On October 1, I had the honor of officially launching a new center for behavioral health research at UC Davis. What started as a conversation with then Senate pro tem Darrell Steinberg in March 2013, ended with $7.5 million initial funding to establish the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. Funding came from the Mental Health Services Act, also known as Prop. 63. Dr. Cameron Carter has been named Executive Director of the center.
Senator Steinberg helped launch the center Oct. 1, 2014
A similar center launched at UCLA on October 14 with our partners, Drs. Peter Whybrow, Ken Wells and Cynthia Telles. Plans are underway for the individual centers, as well as collaborative efforts to improve the lives of Californians.
Here are some pictures from the ribbon cutting ceremonies. I will write more about how these funds will support research at UC Davis, in partnership with our communities. For now, I am still honored and humbled to found the center and celebrate such momentous occasions.
UCLA launch celebration, Oct. 14, 2014. Pictured r to l: Drs. Telles and Whybrow, Senator Steinberg, Drs. Meyers, Carter and Wells
I have served as a board member of the A.P. Giannini Foundation for several years. I want to encourage everyone at UC Davis to apply for the 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program.
Since 1951, the Foundation has awarded over 750 fellowships to postdoctoral biomedical researchers sponsored by California’s accredited medical schools. The Foundation awards new fellowships each year on a competitive, peer-review basis and fund the fellowship for a maximum of three years based on satisfactory performance. The program supports innovative research in the basic sciences and applied fields and trains fellows to become established investigators. The research should advance the translation of biomedical science into treatments, preventions and cures for human diseases.
Further information about the program can be found at www.apgianninifoundation.org.
I want to publically thank Vice Chancellor and Dean Julie Freischlag for honoring me with the Hero’s Award on June 11. Julie created the Hero’s Award for UC Davis in recognition of above and beyond institutional commitment, outstanding service during times of change, exemplary community service and responsibility, and making a positive difference. As this first recipient of this award, I am even more honored. The beautiful award sits front and center on my desk, a reminder of what more I can do to continue advancing health for our region, and this country. Thank you, Julie.
Speaking of advancing health, I’m pleased to share that UC Davis and UCLA have been awarded $15 million to establish Behavioral Health Centers of Excellence. Our teams are working on public announcements and finalizing details. It will take some time for the money to be distributed to us now that the 2014-15 state budget was signed on June 20. The Centers will be helpful in connecting research to the people of California to aid in what I now call a public health, or population level, crisis of mental illness.
In this moment, though, I am reflecting on the year plus discussions we’ve had with thought leaders in mental and behavioral health that led to this generous award. First and foremost I want to thank Pro Tem Senator Darrell Steinberg for his vision and support, as well as his team including Dr. Louis Vismara, Darby Kernan and Craig Cornett. I look forward to working even more closely with our esteemed partners at the UCLA Semel Institute, Drs. Peter Whybrow, Ken Wells, and Cynthia Telles. Of course, my colleagues at UC Davis have been working tirelessly on our proposal, with particular thanks to Dr. Cameron Carter whose Sac EDAPT program illuminated the Senator’s ideas, Bob Waste for his governmental relations expertise, and to the staff who kept all the parts moving forward, especially Kristy Trouchon who is the project manager for this effort. We could not have created the Behavioral Health Centers of Excellence alone. I am grateful to everyone who helped. I look forward to sharing more information as we move forward.
“Chance favors the prepared network.” - Professor Andrew Hargadon, UC Davis Graduate School of Management
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford
The School of Medicine leadership received the results of our LCME accreditation site visit. The results are extremely positive as a stand alone report. The school had only one citation, in comparison to the national average of six. In addition, when we compare this result to our last site visit eight years ago, the improvement is astounding. This is a very proud moment for us.
The road to this point was long and arduous. But we together early on, we stayed together throughout, and we were able to achieve success. Many people worked with diligence and great strategy, especially over the last 4 years. Dr. Mark Servis, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, and Roy Rai, who manages the Office of Medical Education, led this effort. Having been involved throughout, I wish I could name every person who helped with this effort. Every effort counted.
Working together is, indeed, success.
NIH provided some New Year cheer with the announcement that $40 million in funding opportunities are now available as part of its initial investment in the new BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), which is an inter-agency effort among NIH, National Science Foundation and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency “to build a new arsenal of tools and technologies for unlocking the mysteries of the brain.”
I helped to convene an interdisciplinary UC Davis working group that met in December to discuss the exciting possibilities created by this new national research priority. We strongly encourage faculty to begin formulating collaborations and planning to apply for the first wave of NIH grants that are due in March. UC Davis is uniquely positioned to win these new research awards and further our leadership in improving the scientific foundation for the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders.
Click here for more information about the six new NIH funding opportunities and please send me an email if you would like to join the next meeting of the UC Davis BRAIN initiative working group.
Here’s to a great start for 2014!
I am pleased to share that UC Davis Health System hit a new high in August with $230 million in research funding for 972 active grants and contracts. Congratulations to everyone who helped us reach such an impressive milestone!
I was in a meeting earlier this week and mentioned this newly updated interactive map as a great resource for understanding, and striving to reduce, health disparities:
This map validates so many of our efforts at UC Davis Health System and UC Davis. Our colleagues throughout the University of California share a vision of advancing health in all ways and for all Californians. This map helps define where health disparities are greatest.
In the past month, I heard from two former patients. I helped these patients with cutting-edge cancer treatments decades ago. One of the patients had very little chance of surviving but here he is today, exchanging email messages with me 30 years of birthday celebrations and loving life later. The other patient had an odd form of cancer 20 years ago. She sent me an email to thank me for treating her, and to let me know that a young family member had developed the same cancer at the same age.
It gives me great pleasure to know that I made a difference in their lives. This motivates me to do even more, like serving on the board of the American Cancer Society and creating the UC Davis Health System team for their Relay for Life on April 13.
Please join the UC Davis Health System Relay for Life team, or consider a donation to the team, by visiting http://bit.ly/YnO9Yg.
One of the really great advances in health is here at UC Davis, the Women in Medicine and Health Sciences. I’m very proud of the work they do. They have substantial grants and collaborate with Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) programs across the country. I’m pleased to share their new website so you can see the important work they are doing to advance health:
March 12 and the 2013 Integrating Quality Symposium: Linking Clinical and Educational Excellence will be here soon. This is our third annual symposium and I am pleased to see the growth in interest throughout UC Davis Health System.
This year, with more than 90 abstracts submitted, the Symposium Committee had a tough time selecting which ones to accept for posters or podium presentations. It’s a good problem to have. We were pleased to see the increase in quality initiatives as well as the diversity in project teams, including more Pharmacology residents and Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership graduate program students.
I hope you will join us to hear from our keynote speakers. Brenda Zierler, Professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing and School of Medicine, will speak about interprofessional education and collaborative practice as approaches to improve the quality and safety of health care.
Heather M. Young, Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, UC Davis Health System, and Founding Dean, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, will share insights on person-centered care coordination and promoting quality.
Full details, including the agenda and how to register with our Office of Continuing Medical Education, are available here: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/quality/index.html.