310) 794-0189 for guidance.
Patients without symptoms of infection may still be colonized with CRE in their colon. We are providing a screening test for patients to perform at home, which will be processed at a UCLA Laboratory. UCLA Clinical Epidemiology will contact patients with the results and answer questions.

What is the chance that a patient has CRE?
In a similar outbreak at another hospital, it was found that about 10 percent of patients who underwent ERCP later had CRE colonizing their colon.

What if a patient is colonized with CRE?
Most people who are colonized with CRE will eventually clear the bacteria from their colon if they are not exposed to antibiotics; however, some people may be colonized longer. Because Klebsiella is normally part of the millions of bacteria that live in the colon, carriers will likely not have any problems with the bacteria. It is important for a patient to know if they are colonized; their doctor may choose to treat them differently in the unlikely event of an infection. If a patient is identified as a CRE carrier, UCLA will ask health care workers to wear gowns and gloves if the patient is admitted to the hospital to decrease the risk of transmission of this germ to other patients. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way of eradicating CRE from the colon, though with time, it is likely that it will be crowded out by other bacterial strains that do not have antibiotic resistance.

What is UCLA doing to ensure that no other patients are exposed?
In addition to the cleaning process recommended by the ERCP and linear endoscopic ultrasound scope manufacturer, UCLA has begun outsourcing gas sterilization of these scopes after this process. We will also be performing cultures on scopes in coordination with the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Media contact
Health Sciences Media Relations
(310) 794-0777


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UCSF receives $100M gift to advance health sciences mission

Landmark gift cements Chuck Feeney’s role as UC system’s top philanthropist.

Chuck Feeney

By Jennifer O’Brien, UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco has received a $100 million gift from visionary philanthropist Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney to support its new Mission Bay hospitals, world-class faculty and students, and research programs focused on the neurosciences and aging.

This donation brings the longtime supporter’s total UCSF giving to more than $394 million, making Feeney the single largest contributor to the University of California system.

“I get my gratification from knowing that my investments in medical research, education, and the delivery of health care at UCSF will provide lifelong benefits to millions of people not only in the Bay Area but also around the world,” said Feeney, who, despite his global presence as a successful entrepreneur and discerning philanthropist, prefers remaining out of the limelight. “I can’t imagine a more effective way to distribute my undeserved wealth.”

Reflecting on Feeney’s contributions, UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S., said, “As we celebrate UCSF’s 150th anniversary this year, it is only fitting that we acknowledge the unique role Chuck has played in our history. While his impact has been felt most profoundly during this past decade, his generosity will carry on forever at our university, in the San Francisco community, throughout the Bay Area and globally, as our faculty and students advance knowledge and provide the finest clinical care. We are honored that he has decided to invest again in UCSF.”

Feeney’s gifts to UCSF are most visible at the university’s Mission Bay campus, where he has provided indispensable support to create advanced facilities and foster the environment for the biomedical research and patient care that goes on within them.

Before the latest funding, Feeney’s most recent gift to the campus was to UCSF Global Health Sciences, enabling the October 2014 opening of Mission Hall, which houses global health researchers, scientists and students under the same roof for the first time. Feeney, who coined the term “giving while living,” also generously supported the building of the Smith Cardiovascular Research Building and the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building.

“Chuck Feeney has been our partner at Mission Bay for more than 10 years,” added Hawgood. “He immediately embraced the Mission Bay concept, and he has enthusiastically helped us shape a larger vision for the campus and finance its development because he knew that our research and clinical programs could not flourish without state-of-the-art buildings.”

Gift to support four primary areas

The Campaign for the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay
Funds will support the $600 million philanthropy goal of the $1.5 billion hospitals project. The latest donation builds upon the transformative $125 million matching gift Feeney made to support the hospitals complex and its programs in 2009, the largest gift received toward the campaign.

The opening of the 289-bed hospital complex – which includes UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital, and the UCSF Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building – was the culmination of more than 10 years of planning and construction. Strategically located adjacent to UCSF’s renowned Mission Bay biomedical research campus, the new medical center places UCSF physicians in close proximity to UCSF researchers and nearby bioscience companies who are working to understand and treat a range of diseases, from cancer to neurological disorders.

“It’s been thrilling to see the reactions of our patients and their families as they encounter the amazing care offered at our new UCSF Mission Bay hospitals,” said Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. “This world-class experience would never have been possible without the support of Chuck Feeney who, as the largest contributor to the project, helped us create the hospitals of our dreams. Every patient cured, every breakthrough discovered at Mission Bay, will be thanks in part to Chuck. His legacy is unparalleled.”

Neuroscience and aging
The gift also supports UCSF’s pre-eminent neuroscience enterprise, including its Sandler Neurosciences Center and neurology programs at Mission Bay.

The center, a five-story, 237,000-square-foot building that opened in 2012, brings under one roof several of the world’s leading clinical and basic research programs in a collaborative environment. UCSF’s neurology and aging efforts are focused on finding new diagnostics, treatments, and cures for a number of intractable disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, migraine, epilepsy and autism. The programs also seek to integrate neuroscience and clinical disciplines with public health initiatives in order to disseminate and implement novel findings from research centers of excellence, as well as conduct community outreach to raise awareness about the diseases of aging.

“Chuck Feeney has taken a keen interest in the challenges of aging,” said Hawgood. “In turn, he has recognized UCSF’s extraordinary talent in the neurosciences, among both basic researchers and those who translate research into clinical care and public policy. This gift will build on UCSF’s strengths while encouraging strong partnerships at other research institutions around the world where Chuck also has made important investments.”

Student scholarships and housing
Even with its extraordinary academic firepower, UCSF has extremely limited funds to support scholarships for professional students in its schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Part of the gift will provide scholarship support, bolstering UCSF’s ability to recruit the best and brightest students, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Recent decreases in state funding led to tuition increases and higher demand for scholarships. This, in turn, increased student debt. Combined with Bay Area housing prices that are among the highest in the nation – from 2011 to 2013, the median rent increased by 24 percent – the prospect of overwhelming debt can deter economically vulnerable students as well as those from middle-class backgrounds from attending UCSF. By minimizing debt upon graduation, the scholarships will help ensure that a UCSF education remains in reach for students from underserved populations, as well as for those students who choose to become health care leaders in underserved communities.

“Scholarships give our students the gift of freedom: to make career choices based on purpose and passion, rather than the price of education; to use time to study, explore science, and volunteer to help others, rather than working to make ends meet; and to succeed because someone who never met them saw enough potential to invest in their dreams,” said Catherine Lucey, M.D., vice dean for education at UCSF’s School of Medicine. “These scholarships catalyze our schools’ ability to find, recruit, educate and nurture the workforce our country needs: talented professionals whose life experiences enable them to provide compassionate care to today’s diverse communities and advance science to improve the health of future communities.”

Faculty recruitment
The donation also will help UCSF recruit the next generation of promising faculty in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

New funding will attract junior faculty – who frequently find it more challenging to secure research funding – and provide initial startup funds as they launch their research careers and clinical practices. With decreasing federal support for young investigators, this gift will underwrite a new generation of brilliant upcoming faculty.

“While Chuck’s unprecedented generosity has been focused primarily on Mission Bay, he understands the power of the entire UCSF enterprise, from our cutting-edge stem cell research at Parnassus to our innovative cancer programs at Mount Zion,” Hawgood said. “We’re thrilled that Chuck has inspired other philanthropists to join him in creating one of the most vibrant life science communities in the world, where progress will ripple far beyond Mission Bay and the campus for generations to come.”

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