TAG: "Administration"

Moving toward one UC Health


UC’s medical centers are at an inflection point, UCSF’s Sam Hawgood says.

Dr. Sam Hawgood, UC San Francisco's interim chancellor, urges UC's five academic medical centers to work as a unified force to transform health care.

>>Related: Innovation propels UC Health

By Alec Rosenberg

The University of California’s five academic medical centers are at an inflection point, according to Dr. Sam Hawgood, UC San Francisco interim chancellor and medical school dean.

If they act separately, they can survive but will be marginalized in isolation, Hawgood said. If they work together, they can transform and grow.

Hawgood outlined his case for the latter option during his talk, “UC Health and the Future of Health Care,” at the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation’s third annual colloquium May 2 in Oakland.

“If we truly acted as a system, we would be quite a force,” Hawgood said.

Change necessitates action

Health care is changing rapidly in the United States, Hawgood said. While people are living longer, health spending is rising, with increasing pressure to meet the “triple aim” of better patient care, better population health and lower costs.

Health providers need to remain connected to the past but prepared to swing in new directions at this “hinge of history,” Hawgood said, borrowing a half-century-old phrase from former UC President Clark Kerr.

In other words, business as usual can’t continue. Academic medical centers can expect significant consolidation in the next decade as they struggle to meet their “triple threat” of clinical care, research and education, Hawgood said, citing futurist Ian Morrison.

What does this mean for UC Health and its five academic medical centers and 17 professional schools?

UC’s academic medical centers — Davis, Irvine, UCLA, San Diego and San Francisco — have been known for providing the most complex care, such as burn care and transplants, as well as conducting research and educating health professionals. That traditional model worked well in what Morrison characterizes as the volume-based first curve, where academic medical centers could be autonomous and focused on the short term. But the value-based second curve is coming, where the future will be focused on new technologies, new consumers and new markets.

As academic medical centers shift from the first curve to the second curve, they must transform their business and health care delivery models to balance quality, cost and patient preferences to achieve real value and outcomes while staying true to their three-part mission, Hawgood said.

A singular system

For UC, that means moving beyond efforts to coordinate regionally, said Hawgood, who praised broader efforts such as the innovation center and “Leveraging Scale for Value” project to reduce costs at UC hospitals.

To thrive in the future, UC must do even more to act as a health system and move toward one UC Health, he said.

“We have tremendous opportunities,” said Hawgood, such as building a statewide strategy, making clinical and educational innovations, collaborating on translational research, branding and marketing, training the workforce, and impacting policy.

Dr. John Stobo, UC Health senior vice president, agrees with Hawgood.

“The ‘second curve’ for UC is to take advantage of its leverage and power when acting as a system,” Stobo said. “In this new paradigm, UC Health and the UC system can truly be a national leader in clinical care, education and research to improve the health of society.”

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UC San Diego launches Center on Healthy Aging and Senior Care


Dilip Jeste named first associate dean and director of center.

Dilip Jeste, UC San Diego

Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, has been appointed the first associate dean for healthy aging and senior care at UC San Diego and will direct the newly established Center on Healthy Aging and Senior Care.

The appointment recognizes the broad and growing interest, research and need to improve and promote the long-term health and well-being of older Americans, who comprise an ever-larger percentage of the U.S. population. In 2009, roughly 1 in 8 Americans was 65 years and older. In 2030, that ratio is projected to be 1 in 5.

As the Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging and director of the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, both at UC San Diego, Jeste has long been a leading scientist and advocate for greater understanding of how Americans age – and how to help them do so well and healthfully.

“When I first became involved in this type of research two decades ago, aging was viewed as all doom and gloom. Old age was defined by disease, dementia, disability and death. But I’ve found that aging has an important positive side, too. There is, of course, some physical decline and cognitive impairment with aging, but several parts of  psychosocial functioning actually improve. In terms of well-being and emotional regulation, as people get older, even if they are more physically impaired, they tend to be more satisfied with life. It’s the paradox of aging, and it’s something that I think we must address, explore, investigate and understand. We need to stop thinking about how older people are a burden to society and instead focus on how they are a foundation, the personification of resilience, knowledge and wisdom.”

David Brenner, M.D., vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, said the new center will help make UC San Diego a local, national and global leader “in not just clinical care, research and training, but also in innovation and health policy for seniors. And Dr. Jeste is, with his unsurpassed scientific expertise, vision and tireless advocacy in these areas, ideally suited to lead this collaborative effort across the campus.”

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UCLA rejects Donald Sterling gift


Statement condemns Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments.

UCLA issued the following public statement concerning a recent $3 million pledge to the university by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who today (April 29) was banned for life from the NBA following racist statements he made on audio recordings.

Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect. For those reasons, UCLA has decided to return Mr. Sterling’s initial payment of $425,000 and reject the remainder of a $3 million pledge he recently made to support basic kidney research by the UCLA Division of Nephrology. UCLA has received numerous inquiries about an advertisement in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times falsely suggesting that it was UCLA publicly thanking him for the gift. The ad was placed by Mr. Sterling, not the university.

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UC president submits testimony on federal investments in research


Janet Napolitano highlights the critical role played by UC, other research universities.

University of California President Janet Napolitano submitted testimony today (April 28) on behalf of the university to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for a hearing entitled “Driving Innovation through Federal Investments.”

President Napolitano’s testimony highlights the critical role that UC and other research universities play in scientific discovery and the education of future generations.

“Through a strong partnership with the federal government, UC is educating the next generation workforce, advancing scientific breakthroughs in research, providing world-class medical training and generating economic growth through new jobs, start-up companies and spinoff industries,” Napolitano said in her testimony. “It is critical that our nation maintain its investments in education, scientific research and health care to ensure our nation’s economic prosperity continues to grow.”

Full text of President Napolitano’s testimony:

United States Senate Committee on Appropriations Chairwoman Mikulski, Ranking Member Shelby and Members of the committee, on behalf of the University of California (UC) I am pleased to submit testimony for this important hearing on “Driving Innovation through Federal Investments.”

As a former governor and Cabinet secretary, and now president of the University of California, I recognize the critical role that our nation’s public research universities play in driving innovation. As a Land-grant university, UC was created with a mission to deploy its research capabilities to support the national growth in the mid-19th century. In the 21st century, this mandate continues, but with a broader scope. We now deploy talents and technologies across all areas of science and technology to catalyze economic development.

Through a strong partnership with the federal government, UC is educating the next generation workforce, advancing scientific breakthroughs in research, providing world-class medical training and generating economic growth through new jobs, start-up companies and spinoff industries. It is critical that our nation maintain its investments in education, scientific research and health care to ensure our nation’s economic prosperity continues to grow.

Recent budget challenges, including sequestration and the absence of timely budget and appropriations bills, have forced promising science to be delayed or abandoned. Labs were forced to lay off highly trained staff. And, perhaps most troubling, even now young researchers question whether to pursue research careers because vital fellowships are threatened and it is taking longer and longer for them to obtain their first independent research grants.

It is critical that the federal government maintain a strong investment in our nation’s research enterprise to ensure that the United States remains competitive and at the forefront of innovation and scientific and technological advancements. Federal investment in public research universities is also critical to our nation’s economic growth, driving innovation and helping create jobs across the country.

UC, with its 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national labs, over 34,000 faculty, researchers, and academics, and nearly 240,000 undergraduate and graduate students, is the largest public research university in the world. UC investigators successfully competed for and were awarded $4.2 billion in research funding last year from federal, state, and private sources to expand the boundaries of knowledge in all disciplines.

UC is the single largest university recipient of federal research funding. Of the $4.2 billion in research awards received by UC investigators in the 2013 federal fiscal year, $2.5 billion was from federal support. National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided 64 percent of all research funding from federal agencies to UC, or $1.6 billion; National Science Foundation contributed 16 percent, or $409 million, representing approximately 10 percent of all NSF funds; Department of Defense (DOD) provided $198 million; and the Department of Energy (DOE) provided $85 million. These DOE research funds are in addition to the funds that UC receives for its role in managing three national laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Lawrence Berkeley, on behalf of the nation.

This federal investment drives innovation in numerous ways including training new researchers, producing intellectual property leading to new inventions and creating startup companies and jobs. Below are some examples of how UC leverages the federal investment.

  • UC is the leading U.S. university system in training new researchers with advanced degrees, with 8,883 graduate academic degrees and 7,592 professional degrees awarded last year. UC awards about 3,600 Ph.D.s a year, or about seven percent of the nation’s Ph.D.s. Among students who traditionally are underrepresented in higher education (African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders), UC awards about 8 percent of the nation’s Ph.D.s. In addition, UC annually hosts over 6,000 post-doctoral researchers.
  • Last year, UC researchers disclosed more than 1,700 new inventions: an average of nearly five a day. Of these new inventions, 33 percent were supported by federal funding. Within the critical life-science sector, funding from the NIH is linked to 20 percent of all new UC inventions disclosed last year. UC’s portfolio of U.S. patents derived from these disclosures exceeds 4,200; currently UC has more than 1,350 active licenses to industry that deploys private capital to create value-adding products and services that generate public benefit and fuel our local, regional and national economies.
  • UC research helped launch 71 startup companies in 2013. Two-thirds of all UC startups are in medical technology and therapeutics. To date, approximately 719 startup companies have been formed based on UC patented technologies — among these are biotechnology multinationals Genentech and Chiron, and wireless technology leaders Qualcomm and Broadcom. Many of these are based directly on the work of UC graduate students, much of which was supported by federal funding.
  • Since 2005, more than $5 billion in venture capital has been invested in 181 UC startups and $189 million in federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants have been awarded to 132 UC startups. In turn, 414 UC startups generated $17 billion in annual revenue; employed 17,319 people; and 139 UC startups successfully moved at least one product to the market.

One of my first initiatives as president of UC was to further leverage the research investment by challenging the University to identify how we can be more effective at commercializing technologies created with federal and other funding sources. To succeed, we need to identify where, in our campus-centric innovation ecosystems, increased investment in technologies and people will create the greatest value given the limited resources we have to deploy. The University is now evaluating how to create greater “fuel” for the innovation engine; how we should invest in the critical elements of the innovation ecosystem — basic research, the basis of all innovation; the scientists and engineers who can translate such research into new applications; and the interlocutors who help bridge the gap between the research university and the business world.

These are tangible benefits derived from federal funding, but let us not be distracted by these commercial successes and initiatives from the more important outcome of federal research support: the advances in knowledge of the physical and biological world and the ways we interact with ourselves and that world. It is from such basic knowledge that most tangible benefits arise, created by layering new discoveries on the foundations of basic research until a clear picture arises of how to answer the technological or societal challenges that are before us.

Basic research in biomedicine funded by the NIH helped create the biotechnology revolution and UC is proud that our researchers played a seminal role in creating an industry in which the U.S. leads the world. While this research has led to the understanding of fundamental biological systems and processes, and resulted in innovative approaches to prevent and cure human disease, we should not lose sight of the value of basic research in other disciplines. In the physical sciences, research into the basic properties of materials spawned the nanotechnology industry and has driven innovation in the semiconductor industry, which has led to new products in a broad range of industries; from life sciences to energy. The federal government must continue to fund research in all areas, as no one has the ability to foresee the field where the next breakthrough discovery will arise.

Despite all that has been achieved, our nation now faces a crucial decision of whether the innovation ecosystem, which has served us so well since the mid-20th century, will continue to thrive as we have known it. In the 1960s, the United States spent nearly 17 percent of discretionary spending on research and development, reaping decades of economic growth from this sustained investment. Today, this figure is closer to 9 percent, and it occurs at a time when other nations in Asia and Europe have made significant gains in their own technological achievements, educational investments and research capabilities. To compete successfully in an increasingly innovative world economy, the U.S. will have to choose to lead in key technology sectors, and to do a better job of training an American workforce that will tackle the technical challenges ahead of us and be capable of operating in a more technology-driven workplace. This will require an increased federal commitment to investment in research and innovation.

Indisputably, the federal government’s investment in basic research has been the key to our nation’s preeminence in scientific and technological innovation. Without continued federal funding, the pace and scale of the nation’s research enterprise will be dramatically reduced. In the global economy, strategically, the U.S. cannot afford to decrease our support for basic research that drives the innovation economy. For our country to remain at the forefront of innovation and the world leader in scientific and technological advances, the federal government must recommit to investing in our research enterprise. This is not the time to turn away from critical investments that will move our economy forward.

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UCSF celebrating 150 years in health and science


Campus honors past, focused on future.

Hugh Toland joined a California-bound wagon train in 1852 with visions of striking it rich in the Gold Rush.

It only took a few months before the South Carolina surgeon abandoned prospecting, seeing a better opportunity in providing health care to a raucous and booming San Francisco. By 1864, Toland Medical College was born, and less than a decade later, it became the “medical department” of a fledgling University of California.

Though Toland might not have found the exact fortune he was seeking out West, he left a legacy that has enriched future generations in ways far greater than he could have imagined.

Today UC San Francisco is one of the top health sciences universities, encompasses more than 20 locations throughout San Francisco and is leading a charge to advance health worldwide. From its humble beginnings in the Wild West to this year’s 150th anniversary celebration, UCSF has been a testament to how the best research, the best education and the best patient care can converge to create life-changing breakthroughs.

UCSF’s sesquicentennial, which officially launches on Founders Day on April 10 and continues through May 2015, will be a yearlong celebration filled with special events on campus and in the community.

While anniversaries are a time to look back at accomplishments, the goal of this celebration also will be to recognize that UCSF has always been focused on the future, says Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, Pharm.D., chair of the 150th Celebration Committee and dean emeritus of the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

“The culture of the place is about excellence, moving forward and seeking new frontiers,” she says.

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Benioffs donate another $100M to UCSF children’s hospitals


Donation to strengthen children’s health care across San Francisco Bay Area.

UC San Francisco announced today a second gift of $100 million from Lynne and Marc Benioff to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and also its affiliate, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

The gift will be used to strengthen the existing talent and programs in basic and clinical research and patient care at the two premier institutions, as well as attract new expertise, in order to accelerate the development of innovative solutions for children’s health on both sides of the San Francisco Bay, as well as nationally and globally.

“We are thrilled to advance our vision of improving health of the children in Oakland and San Francisco, and to fuel positive changes in the care of our youngest patients today and for future generations,” said Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S., interim chancellor of UCSF, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and a neonatologist. “This gift significantly strengthens the abilities of both institutions to attract and retain top talent in pediatric health, as well as to support the next evolution of research and clinical programs.”

In recognition of the two hospitals’ affiliation on Jan. 1, 2014, Children’s Hospital Oakland will be named UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will be named UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Together, the hospitals will be named UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals are two leading Bay Area children’s hospitals with longstanding commitments to public service. Both institutions, as well as UCSF Medical Center, care for all children who seek help, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, and provide millions of dollars of uncompensated care and community services for low-income, homeless and underinsured patients. From free children’s health screenings to staffing clinics, the hospitals help meet the needs of Northern California’s most vulnerable populations.

“The generosity and commitment of Marc and Lynne Benioff will strengthen Oakland’s thriving medical research community and ensure doctors on both sides of the bay have world-class facilities to care for children, regardless of income,” said California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco will be part of a 289-bed integrated hospital complex for children, women and cancer patients that will open Feb. 1, 2015, at UCSF Mission Bay.

Construction of the new children’s hospital is on schedule and below budget. The 183-bed hospital increases the capacity of the current UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco – located on the UCSF Parnassus campus – by 20 beds, and will feature a rooftop helipad to bring critically ill newborns, children and pregnant women to UCSF from community hospitals; a dedicated pediatric emergency room designed just for children; as well as private and semi-private rooms in the new intensive care nursery.

“We are building a world-class pediatric facility that puts the needs of our patients and their families at the forefront,” said Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. “This donation ensures we can continue to advance the most innovative clinical care within the new hospital, as well as outside its walls by partnering with colleagues at our research campus and with Children’s Oakland physicians and staff.”

“This extraordinary gift will have a significant impact on the care we provide children as it will be used to strengthen facilities at Children’s Oakland as well as our education, research and community benefit missions,” said Bert Lubin, M.D., CEO of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and a pediatrician.

The two hospitals have worked together for decades and are highly regarded nationally as well as internationally, each having made significant advancements in developing new treatments and achieving better health outcomes for children.

“Private support is essential for UC to deliver the highest quality care, training and research innovations needed to advance children’s health,” said Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California. “I thank the Benioffs for their generous support of UCSF and their commitment to our shared mission of building healthy communities.”

UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco are involved in more than 400 research protocols led by more than 500 investigators researching cures for hundreds of pediatric and adult diseases. The children’s hospital is one of the leading children’s hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

“We have been deeply inspired by the incredible kids, doctors, researchers, and administrators at both UCSF and Children’s Hospital Oakland,” said Lynne and Marc Benioff. “We feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to support the best children’s hospitals in the world.”

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Sam Hawgood takes helm at UCSF


Renowned physician-scientist becomes interim leader of health-focused university.

Sam Hawgood, UC San Francisco

Renowned pediatrician and medical school Dean Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S., became interim chancellor today (April 1) of UC San Francisco, the nation’s leading public university exclusively dedicated to health.

The appointment, which the University of California Board of Regents approved Jan. 23, places Hawgood at the helm of the $4 billion university during the national search for its 10th chancellor. He assumes the role from Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H., who will become chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on May 1.

Hawgood has been dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UCSF since September 2009, after serving as interim dean since December 2007. The school has excelled under his leadership. It currently is ranked first among all schools nationwide in funding from the National Institutes of Health, indicating the excellence of its research enterprise. It also ranks fourth nationwide in both research and primary care education, according to the recent survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report.

As dean, Hawgood has been a core member of the Chancellor’s Executive Council, playing an integral role in the university’s leadership and guidance during a time of profound growth.

“Sam is a highly respected physician, scientist and leader, with a collaborative and inclusive style that will serve the campus well through this transition,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “I have full confidence that his leadership will enable UCSF to maintain its renowned excellence in research, education and clinical care into the foreseeable future.”

Napolitano appointed an advisory committee of university faculty, staff, students, alumni and foundation representatives in January to support the national search, which Napolitano will oversee.

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UC statement on contract ratification by AFSCME


Patient care technical employees vote to ratify contract with UC.

The University of California was informed today (March 28) that members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) voted to ratify a contract agreement with UC. In response to the ratification, Dwaine Duckett, UC’s vice president for human resources, released the following statement:

We are pleased that our dedicated patient care technical employees voted to ratify a contract agreement with the University of California. This follows two years of difficult negotiations focused on the complex issue of pension reform. The negotiations concluded with both sides responding to the other’s key concerns and ultimately compromising.

We are disappointed that this process took as long as it did and became so contentious. The university’s agreement with AFSCME 3299 is very similar to ones UC reached months ago with CNA, a union representing nurses, and UPTE, which represents other hospital workers. These contracts were achieved in less time and with significantly less stress and uncertainty for workers at our hospitals.

From the beginning, the primary issue in our negotiations with AFSCME was pension reform, with the union asserting that no change was needed and choosing to strike over the issue. We’ve successfully bargained through this key issue for the university, and have put the pension plan on a fiscally sound path by addressing this head-on.

Regarding annual wage increases, the union’s initial demands were eventually adjusted from more than 10 percent a year over 3 years to approximately 6 percent a year over 4 years, which includes across-the-board raises and experience-based step increases that we believe are fair and appropriate for these skilled health-care jobs.

Fortunately, settling this agreement spared AFSCME patient care technical workers who wanted to come to work from having to cross a picket line. It also ensured that patients who have come to rely on our top-rated medical facilities for care could continue to receive that care without disruption. We value the work of our respiratory therapists, surgical perfusionists and radiation technicians (who provide cancer treatment), along with many other critical AFSCME patient care employees, and are pleased they are staying on the job. The prospect of yet another strike — even though it was averted at the 11th hour — was a disservice to our patients, employees and the public at large.

With this agreement settled, the university can move forward with our employees and continue to meet UC’s mission of teaching, research and public service at our campuses, medical centers and national labs.

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UC Davis Medical Center, Dameron Hospital won’t pursue joint venture


Decision based on several factors, including changing community needs.

UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and Dameron Hospital Association in Stockton are not pursuing a joint venture.

For the last two years, UC Davis and Dameron Hospital have been evaluating different legal structures for partnership that would benefit both organizations, as well as the Stockton community. The decision not to pursue a joint venture structure and to reassess those plans was based on several factors, including changing community needs and the parties’ respective missions and strategic priorities. Although a formal joint venture will not be implemented in this circumstance, the organizations may continue to seek collaborations that better support their respective missions and communities.

“Getting to know Dameron and the health care dynamics of the Stockton community has been a valuable experience for us,” said Ann Madden Rice, chief executive officer of UC Davis Medical Center. “While this joint venture will not go forward, we will work along with Dameron to seek ways to improve the quality of health care for the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.”

Lorraine P. Auerbach, president and CEO of Dameron Hospital, said, “We appreciate the opportunity to continue to work with UC Davis Medical Center to bring university-level services to our community.” Auerbach continued, “Dameron Hospital is in a far better position than it was two years ago. Therefore, it is now appropriate that instead of restructuring to a joint venture, we focus on developing new ways to work with UC Davis Medical Center that bring more value and sophisticated services to our local community.”

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New dean is biological sciences booster


Frank LaFerla, renowned for his Alzheimer’s work, hopes to raise UC Irvine school’s profile.

Frank LaFerla, UC Irvine

For a scientist widely considered an international leader in Alzheimer’s disease research, Frank LaFerla joined the UC Irvine faculty in 1995, interestingly enough, without ever having taken a single neuroscience class.

LaFerla had received a doctorate in virology and was studying AIDS-related dementia when he sat in on his first neurobiology course, one taught by James McGaugh and Norman Weinberger, two of the nation’s top learning and memory researchers. The lessons obviously made a great impression on the young scientist.

Since that time, LaFerla has made key research breakthroughs that show promise for treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He has served in numerous leadership roles, including as chair of the Department of Neurobiology & Memory and director of the campus’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), a research center internationally acclaimed for its work on disorders of the brain, particularly those that are age-related.

Last December, LaFerla became the Hana & Francisco J. Ayala Dean of the newly renamed Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences, heading the third-largest school on campus, with nearly 4,000 students majoring in one of its four undergraduate degree programs.

“Frank brings enormous enthusiasm and optimism to everything he does,” says McGaugh, a research professor of neurobiology & behavior and former biological sciences dean. “He wants to take actions that emphasize the character and the contributions of the school to the campus and to the public. It’s hard to imagine a more qualified person for the position.”

And with UC Irvine approaching its golden anniversary, LaFerla says, he aims to “take the school to the next level.”

He assumes the helm at a time when the biological sciences are critical to addressing such global concerns as sustainable food production, ecosystem restoration, optimized biofuel manufacturing and improved human health. And he wants to ensure that UC Irvine plays a part.

“Our brand is ‘Understanding Life: Transforming Our World,’” LaFerla says. “We will be excellent ambassadors of science who are trying to solve very important issues.”

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UC statement on tentative agreement with AFSCME


Deal averts strike March 24-29 at UC medical centers.

Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for human resources, issued the following statement today (March 23) regarding contract negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME):

The University of California reached a tentative agreement this morning with AFSCME on a four-year contract for nearly 13,000 patient care technical employees who work at UC medical and student health centers.

As a result, there will be no strike at our medical centers March 24-29 and AFSCME will present the tentative agreement to its membership for a vote.

There was true compromise by both sides to reach this agreement. This ends nearly two years of very challenging negotiations and serves as a foundation for UC and AFSCME to build on going forward. The agreement also allows our medical centers and student health centers to continue to deliver the quality care our patients and students depend on without any interruptions.

Highlights of the four-year tentative agreement, which is subject to ratification by AFSCME members, include:

  • Wages: across-the-board and step increases totaling 24.5 percent, similar to what UC nurses agreed to, along with a ratification bonus
  • Health benefits: rate freezes for lower-salaried employees
  • Retirement benefits: The same pension formula as AFSCME service works and UC nurses
  • Job security: Revised language on layoffs and contracting out to protect employee jobs.

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UC medical centers team up to reduce costs


Systemwide effort expected to save in range of $100M to $150M a year.

The University of California announced today (March 20) that its five medical centers will collaborate as a system to save in the range of $100 million to $150 million a year.

The “Leveraging Scale for Value” project, presented to UC Regents during their meeting at UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, initially will focus on three areas: supply chain, revenue cycle and clinical laboratories. The effort, developed in consultation with UC leadership, is aligned with UC President Janet Napolitano’s push to identify cost savings and operational efficiencies.

“We are leveraging the UC system’s collective strength to become more efficient,” said Dr. John Stobo, UC senior vice president for health sciences and services. “By collaborating more, we can ensure the financial well-being of our clinical enterprise, allowing us to continue improving the health of Californians.”

UC’s $7.5 billion clinical enterprise, with essentially no support from state general funds, provides approximately $500 million in support of UC’s medical and other health professional schools. But to continue such educational support, fulfill its public service mission and maintain quality in a competitive health care market, UC’s clinical enterprise must lower its costs.

Without changes, UC medical center expenses are projected to exceed revenues in 2017. Challenges include declining reimbursements for clinical services from commercial insurers and government sources such as Medicare and Medi-Cal. By coordinating more as a system, UC Health can take advantage of its medical centers’ size to operate more efficiently and reduce expenses, as other successful health systems have done.

UC has developed the Leveraging Scale for Value project over the past year, considering 10 areas for achieving operating efficiencies and quality improvement, and selecting three to focus on first.

The decision to embark on the project came after a series of meetings that included selected regents, President Napolitano, chancellors, CEOs of the five UC medical centers, deans of the UC schools of medicine, medical center CFOs and COOs, clinical laboratory directors, and CEOs of health systems at the University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University and BJC HealthCare in St. Louis.

The university also engaged with other successful health systems such as the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins and University HealthSystem Consortium. These discussions confirmed the financial challenges facing UC Health’s clinical enterprise, as well as UC Health’s need to leverage its impact as a large system to achieve significant cost reductions.

The medical centers at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco already work together on systemwide contracts with commercial insurers and on some group purchasing. The Leveraging Scale for Value project will increase supply-chain coordination, identifying five areas for systemwide procurement.

By improving revenue cycle management, such as billing and collection processes, UC medical centers are expected to create operational savings and potentially improve revenue. And by sending more lab tests to UC medical centers instead of external labs, the university is expected to save additional money.

A shared services management council made up of the medical center CEOs, medical school deans, two chancellors, three external expert advisers and Stobo is looking at how to manage the project in an effective, efficient and accountable manner.

“The ‘scale’ project does not replace what each medical center must do on its own to contain costs,” Stobo said. “The systemwide efforts focus on what individual medical centers are unable to do on their own. Both local and systemwide efforts are needed to get us where we need to be.”

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