TAG: "Awards & honors"

UC hospitals rank among the nation’s best


All five UC medical centers ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of California has two of the nation’s top 10 hospitals and all five of its medical centers rank among the nation’s best hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey.

U.S. News also ranked UC medical centers No. 1 in their metropolitan areas – UCLA Health System in Los Angeles, UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, UC San Diego Health System in San Diego  and UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. UC Irvine Medical Center ranked best in Orange County and fourth in the Los Angeles region.

“The U.S. News rankings reflect the excellence throughout the UC Health system,” said Dr. John Stobo, UC Health senior vice president. “Our academic medical centers are dedicated to providing the best possible patient care, training tomorrow’s leaders and tackling health’s toughest challenges.”

For the 2014-15 America’s Best Hospitals survey, U.S. News evaluated about 4,700 hospitals nationwide in 16 adult specialties, reviewing patient safety, reputation and other factors, with just 144 ranking nationally in even one specialty. UCLA and UCSF were among two of only 17 hospitals that entered the Best Hospitals Honor Roll by scoring high in at least six specialties.

“The data tell the story – a hospital that emerged from our analysis as one of the best has much to be proud of,” says Avery Comarow, the health rankings editor at U.S. News. “A Best Hospital has demonstrated its expertise in treating the most challenging patients.”

UCLA Health System’s hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica ranked fifth nationally and best in the western United States and California. UCLA ranked among the top 50 hospitals nationally in 15 of the 16 specialties: cancer (9); cardiology and heart surgery (12); diabetes and endocrinology (9); ear, nose and throat (11); gastroenterology and GI surgery (5); geriatrics (3); gynecology (11); nephrology (8); neurology and neurosurgery (7); ophthalmology (5); orthopedics (11); psychiatry (8); pulmonology (16); rheumatology (8); and urology (4).

UCSF Medical Center ranked eighth nationally. UCSF placed among the top 50 hospitals nationally in 11 specialties: cancer (8); diabetes and endocrinology (5); ear, nose and throat (8); gasteroenterology and GI surgery (25); geriatrics (12); gynecology (6); nephrology (4); neurology and neurosurgery (5);
orthopedics (14); rheumatology (10); and urology (6).

UC San Diego Health System ranked among the top 50 hospitals nationally in 11 specialties: cancer (25); cardiology and heart surgery (23); diabetes and endocrinology (32); ear, nose and throat (22); gastroenterology and GI surgery (38); geriatrics (19); nephrology (15); neurology and neurosurgery (25); orthopedics (44); pulmonology (6); and urology (16).

UC Davis Medical Center ranked nationally in 10 specialties: cancer (34); cardiology and heart surgery (24); ear, nose and throat (31); geriatrics (25); gynecology (35); nephrology (19); neurology and neurosurgery (42); orthopedics (26); pulmonology (15); and urology (48).

UC Irvine Medical Center, which made the Best Hospitals list for the 14th consecutive year, ranked nationally in three specialties: ear, nose and throat (33); geriatrics (39); and nephrology (50).

Survey results are available online at http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals. Overall, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranked first; Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was second; Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore was third; and the Cleveland Clinic was fourth.

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UC children’s hospitals rank among best in U.S.

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Four UC health systems named among nation’s most wired


List includes Davis, Irvine, UCLA, San Diego.

UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Diego health systems have been designated among the nation’s information technology leaders, according to the 2014 Health Care’s Most Wired Survey that appears in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

UC San Diego earned the Most Wired designation for the ninth consecutive year, UC Davis for the fourth consecutive year, UCLA for the second straight time and UC Irvine for the first time. They are among only 17 institutions in California designated Most Wired in this year’s assessment. UC San Diego Health System was the only California facility named to the Most Wired Advanced list.

Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, now in its 16th year, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals. A full list of award winners can be found online at www.hhnmostwired.com.

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Hall of Fame inventor cooks up projects to serve the neediest


Berkeley Lab’s Ashok Gadgil puts engineering to work for humanity.

Ashok Gadgil demonstrates use of the Darfur stove to Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

By Kate Rix

When Ashok Gadgil arrived in Washington this spring to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, a quote on the back of the event program spoke directly to his own personal philosophy.

It was from Abraham Lincoln: “The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”

“This is the first time the body made a decision not just to recognize patents which have led to improvements in the developed world, but also began to say, what do invention and patent do for the bottom 3 billion people?” Gadgil says of his induction, seated in his office above the UC Berkeley campus. “It signals to those of us who work on problems not because they’ll lead to corporate profit or a better weapons system, that this is another important role of creativity.”

Gadgil was one of 15 inventors admitted into the Hall of Fame this year. He was inducted specifically for UV Waterworks, a disinfecting device that uses ultra violet light to generate the electricity needed to kill pathogens in water. The technology provides safe drinking water for 5 million people every day in deep rural communities of India, the Philippines and Ghana.

Gadgil (pronounced GOD-gill) directs the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His other inventions include a fuel-efficient cookstove and a method to remove arsenic from groundwater. Overall, his body of work has helped millions of others, in the spirit of what Lincoln called “the fuel of interest” combined with humanitarianism.

Safe water for mere pennies

UV Waterworks systems provide safe drinking water a cost of about 2 cents for 12 liters.

“My goal was to see what people could pay if they make $1 or $2 a day,” Gadgil says. “We are asking for 2 cents for 10 liters, so they can avoid getting diarrhea several times a year.”

UV Waterworks has saved an estimated 1,000 children’s lives, Gadgil said. “That’s not too bad, though the number could be 10 or 50 times larger.”

While Gadgil invented the system, the UC Regents hold the patent and the publicly traded corporation WaterHealth International lined up investors, including Johnson & Johnson and Dow Chemical.

Fuel-efficient stove lessens women’s risks

Also making an impact is the Berkeley Darfur Stove, which replaces the traditional “three stone” cooking fire for Darfuri refugees in western Sudan. The old method of cooking required women to walk — for up to seven hours, five times a week — outside the safety of the camps to collect wood. Encounters with armed militia during those treks almost certainly result in rape.

In 2005 Gadgil led a fact-finding mission to Darfur, interviewing women and observing how they cook. He realized he could design a stove that uses 75 percent less fuel to cook the same amount of food in the same pot, reducing the number of firewood collection trips.

The stoves were designed at Lawrence Berkeley Lab but are manufactured in a factory in Darfur and sold for $20 each, generating income for factory workers. Some 15,000 cookstoves are in use in Darfuri camps, plus additional stoves modified for use in Ethiopia.

Gadgil’s team continues to refine the cookstove technology, in pursuit of even cleaner ways to use biomass fuel. Another project, however, hearkens back to clean drinking water. Gadgil and his lab developed a method to remove naturally occurring arsenic from groundwater in Bangladesh and India, binding iron to microscopic arsenic molecules so they become large enough to be captured by a filter. The technology recently was licensed to an Indian business with a plan to install filtration plants in villages where the water will be sold.

The existence of a business model is core to Gadgil’s guiding principles as an inventor. While some of his colleagues in science turn their nose at the idea of making a profit from research, Gadgil — who applied to business school before engineering graduate studies — sees sustainability and potential in financial gain.

‘A model where everybody prospers’

“You cannot go to scale and help a billion or 2 billion people without everybody along the way making a dime,” he says. “Charity is critical to filling cracks in the system, but there is not enough charity to go around. If you want to lift people from an existence we consider beneath human dignity, you have to have a model where everybody prospers.”

Gadgil was not always so focused on using his skills to help people in the developing world. As a student at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur he worked hard, did well in school and that was enough.

In 1971 Gadgil had an acceptance letter from every university to which he had applied, except Berkeley. He was about to start courses at CalTech when the letter came from Berkeley to say that they had secured funding to offer him a spot in the graduate civil engineering program.

“A friend of mine told me that Berkeley is a deep and vast ocean and that I would not experience the intellectual depth anywhere else,” he recalls. “He was right. I took courses in everything under the sun. I could sit in the back of the room and take classes in political economy of development.”

He recalls a lesson from one of his professor, former Cal physicist Arthur Rosenfeld: A good scientist takes in the bigger picture of how the real world works.

“I was just very, very good at physics,” he says. “Being here doing my Ph.D. changed my thinking. I credit that to the Berkeley experience.”

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UC San Diego pharmacist honored for his leadership


Charles Daniels receives John Webb Lecture Award.

Charles Daniels, UC San Diego

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has named Charles E. Daniels, Ph.D., FASHP, as the recipient of the 2014 John W. Webb Lecture Award. The Webb Award honors health-system pharmacy practitioners or educators who stand apart because of their extraordinary dedication to fostering excellence in pharmacy management and leadership.

“This prestigious award reflects Dr. Daniels international recognition as a leader in expanding pharmacy practices and academic development in health systems to improve patient care,” said James H. McKerrow, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  “Throughout his career, Dr. Daniels has focused on solving issues that regularly confront health system pharmacists, including medication safety, cost-effective use of medications, and increased efficiency of health-system operations.”

Daniels is pharmacist-in-chief for UC San Diego Health System and professor of clinical pharmacy and associate dean at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Daniels serves as system-wide pharmacy officer for the university’s hospitals and clinics. His leadership has cultivated an understanding among health system executives and health care providers of the importance of including pharmacists in key leadership and decision-making positions. He also has served as a champion for postgraduate education and training in order to best prepare pharmacists for practice.

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UC Davis Children’s Hospital receives Excellence in Life Support Award


Award recognizes exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes, patient care.

UC Davis Children’s Hospital has received the Excellence in Life Support Award from the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) for its Extracorporeal Life Support Program. The program provides lifesaving support for failing organ systems in infants, children and, in some cases, adults.

The Excellence in Life Support Award recognizes centers worldwide that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction and ongoing clinical care. UC Davis Children’s Hospital also received this award in 2012.

The ELSO Award signifies to patients and families a commitment to exceptional patient care. It also demonstrates to the health care community an assurance of high-quality standards, specialized equipment and supplies, defined patient protocols and advanced education of all staff members.

Extracorporeal life support (ECLS), also known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO, is one of the most advanced forms of life support available to patients experiencing acute failure of the cardiac and respiratory systems. The ECLS machine does the work of the heart and lungs, artificially oxygenating the blood and returning it to the body, allowing the patient’s heart and lungs to rest and heal.

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UCSF nursing professor honored by American Heart Association


Barbara Drew named a 2014 Distinguished Scientist.

Barbara Drew, UC San Francisco

The American Heart Association has just selected Barbara Drew, R.N., Ph.D., to be a 2014 Distinguished Scientist. Drew, professor of physiological nursing and founder of the ECG Monitoring Research Lab in the UCSF School of Nursing, will receive the award at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the AHA in Chicago in November.

Of the six scientists selected this year, Drew is the only nurse and the only woman. In fact, this is the first time in the history of AHA that a nurse scientist has been selected as a Distinguished Scientist. The award is recognition of the extensive contributions Drew has made in the care of patients with cardiac arrhythmias.

Drew has taught clinical electrocardiography to medical students, residents, and graduate nursing students for 32 years. She also founded the ECG Monitoring Research Lab in the School of Nursing and mentored numerous graduate students pursuing studies in the field of electrocardiology.

The primary goal of Drew’s research is to improve cardiac monitoring techniques and clinical practices in hospital and pre-hospital settings for more accurate diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia, and drug-induced long QT syndrome. Drew’s research has shaped the development of commercial cardiac monitors, including the introduction of multilead ECG monitoring, ST-segment and QT interval monitoring, and strategies to reduce clinical alarm fatigue.

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Joint Commission certifies UC Irvine hip, knee replacement programs


Gold Seal of Approval denotes commitment to highest quality patient care.

UC Irvine Health has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its hip and knee joint replacement programs by demonstrating compliance with the organization’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care.

UC Irvine Health underwent a rigorous on-site review in May. A Joint Commission expert evaluated the programs for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

The commitment to these standards is reflected in the UC Irvine Health Joint Replacement Surgical Home. Developed at UC Irvine Medical Center, this model coordinates the roles of orthopaedic surgeons, anesthesiologists and nursing staff before, during and after surgery to ensure that patients receive the most efficient and comprehensive care available. The surgical home model has measurable standards for perioperative care and ensures that potential improvements are identified and incorporated into the program.

“The ability to achieve such high level of care and patient satisfaction is only possible due to the dedication and hard work put in daily by our joint replacement surgical home team,” said Ran Schwarzkopf, M.D., assistant clinical professor, UC Irvine Health Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and head of the hip and knee surgery service. “It is this team work that allows us to be a center of excellence in total hip and knee replacement surgery.”

The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program, launched in 2002, is designed to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: compliance with consensus-based national standards; effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

“In achieving Joint Commission certification, UC Irvine Health has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients undergoing knee or hip joint replacement,” says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend UC Irvine Health for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

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UCLA Medical Group earns highest rating in industry quality survey


Elite ranking in CAPG Standards of Excellence survey.

UCLA Medical Group has received a four-star “elite” ranking, the highest possible designation, in the eighth annual CAPG Standards of Excellence survey.

The survey is a voluntary, critical self-assessment for CAPG’s 180 medical group members in California and 29 other states. It measures how well-equipped health care systems are to deliver a better patient experience, better population health and better overall affordability — the “triple aim“ outlined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

UCLA Medical Group is one of 45 physician organizations to achieve the coveted “elite” status in the survey, which for the second consecutive year was conducted by CAPG in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The results of the survey were released at CAPG’s national conference of health care experts, held from June 5 to 8 in Los Angeles.

“We are constantly challenging ourselves to do more for our patients while controlling costs,” said Dr. Samuel A. Skootsky, chief medical officer of the UCLA Faculty Practice and Medical Group. “Participation in the Standards of Excellence survey provides an opportunity to evaluate and improve on our processes. It is gratifying to see the success of these efforts acknowledged through our four-star rating.”

“What started eight years ago has now become an industry standard in measuring the tools required for sophisticated health care systems to deliver accountable and value-based care in the physician practice setting,” said Donald Crane, president and CEO of CAPG. “The industry validation continues to solidify the Standards of Excellence’s value in helping physician practices improve the coordination of patient care and thrive in a health care marketplace undergoing immense transition.”

This year, 86 medical groups that cover 11.1 million members through HMO models of care and an estimated 5 million through PPO coverage or government programs participated in the CAPG assessment. They were evaluated in six key domains:

Care management practices
Providing timely, safe, effective, efficient care and constantly improving care.

Health information technology 
The technical tools required to support care management practices, as well as individual care coordination, population awareness, performance measurement and feedback.

Accountability and transparency
Responding to the demands of the people the organization serves.

Patient-centered care
The ability to promote a service-oriented culture.

Group support of advanced primary care
Giving the “patient-centered medical home” a systemwide functionality and revitalizing the discipline of primary care.

Administrative and financial capability
How physician groups respond to the financial challenges of health care reform.

Survey results and additional information can be found at www.capg.org/index.aspx?page=84.

CAPG represents more than 180 multispecialty medical groups and independent practice associations in California and 29 other states, serving as a voice for physician organizations that provide comprehensive health care through coordinated and accountable physician group practices.

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UC Davis Medical Center receives echocardiography accreditation


Accreditation a ‘seal of approval’ for patients.

UC Davis Medical Center has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in echocardiography in three areas by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

The three areas for which the IAC granted accreditation are adult stress, adult transesophageal and adult transthoracic.

Accreditation by the IAC signifies that the medical center has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review.

IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of echocardiography. When scheduled for an echocardiography procedure, patients are encouraged to ask about the accreditation status of the facility where their examination will be performed, and can learn more by visiting www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/patients.htm.

IAC accreditation is widely respected within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to echocardiography, which include physicians and sonographers. Echocardiography accreditation is required in some states and regions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and by some private insurers. However, patients should remain vigilant in making sure that their echocardiography procedures are performed within accredited facilities, because for many facilities accreditation remains a voluntary process.

Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. On average, one American dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease — disorders of the heart and blood vessels. The American Heart Association estimates that the direct and indirect cost for cardiovascular disease in the U.S. for 2010 was $503.2 billion.

Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of echocardiography procedures performed within hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians’ offices. While these tests are helpful, there are many facets that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography testing. The skill of the echocardiography sonographer performing the examination, the type of equipment used, the background and knowledge of the interpreting physician and quality assurance measures are each critical to quality patient testing.

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UC children’s hospitals rank among best in U.S.


U.S. News highlights excellence in pediatric care.

The University of California’s three children’s hospitals – Davis, Los Angeles and San Francisco – all rank among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals, according to the new 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report.

This year’s report, published today (June 10), can be viewed online at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals. The rankings highlight U.S. News’ top 50 pediatric facilities in 10 specialties.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital was recognized for excellence in all 10 specialties, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in eight and UC Davis Children’s Hospital in four. In addition, UC’s two other medical center campuses are affiliated with ranked children’s hospitals – UC Irvine is affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Orange County (ranked in seven specialties) and UC San Diego is affiliated with Rady Children’s Hospital (ranked in all 10 specialties).

The rankings for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital include diabetes and endocrinology (10), urology (12), nephrology (18), gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery (21), neurology and neurosurgery (21), cardiology and heart surgery (23), cancer (25), neonatology (26), orthopedics (28), and pulmonology (45).

The rankings for Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA include nephrology (10), neonatology (13), gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery (15), cardiology and heart surgery (25), orthopedics (27), neurology and neurosurgery (36), cancer (38), and diabetes and endocrinology (44).

Together with Shriners Hospital for Children – Northern California, its longstanding partner in caring for children with burns, spinal cord injuries, urological issues and orthopedic disorders, UC Davis Children’s Hospital ranked No. 22 in orthopedics and No. 47 in urology. UC Davis also ranked No. 23 in nephrology and No. 28 in neonatology.

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Medical center receives Zero Hero Award for avoidance of early deliveries


UC Davis honored by Patient Safety First.

UC Davis Medical Center has received the Zero Hero Award from Patient Safety First for having no early elective baby deliveries for 15 consecutive months.

Mitchell Creinin, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was presented with the award at a recent meeting of the Quality and Safety Committee. The department has not had an early elective delivery for 30 consecutive months.

“Accomplishing this feat is a tribute to the combined efforts of physicians and nurses who provide obstetric care at the medical center,” said Creinin.

The trophy plaque will be displayed soon in the University Birthing Suites. The award originally was presented at the Annual Patient Safety First meeting last November in San Francisco.

Patient Safety First was launched in 2010 to improve quality of care, reduce health care costs and save lives by improving patient safety and perinatal care in California. The project is a partnership among the National Health Foundation, California’s Regional Hospital Associations, Anthem Blue Cross and more than 180 hospitals across the state.

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UC Irvine medical students receive AMA leadership award


Recipients include Asghar Haider and Raja Narayan.

Two students at the UC Irvine School of Medicine are among 15 recipients of the American Medical Association Foundation’s 2014 Leadership Award.

Asghar Haider, an M.D./M.B.A. student, and Raja Narayan, an M.D./M.P.H. student, were honored by the AMA Foundation at its annual Excellence in Medicine Awards celebration on June 6 in Chicago. The national award recognizes medical students, residents/fellows and early career physicians for achievements in community service, medical education and public health.

Award recipients will receive special training to develop their skills as future leaders in community affairs and organized medicine.

“Mr. Haider and Mr. Narayan exemplify UC Irvine’s commitment to its mission of Discover.Teach.Heal,” said Ralph V. Clayman, M.D., dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine and professor, department of urology. “Their respective exemplary work in community outreach and educational innovation provide benefits that go well beyond the borders of our university.  I am proud of their endeavors to date and look forward to their future accomplishments.”

Asghar “Abbas” Haider is a fourth-year student in the combined M.D./M.B.A. curriculum. Haider is passionate about community outreach. As an immigrant and first-generation college student, he recognizes the need for mentors for teens in his community. In 2007, Haider co-founded the Peer Advancement Community for Teens, an organization that mentors and tutors underserved students in the Los Angeles area. He is working towards a dual M.D./M.B.A. degree in order to better understand the changing healthcare landscape and to advocate for his future patients.

His aspiration is to become a leader in academic ophthalmology.

Raja Narayan will complete his final year of medical school at UC Irvine and is pursuing a master of public health degree in applied biostatistics and epidemiology.

He has been involved in deploying technology to advance medical education and patient care, which has led him to be named a Patron Fund Diplomat at TEDMED, a New England Journal of Medicine Gold Scholar and co-president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. As an undergraduate at Yale, Narayan was a member of the Institutional Review Board, a senior clinical team member of the student-run HAVEN free clinic, lead editor for the Yale Journal of Health Policy Law and Ethics, winner of the Yale Global Health Case Competition, and captain of the Movember initiative that raised money to support research on men’s health. Narayan plans applies to residency in general surgery.

The Excellence in Medicine Award program is presented in association with Eli Lilly & Co., Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc., PhRMA, and Pfizer Inc. The Leadership Award was first bestowed in 2003.

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