TAG: "Students"

UC Global Health Day to be April 26


UC Davis hosting annual event.

UC Davis and the University of California Global Health Institute will host global health leaders from California and beyond on Saturday, April 26, during the fourth annual UC Global Health Day.

Topics ranging from global health diplomacy, maternal and child health, animal health, emerging infectious diseases, economics, migrant health, and more will be presented by faculty and students from across the 10-campus University of California system.

Keynote speakers will include UC President Janet Napolitano, former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and governor of Arizona.

“When we talk about global health, we are speaking about the health of people not only in developing countries, but also throughout the United States,” Napolitano said. “With five medical centers, world-class health research initiatives and top-ranked educational programs, the University of California is making an enormous impact on the health of populations across the world, including people in need right here in California.”

The annual event, being hosted by UC Davis, rotates among the UC campuses. Past events have taken place at Irvine, Berkeley and Riverside.

“Global health is an increasingly popular field of study at UC Davis and we are thrilled to be hosting UC Global Health Day this year,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who will give welcoming remarks at the event. “Because of our particular strengths in agriculture, medicine, veterinary medicine and engineering, UC Davis is uniquely positioned to address the biggest challenges of health worldwide.”

Registration for UC Global Health Day is open until April 22: $50 general admission; $25 for students. For more information, visit the UCGHI website at: www.ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu/index.aspx.

Two UC Davis professors — Andrew Hargadon, the Charles J. Soderquist chair in entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Management, and Jonna Mazet, director of the One Health Institute in the School of Veterinary Medicine —  will jointly present a talk on “How Breakthroughs Happen.” Jonathan Samet, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Southern California, will speak about “Moving beyond Global Tobacco Control to Global Noncommunicable Disease Control.”

Students and faculty from every UC campus will be in attendance at the all-day event, which will also feature 60 poster presentations and 16 breakout sessions, covering a broad range of global health topics, including:

  • Migration and Human Trafficking in the Pacific Rim;
  • Innovation and Infrastructure for Slum Health: Advancing Technology to Work in Low-Resource Settings;
  • 21st Century Global Health Diplomacy;
  • Working Globally at the Human-Animal Interface to Improve Health for All; and
  • Measuring Women’s Empowerment through Participatory Action.

See a video about the 2013 UC Global Health Day at http://youtu.be/3s5KbWfPU9E.

The UC Global Health Institute was established in November 2009 in response to the growing demand from students and faculty interested in global health research and education. The UCGHI convenes people from across the UC system to collaborate on research projects, and provides education and training opportunities through workshops, courses, lectures and other events. The UCGHI is composed of three multi-campus Centers of Expertise — Migration & Health; One Health; and Women’s Health & Empowerment. These centers lead education and training programs to produce leaders and practitioners of global health, conduct innovative research, and develop international partnerships to improve the health of vulnerable people and communities in California and worldwide.

Patricia Conrad, a professor in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is co-director of the One Health Center of Expertise and led the planning for 2014 UC Global Health Day.

“It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm for global health at UC Davis and across the UC campuses,” Conrad said. “The diversity of presentations at this year’s event, and the cross-section of disciplines of the faculty and student participants, is quite remarkable.”

The UC Global Health Institute is jointly led by director Haile Debas, former chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Francisco, and Thomas Coates, the Michael and Sue Steinberg professor of global AIDS research at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and director of the UCLA Center for World Health. The institute has received $4 million in funding from the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and $4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in addition to funds from the UC Office of the President.

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Saving diabetics from blindness in Libya


UC Berkeley grad student, professor, alum join forces in international public service project.

UC Berkeley optometry student Fatima Elkabti and professor Jorge Cuadros discuss a magnified digital image of a healthy retina.

A UC Berkeley graduate student in optometry, one of her professors and a Berkeley alumnus have joined forces to build a long-distance diagnostic project that has the potential to keep a large number of people in crisis-torn Libya from going blind.

The public service project involves training Libyan doctors to take detailed digital photographs inside patients’ eyes, of their retinas, as part of routine health care and put the images online for remote diagnosis of damage caused by diabetes before it’s too late. Too often, diabetes-related retinopathy isn’t caught until it causes symptoms, when treatment can no longer save vision.

The first 11 Libyan doctors underwent training for three days in February in Istanbul, in a seminar organized by the Avicenna Group and taught by Berkeley optometry professor Jorge Cuadros. Turkey was chosen as the training site for security reasons and because it is easily accessible from Libya.

If all goes according to plan, many more doctors will be trained over the next year, both in Libya and out — all because of a project that developed rapidly from a seed planted in a Diabetic Health Clinic class in Berkeley’s School of Optometry.

In the class, Cuadros taught students how to analyze photos of diabetic retinopathy as part of EyePACS, the California-based online initiative he co-founded to train people working in diabetes care to screen patients’ vision for remote diagnosis by certified eye doctors.

In his class was third-year optometry student Fatima Elkabti, who knows firsthand the toll that diabetes is taking in Libya, where the disease is rampant but greatly underdiagnosed. Elkabti’s father, a Libyan, has diabetes, as do about half of her many aunts and uncles.

“I walked out of the class and asked Dr. Cuadros, ‘Can we do this in Libya?’ “ Elkabti relates. Do some research, the professor told her.

Elkabti got to work and within an hour found Ethan Chorin, who earned his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 2000, served in the U.S. diplomatic corps in Libya from 2004 to 2006 and has published a book about the recent Libyan revolution. He founded the not-for-profit Avicenna Group in 2011 with a Libyan-American colleague to catalyze health-related partnerships between Libyan organizations and U.S. universities. Traveling back and forth between Benghazi and Berkeley, he looked for ways to involve Berkeley in Libya’s reconstruction efforts.

“I shot Ethan an email, and within hours we were talking about how to make this happen,” Elkabti says. The Berkeley-Libya retinopathy project was off and running.

Diabetes-related retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in Libya — as well as in the United States and in much of the world. EyePACS has brought retinal screenings to poor and medically underserved areas from California’s Central Valley to Peru, and the Libyan retinopathy project extends the concept to politically unstable and dangerous regions.

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UC Davis welcomes students to clinical training


Nursing school hosts White Coat Ceremony for physician assistant, nurse practitioner students.

Nurse practitioner and physician assistant faculty Shelly Henderson (left) and Debra Bakerjian (right) help physician assistant student Elizabeth Bradbury (middle) put on her new coat as part of the White Coat Ceremony at UC Davis nursing school.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis conducted a White Coat Ceremony on Monday to celebrate the formal transition from classroom education to clinical preparation for physician assistant and nurse practitioner Class of 2015 students.

More than 100 family and friends filled the Robert T. Matsui Lecture Hall at UC Davis Health System’s Education Building to cheer on the six nurse practitioner and 21 physician assistant students as they were presented their first white coats.

Similar to the white coat tradition at many medical programs, the ceremony signifies the completion of the academic year of study and the move to clinical education, where students complete rotations in primary care, inpatient medicine, rural medicine, pediatrics, surgery and other areas. During this time, students experience their first patient interactions.

“In keeping with the concept that medicine, and health care in general, are team sports, this tradition has expanded to a variety of other health professions such as pharmacy, optometry, therapy, veterinary, physician assistant and advanced practice nursing, and is now celebrated internationally,” said Debra Bakerjian, senior director for the nurse practitioner and physician assistant programs.

The event included comments and advice from two program alumni — Karimeh Borghei, a 2006 nurse practitioner graduate and Jeremy Weis, a 2012 graduate of the physician assistant program — as well as a current physician assistant student, Kim Ward, and other faculty.

The UC Davis physician assistant and nurse practitioner programs are the only ones in the nation where the two professions learn together in the classroom. Additionally, the UC Davis programs focus on developing providers to deliver care in areas where it’s needed most, thus expanding access for a growing population. The UC Davis School of Medicine’s Department of Community and Family Medicine first offered a nurse practitioner graduate certificate program in 1970. The physician assistant program was added in 1982.

In 2013, the program was reconfigured into master’s degree programs at the UC Davis nursing school. Over the past 40 years, UC Davis has graduated more than 1,800 nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with 67 percent of graduates working in underserved areas. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of graduates work in primary care, compared to significantly lower national averages of between 30 and 40 percent.

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Medical students celebrate their matches


Graduating students learn where their careers as doctors will start.

UC Davis medical student Alexis Gaskin matched to Howard University.

Jumps for joy. Hugs for happiness.

March 21 was a day to celebrate for more than 650 University of California medical students: Match Day 2014, when future doctors found out which hospital accepted them for residency to get advanced training in their chosen specialty.

“This day is like all my dreams come true,” said Alexis Gaskin, a fourth-year UC Davis medical student from Vacaville, who matched in orthopedics at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  “Being able to visualize it [the match letter], to see it in my hand is really a dream come true.”

UC Irvine medical student Givenchy Manzano is embraced by his mother, Mary Jane Manzano, as his brother Wilfred looks on.

At UC Davis, 96 graduating medical students matched. At UC Irvine, 100 students matched. At UCLA, 183 students matched. UC San Diego had 116 students match. UC San Francisco had 157 students match.

This year, more than 16,000 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors matched to first-year residency positions – a match rate of 94.4 percent. A computer algorithm from the National Resident Matching Program matches the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs at teaching hospitals throughout the country. The students from allopathic schools such as UC apply for the available residency positions along with thousands of independent applicants, including osteopathic students and graduates of foreign medical schools. Overall, more than 40,000 individuals applied for nearly 30,000 residency slots across the country.

UCLA's Sarah Neyssani will do her residency at Harbor-UCLA Med Center.

While UC students matched with residency programs across the country, around two-thirds will stay in California for their training, including at UC medical centers, helping to address local needs for physicians. More than 69 percent of the physicians who do residency training in California remain in the state to practice – the nation’s highest retention rate.

“I could not be happier with where I matched, and am so excited to go on this adventure with these amazing people,” said UC San Francisco graduating medical student Gabe Sudario, who will continue at UC San Francisco for his residency.

UC San Diego medical students pinpoint their matches

“We are all nervous about Match Day,” said Inga Wilder, a senior at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It’s the uncertainty. You can’t plan anything. But I am graduating. I am going to be a doctor in a couple months. I can’t complain.”

Wilder, 30, has reason to be proud. She grew up in Compton, and she and her brother, who joined her at Match Day, were the first in their family to graduate from college. Wilder, a high school valedictorian, went to UC Berkeley and originally planned to get a Ph.D. in microbiology before experience in a lab convinced her she was “more of a people person.”

To break up the tension of the day, many of UCSF's medical students dressed up in costumes, including Gabe Sudario (center in green) who landed a residency at UCSF.

Standing beside her brother, she opened her envelope and smiled: “I got my first choice,” she beamed, a residency in full-spectrum family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center, helping underserved communities.

For more coverage of Match Day, view these links:

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Bill proposes new pathway for more physicians


UC co-sponsors bill introduced by Bonilla.

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla’s office issued the following press release today (March 11):

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla, in partnership with the University of California and the Medical Board of California, has introduced legislation to allow graduates of accelerated and fully accredited medical education programs to become licensed physicians in California. By creating this pathway, students will have the opportunity to incur less student debt while becoming dedicated, well-trained physicians.

“We have a growing shortage of trained medical residents and physicians to meet the demands of our communities,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “In addition, the accumulation of student debt is overwhelming to many students seeking to become physicians. By creating this new pathway, we can begin to reduce the growing shortage and provide the opportunity for students to graduate with less student debt.”

Medical schools in New York and Texas have developed accelerated programs that produce graduates in three years by focusing more on the medical students’ skills and academic achievement, rather than on the time spent in medical school itself. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there is no evidence that four years of medical school enhances clinical skills or the quality of patient care. In addition, for many students, the fourth year of medical school is focused almost entirely on electives and applying for residency. Furthermore, the Washington Post cites that students that have graduated from shortened medical programs perform just as highly on board examinations and placements in residency programs.

“The Medical Board of California is pleased to co-sponsor AB 1838 with the University of California Office of the President. The Medical Board’s mission includes the promotion of access to quality medical care through the Medical Board’s licensing and regulatory functions,” said Medical Board of California’s executive director, Kimberly Kirchmeyer. “We believe that this legislation will meet the needs of the applicants who are enrolling in these programs and will still fulfill the Medical Board’s mission of consumer protection and access to care.”

The University of California operates six of California’s nine M.D.-granting medical schools and provides specialty training for nearly half of the state’s medical residents. “As a major provider of medical education in the state, the University of California believes this change in law is straightforward and will benefit the state by reducing unnecessary and out-dated barriers to practice in the state,” said Dr. Cathryn Nation, UC associate vice president for health sciences. “AB 1838 will benefit not only the future graduates of UC Davis’ new, accelerated M.D. degree program (which plans to enroll its first class of four students in summer 2014), but, also all graduates of any accelerated program offered by an LCME-accredited medical school.”

Assemblywoman Bonilla’s legislation, AB 1838, will allow graduates of accelerated medical education programs accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools to have a path to licensure in California. The bill is co-sponsored by the Medical Board of California and the University of California.

Media contact:
Ryan Morimune
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla
(916) 319-2014

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Good Bruin Samaritans


UCLA students bring much-needed medical aid to Mexican community.

In a community less than 150 miles south of UCLA, Enrique Juarez Gonzalez, his wife, Mercedes, and their children live without running water or electricity. Their sanitation system is sub-standard, and access to health care was almost nonexistent.

There are many families just like them in Tijuana’s Colonia Margarita Moran, families that are struggling to survive in an area where poverty is rampant and opportunities are slim.

Thanks to life-changing efforts by UCLA undergraduates, a small community medical clinic is the family’s only source of medical care. It was there late last year that they received an invaluable gift that lifted a huge weight off the family’s shoulders — a wheelchair for their 14-year-old son, who had to be carried everywhere because he has cerebral palsy.

“Watching Mercedes wheel Emmanuel out of the clinic with such relief, and realizing the impact the chair will have on their family, illustrates the reason we operate our clinic,” said UCLA senior Becky Barber, who along with fellow neuroscience student Lyolya Hovhannisyan founded the UCLA chapter of Flying Samaritans in 2013. The nationwide group brings together volunteers and health care providers to deliver basic medical services, including clinical evaluations, medication and health education classes.

“On a micro-level, knowing we can improve the quality of life for people in this community makes our work here worthwhile,” said Barber. She and Hovhannisyan, both seniors and aspiring doctors, received a $10,000 scholarship from the Donald A. Strauss Foundation in 2013 to support their efforts.

Volunteer student and patient Enrique Juarez Gonzalez

Barber learned about the need in Colonia Margarita Moran after hearing about the work of Dr. Maria Sarabia, a Mexican-trained doctor and Huntington Park resident who, for roughly three years, had been providing religious education and the best medical service in the Tijuana colonia. After speaking with Hovhannisyan about Dr. Sarabia’s efforts and considering what they could do to help, they founded UCLA Flying Samaritans and its small medical clinic in Colonia Margarita Moran.

In May 2013, the group began the first of nearly a dozen visits to the clinic and saw 26 patients. Now they see more than double that number each month, with the group’s outreach efforts making more residents aware of the clinic’s services. The clinic opens the third Saturday of the month with volunteer doctors and often more than a dozen UCLA students.

Most of the ailments the volunteer doctors see are preventable, said Hovhannisyan. They include hypertension, diabetes, sexually transmitted infections and waterborne illnesses, all of which can be sharply reduced through education and outreach programming, she said.

Other factors, including little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, clean water or warm dry places to live, make health prevention efforts more challenging. Barber said that ongoing community assessments and speaking with locals will help them better serve the people living there.

“This is a big part of our current efforts to identify the resources available to the community and give us a better understanding of the factors that are leading to a decreased quality of life,” said Hovhannisyan. “Our clinic will target the issues we find to be most clearly decreasing quality of life and implement projects to directly address these problems.”

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Medical students help ‘connect’ uninsured to health care


Students making a difference in the community.

UCLA medical student Caleb Wilson (standing) talks to student volunteers Lisa Nicholson of UCLA (from the left) and Emma de Montelongo of USC while Natalie Mendez, a client, looks on.

Taking blood pressure readings at health fairs was not exactly Caleb Wilson’s idea of connecting with patients. A second-year medical student at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, he wanted to do more. “What can medical students do to make a real difference?” he asked.

His response to that question is making a big difference to the Southern California community that he and other UCLA medical students are currently serving.

Wilson, 24, along with first-year medical students Jeff Fujimoto and Brandon Scott, both 25, started a UCLA student outreach and education group last fall, based on a partnership between UCLA student chapters of the American Medical Association and the Student National Medical Association. All three are leaders of these chapters. The goal of the group, Connecting Californians to Care, is to “connect” the state’s uninsured — an estimated 7 million people — to health insurance. The group also has chapters at USC and UC San Diego.

So instead of spending a recent Saturday salsa dancing or playing football – his usual ways of decompressing from the rigors of medical school —  or tutoring fellow students, Wilson was at a community outreach center off Hollywood Boulevard helping the uninsured enroll in health care.

Although heavy rain kept turnout low, Wilson and the other volunteers were upbeat. “It’s a contagious excitement,” Wilson said.

“Medicine has a very human aspect to it,” said Fujimoto in an email. “Reaching out to people and connecting help us become more well-rounded people and physicians as well.”

During the community outreach event, students determined if an individual qualifies for Medi-Cal or Covered California; explained the ins and outs of tax credits, coverage tiers and insurers; then sat down with the person while they enrolled online.

Natalie Mendoza, 25, hasn’t had health insurance for seven years. “I’m lucky I haven’t had any problems,” she said. After studying the enrollment website with student volunteers, she said she would probably go for a bronze or silver plan. “I feel good knowing the options.”

Wilson, Fujimoto and Scott developed the training curriculum for the volunteers with their group adviser, Dylan H. Roby, director of the Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and an assistant professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

The three students, along with 20 others in the group, are also training to become state-certified enrollment counselors in conjunction with the Saban Community Clinic.

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Related link:
Why UC is participating in Covered California

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UC Global Health Day registration opens


Event will be April 26 at UC Davis.

The 2014 UC Global Health Day is a showcase of the research, training and outreach in global health being undertaken across the University of California. This event is a unique opportunity to hear from University of California faculty, students and staff about the diversity of global health work they are doing around the world. The day will feature plenary sessions, posters and several concurrent breakout sessions covering a broad range of global health topics. Learn more about this event.

Online registration is now open. Please click here to register. Space is limited so register today.

The registration fee is $50 for general admission, $25 for students (Registration is non-refundable; one ticket per person, per transaction) Note: If you are a poster presenter or breakout session presenter, you will receive complimentary registration, so please do NOT register online.

Keynote speakers for the 2014 UC Global Health Day include:

  • Janet Napolitano, president, University of California
  • Jonathan M. Samet, director, USC Institute for Global Health; Distinguished Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • Andrew Hargadon, Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship; professor of technology management; founding director, Center for Entrepreneurship, UC Davis Graduate School of Management
  • Jonna Mazet, executive director, One Health Institute; professor of epidemiology and disease ecology, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

The deadline for the UC Global Health Day Video Challenge is soon approaching (March 31). This video challenge is your chance to share your passion for global health and showcase your work in the field. For details, click here.

Visit the UCGHI website for more information.

Related link:
Global health videos on UCTV

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Pharmacy education growing rapidly, easing workforce shortages


Growth seen in California and across the nation.

Enrollment in pharmacy education programs has increased significantly, according to a new report from the University of California. (iStock photo)

>>View pharmacy education report

The landscape for pharmacy education has changed dramatically in recent years, as rapid growth in new schools and student enrollment has eased state and regional workforce shortages, according to a new report from the University of California.

An Era of Growth and Change: A Closer Look at Pharmacy Education and Practice” follows a report UC issued last May examining growth and recent trends in health professions education.

Enrollment in pharmacy education programs has increased significantly, following a nationwide pharmacist shortage that developed in the late 1990s. National trends now suggest that the supply of pharmacists is growing much faster than previously projected. Since 2005, the number of accredited U.S. pharmacy schools has increased by 48 percent, from 87 to 129, with most of the growth occurring at private institutions.

“Enrollment in pharmacy education programs has grown substantially in the past decade – faster than the previous 25 to 30 years,” said Cathryn Nation, M.D., UC associate vice president for health sciences. “This report will be an important tool for policymakers and higher education leaders, highlighting trends that will inform efforts to address the challenges posed by health care reform, an aging population and the ongoing demand for pharmacy services.”

In particular, California has been home to significant growth in pharmacy education. Since 2002, four new pharmacy schools have opened in the state, doubling the number of programs in California from four to eight over the past decade. Other institutions appear interested in opening new pharmacy schools in California within the next few years.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Demand for pharmacists in California is beginning to fall in balance with the state’s growing   supply of pharmacists.
  • Significant growth in pharmacy educational opportunities has occurred throughout California, with the majority of enrollment increases happening at private institutions.
  • California faces a shortage of well-qualified faculty to train future pharmacists.
  • Disparities in health status, changing demographics and the evolving roles of pharmacists in health care delivery will require increased diversity and cultural competence of the workforce.
  • There is a substantial mismatch between the number of residency training positions available and increasing student interest (pharmacy residency positions are post-graduate, advanced training positions that are available following completion of a Pharm.D. degree).

The report includes findings about California’s educational programs and recommendations relevant to the UC system, which operates two pharmacy schools: UC San Francisco, ranked as the nation’s top pharmacy school by U.S. News & World Report, and UC San Diego, whose pharmacy school opened in 2002.

“As we look to the future, pharmacy education must remain relevant and aligned with the needs of patients,” said B. Joseph Guglielmo, Pharm.D., dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. “This report provides an overview of the pharmacy landscape and a valuable resource for the UC system and our colleagues throughout the state.”

The UC system operates the nation’s largest health sciences instructional program, with 17 professional schools in seven major health professions, including pharmacy education. UC’s two pharmacy schools accounted for 182 (approximately 21 percent) of California’s 849 graduating pharmacy students in 2011.

California pharmacy schools:

Public schools/institutions
UC San Francisco
UC San Diego (first class admitted in 2002)

Private schools/institutions
University of the Pacific
University of Southern California
Western University of Health Sciences
Loma Linda University (first class admitted in 2002)
Touro University (first class admitted in 2005)
California Northstate University (first class admitted in 2008)

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

UC San Francisco
Kristen Bole
(415) 502-6397 (NEWS)
kristen.bole@ucsf.edu

UC San Diego
Jacqueline Carr
(619) 543-6427
jcarr@ucsd.edu

About UC Health
University of California Health includes five academic health centers with 10 hospitals and 17 health professional schools in seven fields on seven UC campuses – UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. For more information, visit http://health.universityofcalifornia.edu.

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A night at the UCSF Homeless Clinic


First-year medical student describes volunteer experience.

At the UCSF Homeless Clinic, students work with preceptors to provide medical care for some of the men and women who need it most in San Francisco.

By Jeffrey Chen

The first time I go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Francisco, I leave my white coat at home.

The Society provides shelter for over 400 transient men and women each night. It’s also the location of the UCSF Homeless Clinic, which is where I’m headed tonight, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Many of the men and women who come to the clinic have had negative experiences with healthcare providers in the past. A white coat may be the last thing they want to see.

People come to this shelter in the South of Market neighborhood to find reprieve from the vicious cycles of homelessness, violence and substance abuse that they encounter on the streets. Here, they are able to get help, whether it’s to find permanent housing, employment, education, or simply a warm bed to stay for the night and food to sustain them through the day.

And since 1992, on every Tuesday and Thursday night, these men and women have been able to get free medical care right at the shelter.

Jeffrey Chen, a first-year medical student at UC San Francisco

Since its founding 22 years ago, the UCSF Homeless Clinic has drawn medical students and local community physicians to volunteer their time caring for the patients most in need in San Francisco. Since then, the clinic has expanded to include nursing, pharmacy, premedical and even law students.

The clinic draws student volunteers from UCSF schools of medicine, nursing and pharmacy, as well as premedical students from the University of San Francisco and law students from the UC Hastings College of the Law.

Each group has their role: pharmacy students, for example, will help patients go over their medication lists and help them figure out how to stick to their regimens, while premedical students will help coordinate referrals to San Francisco General Hospital, the Tom Waddell Clinic or other local health centers that focus on care for indigent populations.

Because some patients have needs that are hard for the biweekly general clinic to address, students now also hold a dermatology clinic one Tuesday a month and a women’s clinic 1-2 Sundays a month.

As we walk in the doors of the shelter, our stethoscopes set off the metal detectors, loudly declaring our arrival. Before we cross the room to set up shop, a few residents approach us, asking if they can be seen. One man needs help with his diarrhea, which has been keeping him up at night; another with his swollen, painful toe.

Matt Bald, a second-year student and veteran volunteer assures them that we’ll be back to check on them as soon as we’re set up. I will be shadowing Matt throughout this night.

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Grant renewed for project rewarding use of designated drivers


UC Irvine’s Health Education Center will expand anti-DUI effort to 30 California campuses.

Doug Everhart, UC Irvine

Doug Everhart, UC Irvine

UC Irvine’s Health Education Center has received a grant of $673,000 from the California Office of Traffic Safety – through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – to promote responsible alcohol consumption and safe driving. It’s the fifth consecutive year the center has been awarded such a grant.

In partnership with RADD, “the entertainment industry’s voice for road safety,” UC Irvine has organized 19 universities into a California College DUI Awareness Project consortium over the last four years. The new funding will facilitate that work, permitting the addition of two new regions and 11 more campuses.

RADD encourages bars and restaurants to provide free nonalcoholic drinks, appetizers and other incentives to designated drivers carrying a RADD card. Participating businesses get free listings on regional websites and a RADD rewards card.

“This project continues to grow because of the powerful partnerships that are created,” said Doug Everhart, director of the Health Education Center and principal investigator on the grant project. “The participating establishments understand and value their responsibility to recognize and reward sober designated drivers, who serve a very important role in getting their friends home safely. This business/consumer relationship also contributes to a positive town-and-gown relationship between campuses and the communities in which students live and socialize.”

UC Irvine data shows that most students on campus already make good decisions when it comes to being safe after consuming alcohol, said Rosezetta Henderson, grants coordinator at the Health Education Center. “This program reinforces those positive decisions by giving students an approach they can immediately benefit from,” she said.

The project currently comprises 19 campuses in six regions: San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, Sacramento and San Francisco’s South Bay area. It will be expanded this grant year to include 11 new campuses in the Central Coast and Central Valley.

The California College DUI Awareness Project uses a variety of tactics to get its message across. At UC Irvine, the RADD Crew appears at campus events such as Shocktoberfest, Reggaefest and Wayzgoose and speaks to Greek leaders and athletic teams. Toyota donated a 2012 Scion xB wrapped with RADD graphics to help spread the word.

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Students learn by doing good


Global children’s oral health, nutrition program helps stem tooth decay around the world.

Global Children's Oral Health and Nutrition ProgramEvery year since 2010, Dr. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, Dr. Susan Ivey and a group of students have taken toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a big pink and white model of teeth to Latin America and, since 2011, Asia. There, they teach communities about nutrition and oral health. The Global Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program was created to stem the epidemic rise in tooth decay in developing countries around the world. Sokal-Gutierrez is an associate clinical professor and Ivey an associate adjunct professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Both teach in the UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program.

The program began in El Salvador in 2003, where Sokal-Gutierrez noticed a trend in tooth decay of children up to 6 years old. Since then, the program has expanded to Nepal, India, Vietnam, Ecuador and Peru. Sokal-Gutierrez and Ivey estimate that the program has served about 10,000 children and their parents since its inception. But the Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Program has also made another big impact, this time on the UC Berkeley campus: bringing transformative experiences to students launching their careers in public health, medicine and dentistry.

“How can we do our best to improve the health of children, and how can we do our best to mentor the students and give them this good hands-on opportunity?” asks Sokal-Gutierrez. “I’m always trying to pay attention to both of those things.”

In the decade since it began, nearly 200 volunteers have participated in the program. Most are UC Berkeley undergraduates who plan to pursue careers in public health, medicine, and dentistry. They also include graduate students and professionals from the fields of medicine, dentistry and public health. Additionally, Sokal-Gutierrez and Ivey often seek out students whose families emigrated from countries where this program might be needed. It offers a chance for students to connect abstract concepts to real-world scenarios, take on positions of leadership, and be mentors in medicine and public health.

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