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UCLA Health
David Geffen School of Medicine


The California Community Foundation’s Centinela Valley Medical Funds has awarded the UCLA Department of Neurology a $600,000 grant for the stroke-prevention, care-coordination and delivery program called SUCCEED. Led by Dr. Barbara Vickrey (FEL ’90), professor of neurology, SUCCEED is culturally adapted for African-American, Hispanic, Chinese and Korean populations and, in partnership with the Watts Labor Community Action Committee and the Worker Education and Resource Center, addresses unmet medical needs of and barriers to post-stroke risk-factor control. Through this program, Centinela Valley residents who are hospitalized at either Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center or Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will be offered a team-care approach over a 12-month time frame after a stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Alumni and longtime friends and supporters of UCLA Carol and James Collins have pledged $1 million to support the Alzheimer’s Risk Reduction Initiative in the UCLA Longevity Center under the direction of Dr. Gary Small (FEL ’83). The initiative is a research project that examines lifestyle modifications and their potential to delay Alzheimer’s symptoms. This gift from the Collins family will continue their legacy of advancing medical discoveries and will ensure UCLA’s role as a leader in reducing Alzheimer’s and dementia suffering, while accelerating research that benefits people globally.

Singer and actor Steve Lawrence made a lead gift to the Institute of Urologic Oncology (IUO) to honor his late wife and performance partner Eydie Gormé, who died in August 2013. The gift will establish the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé Patient Center within the IUO. The patient center on the third floor of the new Edie & Lew Wasserman Building is designed to be a space of healing while offering added privacy for IUO patients. It features artwork provided by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a large monitor that presents educational information to visitors.

The Della Martin Foundation has made a $1-million pledge to establish the Della Martin Educational Endowment in Developmental Neurobiology in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. This endowment will facilitate the education and research development of postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty in the Semel Institute (the Della Martin Scholars) who are seeking a career in developmental neuroscience.

In 1981, UCLA physicians reported the world’s first AIDS cases. The McCarthy Family Foundation — one of the most steadfast supporters of the UCLA AIDS Institute — has made a new gift of $500,000 with the intent to help the institute end the disease in the very place it was discovered. The funds will serve as a catalyst for the HIV Extinction Project, which brings together a team of researchers with expertise in stem-cell and anti-retroviral therapies, immune function, genetics, vaccines and new technologies and will advance their most innovative and original ideas. The contribution will help the institute, led by internationally respected virologist Dr. Irvin S.Y. Chen, accelerate the pace of pilot work that has already shown great promise and enhance UCLA’s ability to leverage early results into significant breakthroughs in the search for a cure.

In loving memory of their beloved daughter Robyn Faye Weinstein, Susan Pondfield and Bill Mentlik have established and endowed the Robyn Faye Weinstein Memorial Fund for Liver Transplantation. The fund will serve as a lasting tribute to Ms. Weinstein, who passed away at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on April 8, 2014, and to her unending desire to help others. Ms. Weinstein’s sister, Dr. Stacey Weinstein (RES ’14), who now is pursuing the Kennamer Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at UCLA, has been involved in the fund’s establishment.

The Jean Perkins Foundation continues its commitment to the UCLA Health Sciences through several recent major gifts. The Department of Urology received funding for the groundbreaking bladder-cancer research of Dr. Arnold Chin (MD ’03, RES ’09), and for the focal-therapy and targeted-biopsy work of Dr. Leonard Marks (RES ’73, ’78), Jean B. deKernion, M.D., Chair in Urology. In addition, the foundation directed the contribution to the bone-growth research of Dr. Justine Lee (FEL ’13), in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; to the newly created Restorative Transplantation Research Collaborative, spearheaded by Dr. Kodi Azari (FEL ’04), which focuses on the immunological and nerve-regeneration challenges of vascularized composite allotransplantation; and to the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology to support the surgical simulator program under the direction of Dr. E. Carmack Holmes. In addition, the UCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology benefited from this philanthropy.

The UCLA Division of General Surgery received a $250,000 contribution from multiple donors, including comedian Garry Shandling, to establish a new endowed lectureship in pancreatic diseases. The lectureship will honor the accomplishments and legacy of Dr. Howard A. Reber, distinguished professor emeritus of surgery and former director of the Section of Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Surgery. The speaker series will foster collaboration and promote education by enabling UCLA to welcome experts from around the world to visit and share their knowledge

Three complementary patient programs centered on compassionate care at UCLA will benefit from a gift from the Samuel Steinberg donor-advised fund at the California Community Foundation to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. The gift will support the Palliative Care Clinical Research Program, the establishment of a Geriatric Inpatient Care Companion Program and the Children’s Pain and Com­fort Care Program. These programs will advance the palliative-care research and education work of Dr. Thomas Strouse (RES ’91), Maddie Katz Endowed Chair in Palliative Care Research and Education; geriatric inpatient care in UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; and pediatric pain and palliative-care service at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.

For more information, contact Health Sciences Development at: (310) 267-1845


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