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UCLA Names New Chief of Interventional Radiology

 The Department of Radiological Sciences has appointed Dr. Stephen Kee chief of interventional radiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His primary focus will be on enhancing the caliber and breadth of the hospital’s interventional radiology services.
“My goal is to build the No. 1 fellowship training program in the country,” says Dr. Kee, who spent 10 years at Stanford University as an associate professor of radiology and surgery before joining UCLA. “I aim to re-establish UCLA as the leading clinical enterprise in interventional radiology on theWest Coast.”
“Dr. Kee is an enthusiastic, dynamic physician with an impressive range of expertise in interventional radiology,” says Dr. Dieter Enzmann, department chairman. “I am very pleased that he will be leading and growing our interventional radiology program.” Dr. Kee’s research pursues new treatments for vascular disease using biodegradable stents and examines new technologies for more precise removal of cancerous tissue.
A native of Donegal, Ireland, Dr. Kee received his medical training in Dublin. He completed fellowships in thoracic imaging at UC San Francisco, and in interventional radiology at Stanford University.

UCLA Medical Center Earns Top Honor for Nursing Excellence

UCLA Medical Center has become one of only seven California hospitals to earn Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Announced Oct. 17, 2005, the designation recognizes healthcare facilities that deliver the top tier in nursing practice and patient care.
“Magnet status is nursing’s top honor, and accepted as the national gold standard in nursing excellence,” says Heidi Crooks, R.N., chief nursing executive and senior associate director of operations and patient-care services at UCLA Medical Center. “This reflects UCLA nurses’ compassion and commitment to creating an extraordinary environment of healing.”
Launched in 1994, the award singles out healthcare facilities that act as a “magnet” in attracting nurses by creating a work environment that rewards them for outstanding clinical practice and collaboration with the rest of the organization.
To earn Magnet status, healthcare organizations must undergo a vigorous and time-intensive evaluation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Organizations must reapply for Magnet status every four years. At present, only 169 hospitals in the nation have qualified for Magnet designation.

Pratt Earns 2006 “Champion” Award for Enhancing Physician Diversity

The California Wellness Foundation presented Patricia Pratt with a 2006 Champion of Health Professions Diversity Award, which honors leaders who have boosted minority participation in the physician workforce.
As director of academic enrichment and student outreach at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Pratt has been repeatedly recognized for pioneering innovative programs to recruit students of all grade levels from underserved ethnic communities and to create a pipeline to higher education, UCLA and the medical profession. During her 25-year tenure at UCLA, the number of ethnicminority and low-income students training inmedicine at UCLA has increased froma low of 12 percent tomore than 40 percent per class. “I’ve invested most of my life into medical education,” says Pratt. “What keeps me going is seeing UCLA alumni practicing medicine in disadvantaged communities where no one else wants to work.”
She received the award and an unrestricted $25,000 grant at a ceremony June 12, 2006, in San Francisco.

Cornell’s New President Is a Bruin at Heart

It has been 27 years since Dr. David Skorton called Westwood home, but the new president of Cornell University says that UCLA remains close to his heart. “I never go to Los Angeles without finding an excuse to get over to the campus,” says Dr. Skorton, who completed his medical residency and a cardiology fellowship at UCLA from 1974-1979.
Dr. Skorton assumed the reins of Cornell, in Ithaca, N.Y., in July, after a career that took him from his beginning as an instructor at the University of Iowa to the presidency of the state university. During his ascent, Dr. Skorton continued his research and medical practice, and even found time to indulge his longstanding interest in jazz, playing the saxophone and flute and co-hosting a weekly program, “As Night Falls—Latin Jazz,” on the University of Iowa’s public FM radio station.
Dr. Skorton spent much of his childhood in the San Fernando Valley. He started his undergraduate education at UCLA, and then transferred to Northwestern University, where he continued through medical school. When he matched for his internship and internal medical residency at UCLA, he says, “I was overjoyed.”
Two UCLA faculty members made a particularly lasting impression on him, Dr. Skorton recalls. Dr. Kenneth Shine, who at the time was chief of cardiology and went on to become dean of the UCLA School of Medicine and, later, president of the Institute of Medicine, “set an example with the breadth of caring he always showed in education, discovery and public service,” Dr. Skorton says. “He was a triple threat.” And Dr. Joseph Perloff, Streisand/American Heart Association Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, whose pioneering work in the care of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease influenced Dr. Skorton to follow a similar direction.
At Iowa, Dr. Skorton co-founded the Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic, modeled after Dr. Perloff’s clinic at UCLA. “I got much good counsel from him over the years,” he says. “Both Ken Shine and Joe Perloff have been icons, heroes of mine.”
As a cardiology fellow, Dr. Skorton developed an interest in cardiac imaging and computer-imaging processing. He also became a national leader in research ethics. Dr. Skorton served as charter president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., the first entity organized specifically to accredit human-research protection programs.
One thing that won’t be on Dr. Skorton’s plate at Cornell is clinical practice. Cornell Medical College is in New York City, 240 miles from the Ithaca campus. “I hope to teach rounds to whatever extent I can contribute, but I won’t be caring for my own patients as I did in Iowa,” Dr. Skorton says. “That was a hard part of the decision for me, leaving medical practice. I loved it, and I will still keep up with the literature.”
Days before his inauguration as Cornell’s 12th president, Dr. Skorton was sending his gratitude to the people who influenced him at UCLA, as well as conveying a message to those currently in postgraduate training: “If your experience at UCLA does even half as much for you as it did for me, you will have a very fulfilling career.”

Time for a CHAT

The Ambulatory Pediatric Association awarded UCLA’s Community Health and Advocacy Training (CHAT) Program in Pediatrics its 2005 Outstanding Teaching Award. Recognized as an outstanding general-pediatric-teaching program, the CHAT Program’s educational objectives for pediatric residents focus on child-health advocacy, community-oriented practice and cultural sensitivity.
Established in 2001, the CHAT program is based on the belief that emotional, social, economic and environmental factors influence a child’s health and well-being. The program provides educational experiences in community-based settings to provide pediatric residents the competencies and skills needed to foster and promote a child’s health and development in the context of his or her community.
“By understanding how a child lives in the context of his or her family, school and community, residents can address the psychosocial, mental-health and learning problems that can prevent children from reaching their full potential,” says CHAT Program director Alice Kuo, M.D., Ph.D.
CHAT residents receive the same clinical training as their peers plus a month-long CHAT rotation, quarterly evening seminars and required resident projects. The program recruits heavily among medical students from underrepresented minorities. Future plans include opening a small pediatric clinic at an elementary school in Mar Vista, promoting a more community-based approach to pediatric residency training nationally, and linking the CHAT program to other programs across the country and internationally.

UCLA Medical Center Ranks Best in West for 17th Consecutive Year

UCLA Medical Center ranks as one of the nation’s top five hospitals—and the No. 1 hospital in the western United States—for the 17th consecutive year, according to the July 17, 2006, issue of U.S. News & World Report.
UCLA is the only Southern California hospital to earn a spot on the magazine’s “honor roll,” which recognizes hospitals demonstrating excellence across 16 specialties, since U.S. News launched the survey 17 years ago. The medical center ranked among the top 20 in 15 of the 16 specialties rated.
“This is a wonderful tribute to our outstanding medical and nursing staffs, and the entire healthcare team at UCLA Medical Center,” says Dr. David L. Callender, associate vice chancellor and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System.
UCLA specialty areas ranked best in the western United States, and their national rankings, include urology (No. 4), psychiatry at the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA (No. 5), ophthalmology at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute (No. 5), digestive disorders (No. 5), rheumatology (No. 7), kidney disease (No. 8), orthopaedics (No. 8), and heart and heart surgery (No. 9). Other specialties ranked nationally in the top 20 were neurology and neurosurgery (No. 7), cancer at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (No. 9), endocrinology (No. 10), ear, nose and throat (No. 11), gynecology (No. 12), respiratory disorders (No. 13), and pediatrics (No. 15). 

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