TAG: "Awards & honors"

Professor receives Champalimaud Award for role in eye disease therapy


Research led to drug for wet macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Napoleone Ferrara, UC San Diego

Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and senior deputy director for basic sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, was named today as one of seven recipients of the António Champalimaud Vision Award in Lisbon, Portugal.

The 2014 António Champalimaud Vision Award was bestowed for the development of anti-angiogenic therapy for retinal disease. Anti-angiogenic therapy is used to treat age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which are the leading causes of blindness in high- and middle-income countries. Both are rising in prevalence due to an aging population and increased obesity rates.

Ferrara was recognized for the discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), for exposing the role of this molecule in promoting angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), his co-discovery of the role of VEGF in retinal disease and the development of the monoclonal antibody drug ranibizumab (marketed as Lucentis), which treats wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and other related disorders.

Ferrara shared the award with six researchers from Harvard Medical School: Joan W. Miller, MD, and Evangelos S. Gragoudas, M.D., both of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School; Patricia A. D’Amore, Ph.D., of the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear; Anthony P. Adamis, M.D., of Genentech; and George L. King, M.D., and Lloyd Paul Aiello, M.D., Ph.D., both of Joslin Diabetes Center.

The work of this year’s awardees begins with the identification of VEGF by Ferrara, to the collaborative revelation of its role in retinal-vascular disease, to the experimental evaluation of VEGF inhibition in animal models and its final application with a pharmacologic intervention that significantly improves the vision of patients affected by these often devastating retinal conditions.

The award, presented by the Champalimaud Foundation, is given alternately between contributions to overall vision research (even numbered years) and contributions to the alleviation of visual problems, primarily in developing countries (odd numbered years). The honor comes with a $1.3 million prize, the largest such award given in vision and ophthalmology research. It will be shared among the seven recipients.

Earlier this year, Ferrara was one of eight recipients of the Canada Gairdner Awards, among the most esteemed honors in medical research, for his work identifying the role of VEGF. In 2013, Ferrara was named one of 11 recipients of the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He has also won numerous other awards, including the General Motors Cancer Research Award (2006), the ASCO Science of Oncology Award (2007), the Pezcoller Foundation/AACR International Award (2009), the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award (2010), the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research (2011), and The Economist’s Innovation Award for bioscience in 2012.

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5 UC campuses rank among top 10 U.S. public universities


UC performs well in U.S. News & World Report, other rankings.

University of California campuses led the way in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top public national universities, released today (Sept. 9).

UC Berkeley and UCLA were first and second on the list, respectively, with UC San Diego, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara also ranked in the top 10, followed by UC Irvine at number 11. The ranking of public national universities was part of the magazine’s annual ranking of American colleges and universities.

UC campuses consistently perform well in such rankings. In August, Washington Monthly ranked UC San Diego first on its list, which is based on how well colleges and universities serve the public interest, with UC Riverside ranked second. Also among the top five schools were UC Berkeley in third place and UCLA in the fifth spot.

The top 100 also included UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine. UCSF has no undergraduates and was not ranked.

In a new list of “affordable elites,” Washington Monthly ranked UCLA first, ahead of Harvard, Williams College and Dartmouth; UC’s Berkeley, Irvine and San Diego campuses also were in the top 10.

“All Californians should be proud of their university. The excellent showing of our campuses in annual college rankings reflects the hard work and commitment to excellence of our faculty, students and staff,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “Ultimately, the University of California measures itself by how well we are fulfilling our core missions: teaching, research and public service. By those critical measures, we continue to excel and serve the public interest.”

Also this August, nine UC campuses placed among the top 150 universities in the world in rankings produced by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which focus on the quality of research and faculty. UC Berkeley came in first among public universities followed closely by UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco.

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2013-14, two UC campuses placed in the top 25, and eight in the top 200. Those rankings look at world-class universities across several of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Seven UC campuses were in the top 100 of the U.S. News & World Report rankings of best national universities, public and private, and eight were in the top 150. The rankings focus not only on academic reputation, but also on financial resources and selectivity — factors that favor private and more established public universities. In this year’s rankings, the top 10 are made up entirely of private institutions.

College and university rankings are just one measure of higher education institutions. UC’s commitment to maintaining access and affordability, and educating underserved communities, is reflected in other metrics:

  • In 2012-13, 42 percent of UC undergraduates qualified for Pell Grants, compared with 23 percent at public universities and 17 percent at private institutions in the Association of American Universities. Pell Grants are awarded to students from very low-income families.
  • 45 percent of UC graduates leave the university with no debt. Those who do graduate with student debt carry an average of $20,500. The national average is $25,704.

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UCSF professor wins Lasker Award


Peter Walter unveiled key cellular quality-control system, potential roles in disease.

Peter Walter, UC San Francisco

Peter Walter, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UC San Francisco, has received the 2014 Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.

Popularly known as the “American Nobels,” the Lasker Awards are among the most prestigious honors in science and medicine.

Walter, 59, was honored for his groundbreaking work on a cellular quality-control system known as the unfolded protein response, or UPR. Found in organisms ranging from yeast to humans, the UPR is crucial to life, and disruptions in its workings are believed to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses. Walter, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1997, shares the award with Kazutoshi Mori, Ph.D., a leading UPR researcher at Kyoto University in Japan.

This year’s other recipients included Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington professor who was a professor at UC Berkeley from 1976 to 1995 and completed her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and postdoctoral training at UCSF. She won the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science for discovering the BRCA1 gene locus that causes hereditary breast cancer and deploying DNA strategies that reunite missing persons or their remains with their families.

Walter is the 12th UCSF faculty member to receive either a Basic Medical Research Award or a Clinical Medical Research Award from the Lasker Foundation.

“This is an exciting day for UCSF and for the world of science,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S. “Peter Walter has received widespread acclaim for his discoveries on how the cell ensures that proteins are properly constructed, especially when the cell’s quality control systems are overwhelmed. We now know that when these basic systems malfunction, serious diseases can result. His work is a perfect example of the importance of basic biomedical research, its impact on health, and its importance for society.”

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UC campuses rank among world’s best universities


ARWU global rankings place four UC campuses in top 20, nine in top 150.

Nine University of California campuses placed among the top 150 universities in the world in rankings that focus on the quality of research and faculty released today (Aug. 15) by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

American universities dominated the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, with UC Berkeley coming in first among public universities, followed closely by UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco.

UC campuses also did very well in the overall rankings:

  • UC Berkeley, fourth
  • UCLA, 12th
  • UC San Diego, 14th
  • UC San Francisco, 18th
  • UC Santa Barbara, 41st
  • UC Irvine, 47th
  • UC Davis, 55th
  • UC Santa Cruz, 93rd
  • UC Riverside, 101-150th grouping

UC Berkeley has been in the top four of the rankings since they began in 2003. For the first time this year, UC Santa Cruz broke into the top 100.

The rankings also rated the top 200 universities in five broad academic areas and five subject areas.

UC rankings in broad academic areas:

Natural sciences and mathematics

1. UC Berkeley
9. UCLA
18. UC Santa Barbara
26. UC San Diego
31. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz
76-100. UC Riverside

Engineering-technology and computer sciences

3. UC Berkeley
7. UC Santa Barbara
18. UC San Diego
26. UCLA
50-75. UC Davis, UC Irvine

Life and agricultural sciences

5. UC San Francisco
8. UC Berkeley
11. UC San Diego
15. UCLA
23. UC Davis
51-75. UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz
101-150. UC Riverside

Clinical medicine and pharmacy

2. UC San Francisco
9. UCLA
22. UC San Diego
28. UC Berkeley
51-75. UC Davis
101-150. UC Irvine

Social science

4. UC Berkeley
16. UCLA
23. UC San Diego
42. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Davis, UC Irvine
151-200. UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz

UC subject rankings:

Mathematics

3. UC Berkeley
9. UCLA
22. UC San Diego
51-75. UC Davis
76-100. UC Irvine
101-150. UC Santa Barbara

Physics

1. UC Berkeley
12. UC Santa Barbara
22. UCLA
33. UC Santa Cruz
45. UC Irvine
51-75. UC San Diego
101-150. UC Davis
151-200. UC Riverside

Chemistry

1. UC Berkeley
7. UCLA
13. UC Santa Barbara
18. UC San Diego
26. UC Irvine
47. UC Riverside
51-75. UC Davis

Computer science

3. UC Berkeley
9. UCLA
11. UC San Diego
24. UC Davis
29. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Santa Barbara

Economics

4. UC Berkeley
15. UCLA
18. UC San Diego
48. UC Irvine
51-75. UC Santa Barbara
76-100. UC Davis

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Primary care practices receive prestigious recognition


UC Davis clinics recognized by National Committee for Quality Assurance.

All 18 UC Davis Medical Group primary care clinics received recognition in July from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as Patient-Centered Medical Homes, a designation that rewards primary care providers for efficiency, quality and innovation in primary care.

The Patient Centered Medical Home concept is an innovative approach to primary care that relies on multidisciplinary teams to provide care centered on patient needs and preferences. Care teams use technology and health-management tools to offer patient-specific options and to engage patients as active partners in their care.

Other national leaders in integrated care that have achieved this designation include the Mayo Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“Achieving the Patient-Centered Medical Home designation reflects the many ways that UC Davis emphasizes the primacy of our patients in the delivery of primary care,” said Thomas Balsbaugh, medical director for the Patient-Centered Medical Home and care coordination at UC Davis. “We provide a multidisciplinary team to patients and families, and offer culturally relevant, proactive care.”

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Nursing dean to receive national gerontological research award


UC Davis’ Heather Young honored for contribution to gerontological nursing research.

Heather Young, UC Davis

The founding dean for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, Heather M. Young, was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award by the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

The honor, presented by GSA’s Health Sciences Section, is bestowed upon a member of the society in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution to gerontological nursing research.

“This honor means a great deal to me because GSA is the first major research organization I joined as a doctoral student in 1986,” Young said. “GSA has offered me a foundational perspective on gerontology and research because it is so interdisciplinary. I am able to understand the field from so many perspectives beyond the clinical, including policy, urban planning, the arts and humanities, as well as basic sciences.”

Young has attended more than 20 of the annual meetings and is a regular presenter and convener.
“Through this organization I have established a strong network of collaborators and colleagues in gerontology — experts who have helped shape my research and provided advice and mentorship over the years. I also had the opportunity to meet and mentor many up and coming scholars and learn from them about their priories and perspectives in this field,” she said. “In large part, due to GSA, the field of gerontology has grown and flourished. It is exciting to be part of this development over almost three decades.”

In addition to serving as the founding dean for the 5-year-old nursing school at UC Davis, Young also serves as associate vice chancellor for nursing and a member of the executive leadership team for UC Davis Health System. She is a nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care. Her research and clinical interest is the promotion of healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal health care systems.

Her systems research focused on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings and technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals, as well as the use of telehealth and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults. Young leads an interprofessional team of UC Davis researchers on a recently approved $2.1 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute study looking to improve health for individuals with diabetes. Young is also a collaborator of the Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness at UC Davis and the Center for Information Technology Research for the Interest of Society, initiatives bringing together nursing, medicine, engineering and computer science to address compelling health issues. She is co-director of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center, a National Aging-funded Research Center for Minority Aging Research.

She is active in the implementation of the recommendations of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” serving on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Strategic Advisory Committee that guides the national campaign as well as the California Action Coalition executive committee, which leads activities at the state level. She recently served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group on Systems Engineering for Healthcare. Earlier in her career, Young practiced as a geriatric nurse practitioner in community-based long-term care and served as chief operations officer for a company designing and managing retirement communities.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 67th annual Scientific Meeting, which is set for Nov. 5-9 in Washington, D.C. The conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.

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Patient-centered research projects receive funding

 

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UC announces winners of information technology awards


Sautter Award winners include health-related projects.

Ten projects at seven locations won the University of California’s 2014 Larry L. Sautter Award for using information technology to make university operations more effective and efficient to better serve faculty, staff, students and patients.

Chief Information Officer Tom Andriola from UCOP announced the winners today (Aug. 5) at the UC Computing Services Conference in San Francisco.

The annual award, which is sponsored by the UC Information Technology Leadership Council, recognizes innovations in IT that advance the university’s missions of teaching, research, public service and patient care, or that improve the effectiveness of university processes. The award encourages sharing these solutions across the UC system.

The 2014 award winners and honorable mentions are:

Golden Awards
•    Building a Service-Oriented Culture (UC Davis) is a multipronged initiative aimed at improving customer service and increasing efficiency through a virtual support service desk, self-service tools, standardized information and user-friendly resources. Among its many features, customers need to remember just one email address to get IT help (compared to the previous 70 email addresses available), and they can track the status of their request online.
•    Connected Central Coast (UC Santa Cruz): UC Santa Cruz partnered with private industry to win a $10.6 million state grant to build a 91-mile fiber optic network that enables high quality network connectivity on campus and along the Central Coast. By providing good broadband services in unserved and underserved areas, the project team hopes to help promote economic growth, job creation and other benefits.
•    New MyUCLA (UCLA) is an integrated student services portal with an improved user-friendly interface that allows students to more easily search for classes, enroll, track financial aid, access their calendars and perform other tasks, without having to open multiple browser windows.

Silver Awards
•    Business Intelligence Competency Center (UC San Diego) gives departments a powerful tool to create dashboards and reports that better inform and improve their decision-making, and encourages campus cross-functional collaboration in sharing tools, tips and techniques.
•    Environmental Health and Safety Enterprise Risk Management Technology (UC Davis) is a suite of six projects aimed at ensuring a safe research environment. These tools, for example, help facilitate the proper handling of chemicals, identify potential hazards, screen employees and coordinate safety inspections.

Honorable Mentions
•    Virtual Advising System (UC San Diego) securely stores student records so academic counselors can easily find all the student information they need to deliver accurate, holistic academic counseling. In addition, students can use the system to get general advising information, ask a counselor a question, see their academic notices and review notes from an advising session.
•    Careweb Messenger (UCSF) carries, transmits, records and makes searchable through a secure web portal the thousands of electronic messages that UCSF Medical Center staff sends and receives, ultimately improving coordination of patient care.
•    Nursing Performance Improvement Business Intelligence Solution (UCSF) enables digital collection of patient care data (replacing the previous paper method for collecting data, then manually entering the data into an Excel spreadsheet to generate reports and graphs) and safely stores information from multiple sources so that it can be easily accessed when needed.
•    Graduate Enrolled Student System (UC Riverside) is a repository of records that delivers a comprehensive view of graduate students’ financial support. This enables more efficient management and processing of graduate students’ awards.
•    Practice Improvement Using Virtual Online Training – PIVOT (UCSF and UC Berkeley) is an interactive computer-based simulation game that allows students, fellows, physicians and other health care experts to assess and manage virtual patients with lupus.

To read the full nomination applications, visit the Sautter Award Program website.

To be eligible, projects must be active and operational at a campus.

Established in 2000, the award is named after Larry L. Sautter, a UC Riverside associate vice chancellor for computing and communications who died in 1999. Under his leadership, a modern data network, client server computing, and improved technical support services were developed and implemented at Riverside.

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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 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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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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