Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 22nd, 2013 in General | No Comments »

It’s my great pleasure to kick off the New Year by recognizing some of the outstanding discovery done by UC Davis Health System researchers. Three UC Davis MIND Institute research studies are included in the Top 10 Autism Research Achievements of 2012 as identified by Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy and research organization. Jeanne Conry, associate clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was recently honored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an environmental health champion for her national leadership to advance understanding of the risk to reproductive health of exposures to environmental toxins.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

A thank you note

Posted on November 20th, 2012 in General | No Comments »

It was publicly announced yesterday that my colleague, Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA, will be stepping down from her position as Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. Claire and I have worked together for many years. I value her mentorship and career development.

I have admired her passion for social justice and advancing health for all. Her leadership has raised the bar for UC Davis Health System, with record high research funding and programs that make a difference in our community, to name a few of her accomplishments. I know she will make a difference in our nation’s health care system. I look forward to hearing about her accomplishments in the coming years.

As noted in the public announcements, a transition plan will be announced. Change isn’t easy, but the good news is that UC Davis Health System is poised to achieve even greater heights, thanks to Claire Pomeroy.

On the money …

Posted on October 25th, 2012 in General | No Comments »

This part of the following Hospitals & Health Network article, Steering Med Students into General Practice, by David Ollier Weber, provides a positive snapshot of UC Davis School of Medicine:

http://www.hhnmag.com/hhnmag/HHNDaily/HHNDailyDisplay.dhtml?id=5300008224

“Each year, the Association of American Medical Colleges surveys the new class of matriculating students nationwide on a variety of subjects, including what influenced them in their decisions to become doctors. In 2011 — the most recent survey — four in seven cited as a positive motivation “anticipated salary.”

To be fair, the remainder said money was not a lure, and many more — almost 80 percent — declared that the “competitiveness/challenge” of medicine had been a major attractant. (The listed career influences were not mutually exclusive.) Besides, says Tonya Fancher, M.D., of the University of California Davis School of Medicine, the lucrative options in business and finance available to the kind of top academic performers who opt for medical schools suggest that, “If your goal is to make a lot of money, medicine is not really the way to go.”

Fancher, a primary general internist and educator herself, knows whereof she speaks. And she has a strong reason for hoping her students aren’t just motivated by the big bucks. She directs the Transforming Education and Community Health for Medical Students program at Davis, whose focus is expanding medical student interest and involvement in serving inner-city populations. She’s also the associate director for curriculum for the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley PRIME program, which is similarly oriented toward encouraging primary care careers in rural areas.

Davis has long been a medical school with an emphasis on graduating primary care physicians. But efforts to steer more students into primary care — internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or obstetrics/gynecology — despite the allure of such better paid specialties as neurosurgery, cardiology or urology, are in full swing across the country, according to Carol Aschenbrener, chief medical education officer at the AAMC in Washington, DC.

Clinical experience in primary care and ambulatory settings is now a requirement at all U.S. schools, she points out. Eighty of them have clinical campuses in smaller cities where students can gain exposure to the relationship-based satisfactions of primary care — as opposed, she notes, to the usually briefer, shallower and more intermittent patient contacts that characterize most specialty practices.”

Helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds

Posted on October 4th, 2012 in General | No Comments »

I asked Tonya Fancher, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Program Director, UC Merced San Joaquin Valley PRIME, to share our recent good news about scholarships for medical students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the words of Dr. Fancher:

With the support of a recently announced $2.5 million Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the UC Davis School of Medicine can provide increased numbers of scholarships to disadvantaged students with the greatest financial need, thereby addressing one of the major barriers to pursing an advanced degree in medicine.

Underserved communities are at risk for sub-optimal health due in part to inadequate and unequal distribution of primary care physicians and a primary care physician workforce that fails to reflect the community demographic. UC Davis School of Medicine’s community-oriented program locates learning within rural (Rural PRIME), urban (TEACH-MS) and San Joaquin Valley (UC Merced San Joaquin Valley PRIME) medically underserved communities, prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and builds upon local expertise in inter-professional care and cultural humility.

In addition, the School of Medicine will:

  • expand the range of outreach and recruitment programs that enhance the pipeline toward medical school admissions;
  • enhance its array of support services to ensure that students complete medical school and achieve success on their path toward graduation, residency and clinical practice;
  • continue to implement existing recruitment and retention programs and services; and
  • strengthen and expand upon existing programs to expose and encourage students to choose primary care careers and/or to practice in medically underserved communities.

This grant recognizes the School of Medicine’s successes to date in recruiting disadvantaged and under-represented minority students and the great philanthropic support from our communities including the alumni association and generous donors in our region.

New perspectives on health informatics

Posted on August 29th, 2012 in General | 2 Comments »

UC Davis has developed a great reputation for Health Informatics in many ways, from a highly ranked EHRR system at UC Davis Medical Center, to leadership of Telehealth services throughout the State of California (and a new building to house it officially opening in October!), as well as a graduate group program to educate the next generation. The Institute of Population Health Improvement recently landed a $30 million contract to manage the California Cancer Registry.

In an effort to bring our collective efforts to the next level, the schools of health leaders came together this summer to launch a search for a new Director of Health Informatics Research. This new position will lead the Health System research and education efforts to develop and integrate innovative technologies; integrate large-scale electronic health records, disease registries, human genomics content, and other data repositories; advance telehealth through research and education to extend excellence in care to rural and underserved communities; create, apply and disseminate knowledge about population health and informatics; and foster inter-professional and interdisciplinary research and education approaches to resolve address health issues.

Meanwhile, with an eye to the future of educating the next generation of Health Informaticists, Dr. Edward “Ted” Shortliffe will visit UC Davis on September 18 and 19. Dr. Shortliffe is a professor at Columbia University and a nationally recognized leader in Health Informatics education.  UC Davis colleagues are welcome to join the following discussions on Wed., Sept. 19, 2012 in the Education Building:

  • 8:35 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. – The Role of Informatics in interprofessional education; GME, Strategic Plan Goal 3 and Goal 8.2
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Informatics Clinical Research and Improving Quality of Care, Strategic Plan Goal 8.2
  • 10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – IT Foundations
  • 12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.- Lecture (open to all) The Future of Biomedical Informatics: A Perspective from Academia, Lecture Hall 1222
  • 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.–Research Informatics at UC Davis, Strategic Plan Goal 4 and Goal 8
  • 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.–Pre-review of Graduate Group in Informatics self-study

If you are interested in attending any or all sessions, please email Kristy Bird Trouchon at kristy.trouchon@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu before Sept. 14.

Refreshed

Posted on August 14th, 2012 in General | No Comments »

I don’t take vacation often and as my wife would say, I should take more time off. This past week, Linda and I went hiking in the Pacific Northwest. We were completely unplugged. It was refreshing. Work-life balance is important for all of us, whether we’re students or faculty. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking time to be in nature. As Jack Johnson says in one of his songs, “The wisdom is in the trees and not the glass windows.” The trees we enjoyed were 300 years old in the Olympic Peninsula Rain Forest.

I encourage you to check out the UC Davis Health System news section and read about the new Integrating Quality course taught by an interprofessional team of faculty from the schools of Medicine and Nursing. An AAMC workshop was conducted on Holistic Admissions, where a team of faculty, students and staff learned ways to align the School of Medicine process with the vision of UC Davis Health System.

Welcome to the second class of SJV PRIME students

Posted on July 25th, 2012 in General | No Comments »

Advancing health in the San Joaquin Valley has been a great concern for many people, particularly those who live there and experience the need for better care. Access to care, due in part to a lack of practicing physicians in the region, is part of the problem. UC Merced, in a joint partnership with UC Davis and UCSF-Fresno, established the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (PRIME) several years ago in an effort to educate and encourage medical students to deliver care in the Valley.

The San Joaquin Valley PRIME came one step closer toward addressing the need for better access to care by welcoming the new cohort of students. I’d like to welcome the second cohort of 6 students, who join the first group, affectionately called the Valley Five:

  • Fabian Alberto from Soledad
  • Karina Martinez Juarez from Ceres
  • Filmon Mehanzel from Tracy
  • Kristine Ongaigui from Fresno
  • Maricela Rangel-Garcia from Clovis
  • Katy Ruch from Fresno

These students will begin their medical education at UC Davis and complete year 3 at UCSF –Fresno. As we hold our Induction Ceremony (also called the White Coat Ceremony) this weekend, I will welcome these students and their classmates with Vice Chancellor and Dean Claire Pomeroy and all our faculty.

You can read more about this second class in the press release. As I’m quoted in the press release as saying, this class reflects the realization of the missions of PRIME, educating a diverse, professional work force who can serve the communities of California and improve both health care and population health. These students could have chosen many other medical schools. We are proud to have attracted such a fine group who are committed to our program’s success. We are confident that they, like the Valley 5, will make lasting contributions to the long-term success of the program.

School of Medicine admissions update

Posted on July 16th, 2012 in General | 2 Comments »

The admissions process for the School of Medicine has had an almost complete overhaul in recent years and the results are impressive. One of the most comprehensive improvements is to enroll and train health professionals who reflect the population of California.

For the 2012-13 academic year, we are on track to have nearly 110 medical students, of whom approximately 42 percent are underrepresented minorities – students whose ethnicities aren’t typically represented at medical schools, including Latino, African American, native American, and selected Southeast Asians, such as Vietnamese and Hmong.

This increase is due in large part to profound and innovative changes in our admissions process. Our entire admissions process was automated in 2010, allowing us a comprehensive review of all applications and a speedier progression in all phases of admissions, including initial offers within two weeks of an interview. In addition, we implemented the multiple mini-interview process in 2010, which has enabled a more holistic review of each applicant. In 2011, we initiated a personalized revisit program to all accepted applicants to each shadow a specialist of their choice, to sit in on a lecture, and to consult one-on-one with the financial aid team.

To support and sustain these changes, we will enhance various student support areas in the coming year, including additional academic support for our students by adding two positions to our Academic Services team. More details will be announced soon.

Also, representatives from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) will be here twice this summer, one to train our faculty, students and staff on the holistic review . The other visit by the AAMC Careers in Medicine team will train our career advisors, students, staff, leadership and faculty. The Careers in Medicine program helps medical students identify career goals, explore specialty and practice options, choose a specialty, select and apply to residency programs, and make good career decisions.

I thank the many people involved in making these significant, system-wide changes which will impact how we advance health for generations to come.

1 + 1 = 4

Posted on July 12th, 2012 in General | 2 Comments »

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be inspired by an extraordinary group of people — students from our schools of health. Over lunch, 6 medical students, 2 School of Nursing students, 3 Family Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant students, 3 Health Informatics students and 1 Public Health Master’s student discussed several topics.

In light of our ongoing need to be transparent, we discussed the rising cost of fees particularly in the School of Medicine and the Informatics program. I promised to present an overview of how finances work to them at a future date; this presentation will be open to all students.

The students gave great input on our growing interprofessional needs and offered suggestions that I will explore. I liked hearing how our student run clinics, which are typically led by medical students, could collaborate with the informatics students to implement electronic medical records and work with other students for much-needed resources to improve the quality of care.

It was the kind of meeting of the minds that continues my faith that we at UC Davis are better together and that 1 + 1 = 4.

Improving population health

Posted on June 29th, 2012 in General | 2 Comments »

With only a year at UC Davis Health System, Kenneth W. Kizer has made great strides at the Institute of Population Health Improvement. Kizer, the Institute’s Director, announced this week a $30 million partnership with the California Department of Public Health to run the California Cancer Registry, one of the world’s leading resources for population-based data on cancer.

In May, the California Health and Human Services Agency announced a $20 million plan to partner with the Institute at UC Davis to implement the Health Information Exchange (HIE) programs. The HIE will help strengthen health-care services in California.

The Cancer Registry and Health Information Exchange program provide important data for research that will advance the health of everyone throughout the State.