Deans' Team Award for Excellence Recipients
Center for a Diverse Healthcare Workforce (CDHW) Team (Community Engagement)
Tonya Fancher, M.D., M.P.H. (team leader)
Kupiri Ackerman-Barger, Ph.D., R.N.
Arra Jane Concepcion, B.A.
Charlene Green, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Mallory Johnson, M.P.A.
Maya London, B.S.
Nuhira Ahmed Masthan, M.P.H.
The Center for a Diverse Healthcare Workforce (CDHW) is a new research center (less than 3 years old) with a huge national impact. The team has used research, best practices and dissemination to share innovative, systemic approaches to diversifying the healthcare workforce. They have had much success in creating structured spaces to allow partners to learn from one another and discover, as a collective, how they can change the healthcare landscape. One of the ways they have achieved this is by forming Communities of Practice (COP) groups. The CDHW engages stakeholders in a yearlong partnership to focus on a topic and problem-solving strategies relative to workforce diversity. Stemming from their first community of practice focused on health career pipelines, they have had two initial concepts flourish to actualization.
In utilizing existing state or nation-wide support programs that are housed in community colleges as a way of building linkages to medical school, Members of the COP group who worked on building a system of support in community colleges are currently continuing their project with a regional district to create a pathway program that would help remove psychosocial barriers for students starting in community college through medical school matriculation. With the exploration of two COP groups, they were able to map linkages regionally among health career pathway programs. With fortified partnerships, they implemented a more productive method of supporting each other’s programs.
With the second COP focusing on bridging community health centers and schools of health, the team has had exciting momentum as well. Although geographically dispersed throughout California, their approach to COP has proven, once again, the power of collaboration and the development of strong partnerships for a shared goal. Two important outcomes have come from their joint effort of the past year:
- Attention to healthcare in rural communities has been named a top 10 priority by the California Future Health Workforce Commission (Recommendation 2.3, p. 8). This recommendation includes the COP partners from the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), regional FQHCs and a Teaching Health Center (THC).
- The Center was recently awarded a $1.8 million grant from the American Medical Association to create workforce programs to meet the needs of medically underserved communities between Sacramento, CA and Portland, OR. In addition to including the CPCA, FQHCs and the same THC, this project also includes Rural Prep, an AU-PCTE awardee, and Oregon Health & Science University and their HRSA-supported Post-Bac Program for Native and Tribal pre-med students.
Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD) Team (Community Engagement)
Robin Hansen, M.D. (team leader)
Janice Enriquez, Ph.D.
Patrick Hugunin, B.A.
Diane Larzelere, B.A.
Lori Llewelyn, M.P.P.
Cathy Mikitka, M.A.
Elizabeth Morgan, M.A.
Angie Rivera, M.S.
Erin Roseborough, C.C.L.S.
Steve Ruder, B.A.
Patty Schetter, M.A., B.C.B.A.
Robin Stewart, L.C.S.W., Ed.M.
The CEDD has multiple examples of community engagement over the past 15 years. CEDD staff includes a diverse group of parents of children with Neurodevelopmental disabilities that work to enhance the quality of life of our local and regional diverse communities and to promote health through advocacy. First, Sankofa (African American Developmental Disabilities Alliance) is a parent support group for African American families. The mission and purpose of the group is to take information and resources out to people in the community. Second, Vamos a Platicar (Let’s Talk) supports Spanish-speaking parents of children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorder through a six-week series that provides information about diagnosis and services and allows parents to share their experiences with the community. Third, Apoyo de Padres para Padres (Parents Supporting Parents) is an ongoing parent support group that is conducted entirely in Spanish. It is an opportunity for parents of children with disabilities to share their thoughts and feelings in a supportive and confidential environment.
Additionally, this year CEDD staff adapted the Let’s Talk series for broader dissemination to the community by developing a video series “Sharing our Journey” that includes interviews with African American and Hispanic families describing their experiences navigating the system from understanding and accepting a diagnosis to understanding treatment and overcoming stigma. The CEDD also established the Northern California Business Advisory Council (BAC) in 2015 to promote partnerships between local businesses (e.g., SMUD, JumpStart Now, Galster Real Estate Group) and employment training programs (e.g., Sacramento Employment and Training Agency; Department of Rehabilitation), job support agencies (e.g., InAlliance; Progressive Employment Concepts) and policy agencies (e.g., State Council on Developmental Disabilities).
CEDD team members have also worked with the California Department of Education, Special School Division to establish the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN), a collaboration of service providers from three statewide support agencies: Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs), California Regional Centers (RCs) and Family Resource Centers (FRCs). The common goal was to establish a training and technical assistance network for service providers with a focus on EBP for ASD. CAPTAIN was established in 2012 and currently has over 400 members. This team has a clear focus as evidenced by their commitment to bring the research of UC Davis to the community.
Central Valley Road Trip Team (Education/Teaching)
Jann Murray-García, M.D., M.P.H. (team leader)
David Hosley, Ph.D.
Victoria Ngo, Ph.D.
David Hosley, Ph.D.
Since 2017, Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia and her Interprofessional Central Valley Road Trip team have taken 170+ faculty members, staff, administrators, and students on an unforgettable immersive journey through California’s Central Valley to connect with underrepresented communities.
Through connections made on the trip, participants were able to establish mentoring relationships with several UC Davis undergraduates from the Central Valley to take the first step in improving quality of life for the communities both our patients and students come from. Participants describe an enhanced understanding of our region, an increased connection to the diversity of our communities, and a commitment to equity among all our neighbors. Faculty participants note gaining a greater appreciation for students’ backgrounds and learning needs while student participants express enthusiasm for returning as leaders in their communities.
This team effort is unparalleled as this educational experience continues to be offered biannually and will continue to be a unique experience that brings creative, multidisciplinary, dynamic and integrated teaching in an experiential way to our health professions students, producing life-long learners who care for and are engaged with the communities they serve.
Emergency Department and Psychiatric Consult Team (Clinical Care)
Aimee Moulin, M.D. (team leader)
Huma Attari M.D.
Emilie Bhe, M.D.
Regina Blaine, L.C.S.W.
Roger Cook, R.N.
Kellie Curnutt, L.C.S.W.
Jolene Ford, L.C.S.W.
Craig Harris, L.C.S.W.
Susan Harris, L.C.S.W.
Debra Kahn, M.D.
Stephen Keenan, L.C.S.W.
Alison Kemps, L.C.S.W.
Lora Knippers-Davis, L.C.S.W.
Nathan Kuppermann, M.D.
Andrea Kutler, L.C.S.W.
David Liu, M.D.
Maya Malekano, R.N.
Cesar Mardones, L.C.S.W.
Saira Matthiesen, L.C.S.W.
Karina Mendoza-Gonzalez, L.C.S.W.
Melissa Morales, L.C.S.W.
Judith Rodgers, R.N.
Katherine Roper, L.C.S.W.
Lorin Scher, M.D.
Pamela Schwartz, L.C.S.W.
Catherine Swope, R.N.
Xeng Thao, L.C.S.W.
Christine Waligora, L.C.S.W.
Duane Wright, L.C.S.W.
The mental health workers, registered nurses and the emergency department technicians who provide 24-hour care.
This team includes faculty from the Emergency Department, Psychiatry, our Psychiatric Evaluation Service from Social Services, Clinical Case Management, Substance Use Disorder Navigator, and the navigator from Hope Cooperative (TLCS). Working to address gaps in the community in substance use treatment, supportive housing, as well as streamline clinical processes with medical clearance, and most recently opening a patient-centered treatment area to that focuses on recovery, this team has minimized the trauma associated with a traditional Emergency Department setting.
With the help of the Substance Use Navigator, and in close collaboration with two Federally-Qualified-Healthcare Clinics, 81% of the patients started on treatment have successfully transitioned into outpatient care. Within the program, there has been a 68 percent reduction in Emergency Department visits by high-utilizers following intervention through this approach. All of the emergency medicine physicians have obtained the federal X-waiver to facilitate Medication for Addiction Treatment and buprenorphine outpatient prescriptions and the team has developed a pathway to streamline medical clearance to reduce wait times for patients that has been adopted regionally.
Through utilizing a SMART Medical Clearance protocol to standardize the medical clearance process with the goal of improving the quality of care for patients in crisis, the developed protocol facilitates the safe and timely transfer of patients to appropriate treatment centers in a resource-conscious way by relying on evidence-based medicine and thorough bedside exams.
Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory Research Program Team (Research)
Aijun Wang, Ph.D. (leader)
Mounika Bhaskara, B.S.
Kaitlin Clark, M.S.
Kewa Gao, M.D., Ph.D.
Dake Hao, Ph.D
Leora Goldbloom-Helzner, M.S
Alicia Hyllen, M.A.
Alexandra Iavorovschi, B.S.
Jordan Jackson, M.D.
Priya Kumar, Ph.D.
Ivonne Palma, B.S.
Zach Paxton, B.S.
Christopher Pivetti, M.S.
Lalithasri Ramasubramanian, B.S.
Lizette Reynaga, B.S.
Robert Rigor, Ph.D.
Hila Shimshi Swindell, B.S.
Sarah Stokes, M.D.
Christina Theodorou, M.D.
Olivia Vukcevich, B.S.
Kaeli Yamashiro, D.O.
The Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory Research Program team is a key research center of the Department of Surgery for making high impact discoveries through a multidisciplinary, collaborative team-based approach with mentoring opportunities.
Research within the lab has generated considerable impact in the biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine fields, developing a regenerative treatment for spina bifida patients that in Fall 2018 was awarded a 5.6 million-dollar CIRM CLIN1 grant with the overarching goal to develop a stem cell product for the fetal treatment of spina bifida. The research focused on isolating stem cells from human placental tissue, then utilizing those stem cells to treat birth defects such as spina bifida and hemophilia. Together the lab’s co-directors, Aijun Wang, Ph.D. and Diana Farmer, M.D. have successfully demonstrated that in utero transplantation of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (PSMCs) can augment the fetal surgical repair of spina bifida and cure MMC-associated motor function deficits at birth in the well established, gold-standard ovine MMC model.
To leverage the expertise in Sacramento, he will be developing a course focused on Clinical Needs in Healthcare Settings that includes both a lecture-based component and a practicum. Dr. James J. Kovach M.D., J.D.., Chief Innovation Officer, Aggie Square, and Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, UC Davis Health has described the impact of this work as, “Dr. Farmer, Dr. George, Dr. Wang et al, have shown tremendous teamwork and leadership in designing the first medically oriented ‘Quarter Away @Aggie Square’ approved by the Provost’s Office. The Quarter Away program leverages UC Davis Health research and clinical expertise as well as UCD Medical Center facilities located at the UC Davis Health Sacramento Campus.
The team within the Surgical Bioengineering Lab includes all levels of staff and faculty: junior specialists, research associates, project scientists, postdoctoral fellows, surgical research residents, Ph.D. students, CIRM Bridge students, and undergraduate student volunteers. The continued multidisciplinary, collaborative approach also extends to international education working with scholars across disciplines and across countries. Mentoring for STAR (Students Training in Advanced Research) Program of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, an academic exchange program to support scholars and fellows for academic exchange between Austria and the U.S. This past year the Lab has also collaborated with the China
Scholarship Council (CSC) and mentored 5 visiting Chinese scholars. The lab also works closely with UC Davis undergraduates and the UC Davis Surgical Internship Program.
Advanced Lung Disease Pulmonary Hypertension Program
Roblee Allen, M.D. (team leader)
Maryjo Davis Andrea Allen, R.N.
Mark Avdalovic, M.D.
Dianne Fontes, R.N.
Carrie Pring, R.N.
Charles Whitcomb, M.D.
The Advanced Lung Disease-Pulmonary Hypertension Program was started by Dr. Roblee Allen as part of the UC Davis Lung Transplant Program in 1993. In the early years the program consisted of the doctor and his transplant coordinator, Andrea Hoso. The very first pulmonary hypertension patient was started on Flolan infusion therapy in 1994 and over the years the program has grown in scope, patient population and personnel. From those early years where only one therapy was available the therapeutic choices have grown to 15 different therapeutic medical therapies. Today, the Advanced Lung Disease-Pulmonary Hypertension Program oversees the care of 700 patients with PH with a geographic footprint that extends to Idaho, Reno Nevada, southern San Joaquin valley and the East Bay. Patients have access to the Advanced Lung Disease-Pulmonary Hypertension Program clinical team 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and 365 days per year. They are followed in the Respiratory J Street Clinic which has scheduled clinic 4 days per week dedicated for pulmonary hypertension patients and capability for urgent visits all 5 days per week. The team also staffs their own inpatient service for non intensive care unit pulmonary hypertension patients followed by the team.
In addition to clinical care provided to the pulmonary hypertension population, the Advanced Lung Disease-Pulmonary Hypertension Program is one of the most engaged programs in the country for clinical research, currently participating in more than one dozen clinical trials. Dr. Allen invested in clinical research and clinical trials unit for many years before it was recognized as an important scholarly contribution. He is routinely recognized as one of the leading clinical trialists in the country in pulmonary hypertension. Remarkably, since 2003, Dr. Allen has participated in over 60 clinical trials, 39 of them as local Principal Investigator. In 2016, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association recognized the UC Davis Pulmonary Hypertension Program as one of their destination centers of excellence for pulmonary hypertension care. UC Davis is the only clinical program with this designation in the Sacramento region.
Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN)
Nathan Kuppermann, M.D., M.P.H. (team leader)
Amia Andrade, M.P.H.
James Holmes, Jr., M.D., M.P.H.
Nancy Jaime, B.A.
Emily Kim, M.P.H.
Rebecca Kim, B.S.
Maria Marois, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Daniel Nishijima, M.D., M.A.S.
Kyle Pimenta, B.A., B.S.
Darrah Rosin, B.S.
Matthew Thurston, B.S.
Leah Tzimenatos, M.D.
Cindy Valencia, M.P.H.
Cheryl Vance, M.D.
The Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) is the only federally funded pediatric emergency medicine research network in the United States and consists of 6 nodal centers (lead centers of groups of 3 hospital emergency departments) and 12 affiliate centers (18 hospital emergency departments in total), 3 emergency medicine services agencies, and a data coordinating center. UC Davis was an inaugural nodal center and our PECARN team has established itself as an internationally renowned leader in pediatric emergency care. UC Davis has ben one of the lead nodal centers continuously since 2001.
Our UC Davis PECARN team has been conducting groundbreaking research in pediatric emergency care for the past 17 years. Our UC Davis PECARN team is led by Nathan Kuppermann, M.D., M.P.H. who is internationally recognized as a preeminent leader in pediatric emergency medicine research, and served as the founding Chair of the PECARN Steering Committee from 2001-2008. Our team consists of investigators, research coordinators, research managers, and students. Together we have a remarkable track record for leading and conducting multicenter, high impact research studies that has improved the care of ill and injured children around the world. Performing high quality research in the time-sensitive environment of the emergency department requires our team to be prepared, committed, and flexible. And our team’s communication, resourcefulness, and camaraderie make this meaningful, if sometimes difficult, work sustainable.
Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) Team
Colleen Clancy, Ph.D. (team leader)
Eleonora Grandi, Ph.D.
Timothy Lewis, Ph.D.
Andrew McCulloch, Ph.D.
Crystal Ripplinger, Ph.D.
Luis F. Santana, Ph.D.
Igor Vorobyov, Ph.D.
Dr. Clancy, Grandi, and Santana ensembled an outstanding group of investigators from UC Davis' School of Medicine and College of Letters and Science and UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering to unravel the fundamental connection between the brain and heart. The team seeks to determine the role of autonomic control in normal cardiovascular function and in the paroxysmal nature of life-threatening cardiac events. The key goal is to predict the mechanisms underlying the interaction between nervous system discharge and the resultant emergent cardiac and vascular events. Such knowledge would finally allow for individual identification and specific targeting of arrhythmia provoking conditions by drugs or even by direct electrical stimulation.
This team effort is unparalleled because it implements a broad and novel array of computational and experimental techniques that allows them to integrate anatomical and functional data ranging from the atomic level for ion channels and key signaling proteins to subcellular to cellular, organ, and systems data and simulations.
Fetal Surgery Team
This team performed the very first fetal surgery in our region. They lead groundbreaking care that offers the promise to transform health care. The level of world-class care is only available at a handful of hospitals nationwide. In addition to medical and life-saving surgical expertise they are researching and investigating how in-utero surgery combined with stem cell therapy and gene therapy may prevent disease before birth. This work could only have been accomplished because of the excellent teamwork shown by all members including nurse, technicians, and doctors.
Pre-Clinical Medical Education Team
This team has come together with the shared goal of providing exceptional pre-clinical medical education in a clinically relevant context. To accomplish this, we have established a multi-disciplinary team of a basic scientist/pre-clinical educator and emergency medicine faculty/clinical educators with specialties in clinical simulation and point-of-care ultrasound. Specifically, we are focused on highlighting how basic science concepts taught in pre-clinical biochemistry provide an essential foundation for clinical practice. Furthermore, we are using innovative techniques, rather than traditional didactic approaches, to engage students and reinforce key concepts.
The Science of Cancer Partnership
The Science of Cancer Partnership is a year-long classroom and summer research internship to inspire Oak Park students to become scientists and physicians. The Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Internal Medicine and Office of Student Diversity bring UC Davis cancer scientists to teach Sac High students about science and careers in cancer care and research. In the inaugural year, 25 students enrolled and 5 completed the research internship. This partnership puts UC Davis into our neighborhood and brings Oak Park into UC Davis to work side-by-side with our world class researchers. There is no better way to make UC Davis a destination choice to all those we serve then by committing to our community’s young people.
The Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP)
The internationally renowned, UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) has conducted research on the causes, consequences, and prevention of violence for over 30 years. Led by Dr. Garen Wintemute, the program is particularly focused on firearm violence and the connection between violence, substance abuse, and mental illness. In an area of study that has been historically underfunded, the UC Davis VPRP has been awarded over $8.8 million dollars of funding during the most recent academic year. In August 2016, UC President Janet Napolitano announced that the nation’s first state-funded ($5 million over 5 years) firearm violence research center will be established at UC Davis under the direction of Dr. Wintemute and the Violence Prevention Research Program.
UC Davis Geriatric Fracture Program (GFP)
This team represents an outstanding example of effective, interdisciplinary, protocol-driven collaboration between Orthopedics, General Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Nursing, and Discharge Planning that is improving the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of care to frail, older patients with a hip fracture. At the end of its grant funding, the GFP appears self-sustaining and has become an effective vehicle for teaching geriatric principles to EM, Ortho, and IM house staff. Compared to 2012 (pre-baseline), in 2015 the GFP reduced the average LOS for hip fracture by 2.4 days (p=0.0054), generating cost savings while improving the quality of care. The number and diversity of providers who have been linked together as a team are impressive. This team is also innovative in the use of evidence-based EMR order sets, note templates, and dot phrases to expose trainees in EM, Ortho, and Medicine to core principles of geriatric medicine. The GFP is the first major project at UC Davis Medical Center to disseminate geriatric principles to a surgical specialty.
Neurocritical Care Program
Encouraging competent care in an open, interdisciplinary unit requires the establishment of a unique training program that can speak to the specific needs of the field. To that end, Dr. Hugh Black, was able to generate broad support for this effort culminating with accreditation of a Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program in 2016. The first fellow will be recruited to start July 2017. This program will train physicians in the competencies of Neurocritical Care with the expectation that this program will produce future UC Davis Medical Center experiences cross-training varied trainees have helped forge a cohesive culture of excellence in the NSICU, all while embracing diverse backgrounds
Preserve our Legacy Team
In August 2016, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing co-sponsored the Preserve our Legacy: Advancing African-Americans in Nursing conference at UC Davis Health. Along with Dr. Adrienne Thompson from the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Terri Harvath, associate dean for academic programs, and staff member Jacqueline Dyson, served on the conference planning committee and enthusiastically assembled a large multidisciplinary group of School of Nursing faculty, staff and students to volunteer in support of the conference, illustrating a commitment to engaging community partners, highlighting educational and employment opportunities for our neighbors and reducing health disparities.
This award recognizes the partnership between Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing volunteers, conference organizers, Yes2Kollege Education Resources Inc., and co-sponsors UC Davis Health Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and UC Davis Office of Campus Community Relations. The multidisciplinary team of students, faculty and staff volunteers came together to partner with community organizers to assist in meeting the community-established event goals of:
- Advancing African Americans in nursing
- Increasing community awareness about health disparities affecting African-Americans in the community
- Increasing community awareness about nursing education and careers at UC Davis Health
- Empowering participants to make changes in diet and exercise
Cancer Immunotherapy Comparative Oncology Team
This team consists of a diverse team of investigators across multiple disciplines and campuses at UC Davis. This team has collaborated to revolutionize the bench to bedside process of translating cancer immunotherapy discovery into the clinic. Employing a pre-translational step of testing therapies in canine clinical trials this group is accelerating discovery by limiting human testing of therapies which are unlikely to work or to be tolerated.
Promising therapies from mouse studies are translated into the clinic but the vast majority fail because mice fail to accurately recapitulate human disease. In contrast, companion canines live with human owners, have many of the same exposures, and develop complex spontaneous tumors in the setting of an intact immune system which genetically, morphologically, and in clinical behavior closely resemble human disease. Employing a pre-translational step of testing therapies in canine clinical trials this group is accelerating discovery by limiting human testing of therapies which are unlikely to work or be tolerated. This approach which they have pioneered is now being heavily invested in by the NCI with several grant opportunities.
Interstitial Gynecological Brachytherapy Program
This team has brought modern brachytherapy technologies and treatment strategies to women with gynecological cancers in the Sacramento region. The project embodies a team of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, gynecologists, and others and has helped women receive the best care for their cancers at UC Davis Medical Center, reducing their need to travel to other facilities out of the area for treatment. The interstitial brachytherapy program allows for targeted radiation delivery by strategically placing after loading needles directly into the tumor and areas of high risk. The implant provides an optimal radiation dose distribution while respecting normal tissue tolerances.
Dr. Marius Koga and his Ulysses Project teammates present a compelling illustration of UC Davis’s commitment to a dynamic community engagement, but also for designing, piloting, and evaluating for the Ulysses Project over the past seven years. The Ulysses Project is an innovative approach to refugee community outreach and engagement in Northern California in general, and in the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area in particular. This team engages the population of immigrants arriving into the Sacramento Region at an accelerated pace, with a focus on immigrants escaping war and political persecution in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and other areas of the middle east. The activities are extensive, comprehensive, and far reaching. This advocacy raises the role of UC Davis within our community, and especially within our immigrant community.
Street Medicine Team
For the past 3 years, a small, committed group of first and second year medical students have done street outreach and home visits with HIV case-managers at Harm Reduction Services - a local non-profit whose mission is to promote health and hope without limits for all people. With guidance from faculty in the School of Medicine and School of Nursing, these students and case-managers have worked to create a Street Medicine Program to teach medical and nursing students to provide compassionate care to homeless communities in the streets. Street Medicine was founded by Dr. Jim Withers in Pittsburg, PA. In Spring 2016, this team will implement a similar program in Sacramento. These exceptional medical students, community leaders and faculty from the Schools of Medicine and Nursing have collaborated to improve care for the most disadvantaged and overlooked population, those living and sleeping on the streets in Sacramento. This growing partnership with Harm Reduction Services creates a Street Medicine program at UC Davis Health to provide medical care through multi-professional walking teams that provide care where it is needed. Street Medicine is a step in achieving coordinated and collaborative medical management for people living on the streets.
The Reversible Obstructive Airway Disease (ROAD) program team focuses on treatment of a large population segment with airway diseases such as COPD, asthma, and asthma-COPD overlap syndrome. The original purpose of the program was to meet the call from the University of California, Office of the President for novel approaches to reduce risks from common chronic diseases, such as COPD and to better serve the community. The practices developed by ROAD are shared with numerous UC and non-UC hospitals throughout the West Coast. There are approximately 3-4 hospitals that visit monthly and learn directly from the RCPs and Dr. Samuel Louie. If adopted by state-wide at the other University of California Health systems (UC San Diego so far), our framework at UC Davis for integrating patient care services for COPD patients could become a model for other health care organizations to raise public awareness of COPD, improve patient safety and reduce COPD and other related hospitalizations. This team approach highlights the important and emerging role of the respiratory therapist in engagement, education, and monitoring of patients with reversible obstructive airways disease and also includes the nurses, respiratory care practitioners, and pulmonologists. This is an outstanding team that has brought well deserved notoriety to UC Davis Medical Center.
Breast Tomography Project Team
Dozens of faculty, students, postdocs, and visiting scientists have participated in the team-science environment over the years. This includes medical physicists, mechanical engineers, surgeons, pathologists, radiation oncologists, electrical engineers, computer scientists, rheumatologists, and faculty from the enology/viticulture program. More than a dozen students have received graduate degrees in this laboratory, students from electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and applied science. The team has built four breast CT scanners which have been instrumental in translational imaging, with many examples of first-in-human studies. The core mission of the laboratory is to demonstrate the diagnostic potential of breast CT imaging for breast cancer detection and diagnosis, and the team has done this through a series of clinical publications and computer-based evaluations of breast images which demonstrate using mathematics the improved capability of tomographic imaging for breast cancer detection. This work has been funded by over $15 million in the past decade, and has led to journal covers and "best paper of the year" publications. The breast CT project is recognized both nationally and internationally for its impact, and was selected by the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) several years ago for its translational impact, with an article on the NIBIB website and a podcast. The science behind the breast CT project includes the physics of computed tomography and positron emission tomography, mechanical engineering, computer science, math-based image reconstruction and image analysis, clinical translation into radiological imaging, radiological interpretation, radiology-pathology correlation, surgical planning, and clinical trials expertise.
Trauma Specialty Team
The Trauma Specialty Team provides high level patient-oriented care across the entire continuum from the emergency department through rehabilitation for critically injured patients. The backbone of the program is the multi-disciplinary quality improvement and systems improvement committees that focus on systematic delivery of care to both adults and children. Within these committees, collaborative protocols are developed, reviewed and implemented. This collaborative effort changes the delivery of care for multiple patient populations in addition to trauma patients. They have leveraged research for optimization of clinical care with a recent randomized, controlled trial focusing on intravenous fluid resuscitation with normal saline (NS) vs. PlasmaLyte-A(PLA). The results, published in Annals of Surgery, showed that PLA was superior to NS in correcting acidosis and base excess for patients in shock. This study has transformed care in the ED, OR, ICU and acute care wards, with PLA becoming the fluid of choice for crystalloid resuscitation. The study was further expanded to show a decrease in electrolyte replacement with PLA vs. NS which translated into reduced cost. Finally, the study contributed to a change in the hospital’s policy for fluids utilized with blood transfusion. The team has been recognized nationally as a leader, with respect to clinical care.
Wound Care Team (WCT)
The Wound Care Team includes physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists and nutritionists working together to train all providers across the system on cost-effective, evidence based wound care. They have used all venues including weekly classroom sessions, bedside teaching, internet-based teaching (including a wound website), seminars, panels, research and publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations in the community, and at local, state and national meetings. They also offer multilingual patient education with team members speaking Spanish, Hmong, Russian, German, and English to facilitate patient and family education on complex wound care issues. The team has received grant funding to purchase a pressure mapping device, a Dolphin Patient Support System, a MIST therapy machine, and a Silhouette wound monitoring system.
Health Informatics Graduate Program
The Health Informatics Graduate program trains leaders from a variety of health related fields, including research, public health, nursing, information technology and medicine. Through a multi-disciplinary team and cutting edge curriculum, the program brings the latest in training to the informatics and healthcare IT professionals throughout the region. It utilizes many different technologies to enhance and aid in the students overall education experience. Many of their students are working professionals who require unique ways of meeting their educational goals. The program utilizes lecture capturing software that greatly enhances the student’s ability to understand materials presented in all the courses offered. It has also established numerous collaborative agreements throughout the UC Davis Medical Center creating opportunities for students to work and develop their theses with some of the University’s most highly accomplished researchers.
The Code Blue Training Initiative (CBTI) Team
This team was nominated for its ingenuity, persistence and dedication to the implementation and successful creation of an important initiative that impacts life sustaining care. The team has been running high fidelity simulated cardiac arrest codes in the hospital wards since late 2012, with over 30 mock codes held in 2013. Their focus has been on assessing and improving the interprofessional teamwork and communication that occur in these lower frequencies, high stress events. In turn, it is likely that this training will lead to improved quality of care and related outcomes. The team is composed of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and other technical staff members. The approach has been multidisciplinary and has resulted in the creation of several innovative multimodal educational elements for the program. The code blue training effort utilizes the latest advances in educational technology to advance its mission of providing quality education, developing research, and providing excellent clinical care.
The Neuromuscular Medicine Clinic Team
This team been serving the patients of Northern California, and influencing the medical practices provided for people with neuromuscular diseases worldwide through their research efforts, for over two decades. Their clinic provides care for a diverse adult and pediatric patient population with rare and often life shortening neuromuscular disorders. The clinic provides comprehensive care, addressing the needs of the newly diagnosed child or adult, providing support and resources for families and caregivers, and managing the palliative care needs of our patients as they approach end of life. Their goal is to provide the best possible multidisciplinary care to patients living with neuromuscular diseases locally, and to elevate care globally through our participation in establishing best of care practices. They see their patients and their families as members of their team. Preserving hope is one of their most important goals and an active clinical trial program is one of the ways they empower their patients to fight their disease.
The UC Davis Human Milk Program
This program has grown to 13 UC Davis faculty investigators, spanning both the Sacramento and Davis campus. They have received over 20 million dollars in grant support, published over 80 manuscripts, and has been cited thousands of times, including approximately 500 citations for 2013. The program has grown continuously through its 10 years of success, building broader and more exacting collaborations, translating into products and technologies and enhancing the educational experience of students. They have established a cross campus program called the Center of Health for Advancing Microbiome and Mucosal Protection supported by the Research Innovations in Science and Technology initiative that links scientists around the campus on the unifying theme of mucosal biology. UC Davis is now considered a leading campus for research and training in the development of the intestinal microbiota and its health consequences. Using a multi-disciplinary approach the research team has made several seminal discoveries. Most important finding that human breast milk contains numerous free glycans that are indigestible by the infant and indigestible by the vast majority of bacteria. Their discovery is helping premature infants in the NICU and may be translated to into treatments for a variety of diseases in the future.
The Communities and Health Professionals Together Program
Since its inception in 1999, the Communities and Health Professionals Together program has sought to enhance the residency educational experience by placing resident physicians in direct contact with their patient communities outside of the exam room.
This unique program helps "doctors build community while the community builds doctors." These invaluable experiences have helped to produce doctors who are both competent practitioners and valued community members who understand the role that healthcare professionals play in their surrounding communities. The program was originally started by the Pediatrics department but has grown to include the Department of Family and Community Medicine and continues to build meaningful partnerships with the surrounding community. The program encourages resident physicians to expand their knowledge of their surrounding communities including what is happening at the policy level. It provides learning opportunities in advocacy and public policy and by connecting resident physicians directly with community members, equipping them with the tools needed to become leaders not just for the Sacramento community but for the communities they will live and work in after residency.
Underserved Communities Leadership Program (UCLP)
This team successfully combined three education programs within the School of Medicine—Rural PRIME program, the San Joaquin Valley PRIME program, and the TEACH-MS (transforming education and community health for medical students) program—to form the Underserved Communities Leadership Program or UCLP. The team created this unified umbrella so that students from all three programs could benefit from the strengths of each individual program. As a result, the School of Medicine also benefits from a significant and unified effort to address the needs of Californians who are medically underserved. Because of this team, the UCLP has become a multidisciplinary and inter-professional effort that links pre-clinical medical students with professionals in the School of Nursing, the UC Davis Hospice Program and the Center for Virtual Care in a shared goal of providing excellent care for vulnerable communities. This team has created a program that gives students first hand experiences with nurses, hospice specialists, communities and future students. Each part of the program is committed to improving care for vulnerable communities and joins together to give the next generation of dedicated physicians the skills needed to work in resource poor settings.
Interprofessional Collaborative Incident Response Team (I-CIRT)
This team provides education for health staff at all levels and across multiple disciplines in the critical competencies required for service recovery following a "clinical incident." The term "clinical incident" refers to events ranging from frank medical errors to serious adverse events through perceptions that the quality of care has been compromised. As diverse as these circumstances are, they all require a strong interprofessional and effective approach to achieve service recovery through consistent, thoughtful, and emotionally supportive communication with patients and families under difficult conditions. The team provides an innovative and highly interdisciplinary training program that includes didactic instruction, case discussion, educational technology, role-playing, and interprofessional dialogue to promote critically important skills in analyzing, responding to, and communicating about clinical incidents. The program promotes professionalism and interprofessional collegiality for dealing with these potentially difficult circumstances. This team also promotes competencies in meeting the needs of the individuals and their families, while simultaneously attending to affected staff, and to the institution itself.
Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Diseases across the LifespanTeam
This research team is made up of an interdisciplinary team of scientists with expertise in musculoskeletal diseases that developed a group of scientific projects to address an unmet area of research on "Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Diseases across the Lifespan." To answer this key research question, the team developed four innovative projects that utilized the interdisciplinary expertise of the team to answer the research questions. A summary description about the project and the team are as followed, “the science is exciting, the teams assembled to perform the science are outstanding and the problem solving methods are transformational.” The accomplishment team is a very important demonstration of how an interdisciplinary group of scientists can work together to design and answer an important research question. The knowledge gained from this work will inform other scientists, clinicians and our communities about these common diseases and provide a framework for evidence based interventions that can modify the course of these diseases.
Task Force for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
This team recognized a growing issue among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender patients. Too many were uncomfortable discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with their healthcare providers because they feared judgment or discrimination. Many providers needed to be educated on how to have these discussions with their patients. The growing health disparities among LGBT patients was too emergent to be ignored. So a few years ago, a task force was created to educate our health care providers on the importance of creating a safe place for LGBT patients. As a result, this group has rolled out efforts to do just that, including specialized education and training modules for physicians and students to improve their understanding of LGBT populations and enhance their communication skills with patients, conducting workshops, giving grand rounds presentations and will soon begin to post training sessions online. A questionnaire was also developed and sent out to physicians to identify themselves as LGBT-competent providers. They have been working with EPIC to develop a way to standardize the collection of information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity questions and incorporating it into the Electronic Medical Record system.
UC Davis Health is the first academic center to launch such a program in the country.
This team provided free flu vaccinations for the underserved/uninsured communities in Sacramento. They organized and held vaccination events at each Student-Run Clinic during the fall. The FluCrew involved first-year medical students, faculty leadership, staff management, and members of health system pharmacy management. The team was successful in obtaining free flu vaccines from the Sacramento County Department of Public Health and garnered cooperation from each of the Student-Run Clinics. There were a total of seven vaccination events held, and close to 150 patients were given free flu vaccines during a time period of little over one month.
Pavilion Core Laboratory Team
During their transition from an older facility to a new one, team members dealt with many challenges while continuously delivering great services. By the time the transition was complete, the team had helped create a facility that has transformed clinical laboratory services within our region. The team has helped our new Pavilion Core Laboratory earn acclaim for its automated state-of-the-art laboratories and for a level of service and quality that is unsurpassed.
Oak Park Community Outreach Team
This team is multidisciplinary, comprising of faculty from the schools of medicine and nursing, as well as representatives of Oak Park community agencies. The team created substantive relationships between the health system and residents of Oak Park. Starting in 2008, this team co-taught a community engagement rotation for all internal medicine residents, and this has lead to meaningful exchanges. This is, as far as we know, the only U.S. Internal Medicine residency that places this high priority on community engagement, dedicating curricular time to understanding its community from the perspective of the community members.
Telemedicine Pediatric Emergency Medicine Program
Over the past dozen years or so, this team has been dedicated to raising the level of pediatric care provided to remote Northern California communities. The program has grown to include a network of more than 12 Emergency Departments in Northern California. This program focuses on providing pediatric consultations to critical access hospitals whose expertise and experience with critically ill children is often limited. Many of the hospitals the team works with are very isolated. By using telemedicine, the team has established a network that can provide 24/7 live audio video consultations from our specialists. As a result, relationships between these critical access hospitals and UC Davis Children's Hospital have grown stronger, and the quality of care delivered to acutely ill and injured children has greatly improved.
Department of Family and Community Medicine'Team
Dr. Melnikow's team has been described as an “essential catalyst for team-based multidisciplinary research on health care services, quality, outcomes, and costs.” At its heart, this is the science that is so important to reforming the nation’s health-care system. The team provides the value-added service of bringing together multidisciplinary teams of significant size and scope, and at the same time supporting their professional career development needs. This team has critical skills in statistical analysis, economic modeling, policy analysis and qualitative research and facilitates innovative research for a range of junior and senior investigators. The team plays a “critical role in supporting team science.”
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Team
This team provides multidimensional service including managing symptoms of ALS with medications, managing physical disabilities associated with ALS, helping patients adjust to disabilities, helping patients with their complex socioeconomic challenges, and evaluating patients for adaptive equipment to facilitate good nutrition. The team works in a highly collaborative fashion with each patient to assess psychological factors that influence the acceptance of different treatment interventions. In caring for ALS patients at the end of their lives, the team collaborates to provide comprehensive care to patients.
Stem Cell Program
This team, lead by Dr. Jan Nolta, has accomplished the remarkable task of establishing a novel and highly successful Stem Cell Program at the UC Davis Health from scratch during the remarkably short time of four years. During those four years, the Stem Cell Program has become both well funded and well recognized nationally and internationally.
The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) Education and Outreach Program
This team is committed to developing and strengthening the workforce and scientific literacy in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine). Over the past eight years the team has developed, nurtured, and continues to grow multiple pathways for diverse high school, community college, undergraduate and graduate students and instructors to deeply engage in cutting-edge science, research and science education. This team's sustained efforts have started to bear fruit in a very tangible ways with multiple participants of the CBST Education and Outreach Program pursuing higher education and careers in science and medical fields.
Severe Swallowing Disorders Team
Severe swallowing disorders are common and costly health problems. In an effort to establish interdisciplinary collaboration to form a foundation for novel translational research, Dr. Peter Belafsky has brought together faculty and staff from the School of Medicine, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Center for Health and Environment, the National Primate Center, the Center for Laboratory Animal Science and Food Science and Nutrition. This collaborative team is working together to facilitate new therapies and create new devices, providing both humans and animals with disabling swallowing disorders a better quality of life. For patients who have difficulty swallowing or who are plagued with chronic laryngitis and esophagitis daily life can be challenging and often painful. The efforts of this team have paved the way for innovative treatments that will improve the quality of life for the over 10 million Americans who suffer from these laryngeal maladies.
Laryngeal Transplant Team
This team formulated a highly innovative solution to a devastating medical condition in a patient involving a complete subglottic stenosis and complete loss of voice for the past decade. They proposed, researched, innovated, and conducted the second laryngeal transplant in the United States. The prior attempt, 12 years earlier, was only partially successful. This attempt required creative solutions to overcome the prior limitations. It necessitated pulling together world experts in transplantation and laryngeal physiology. The surgeons first developed the procedure and practiced the surgery in Barcelona, Spain. Participants included Drs. Farwell and Belafsky (UC Davis Health), Dr. Birchall (Royal College of London) and Dr. Macchiarini (University of Barcelona). The more daunting task before them was to organize the extensive team required to overcome all of the obstacles confronting the development of a new transplant surgery. Transplant surgeons, transplant immunologist, anesthesiologist, Golden State Donor Services, and head and neck surgeons all participated in the process.
Inter-Dependence of Youth and Regional Health and Well-Being Team
This team employed a mixed-method, multidisciplinary, and multi-scalar approach to understanding the inter-dependence of youth and regional health and well-being. The team employed the tools of statistics, demography, geography, economics, political science, planning, sociology, anthropology and social media across the fields of education, public health, community planning/development, and social services/juvenile justice. This research was a grant funded project that led to unique methods and types of products.
Cultural Competency Curriculum Development Team
This team, lead by Dr. Hendry Ton, has developed a nationally recognized four-year curriculum on cultural competence. Through that curriculum, medical students learn about the complexities and challenges related to culture and bias in medicine, learning through lectures, patient cases and small-group discussions. The goal is to recognize and address cultural competence issues early and throughout a student’s medical education–and in their future practices.
Fragile X Team
This team, led by Dr. Randi Hagerman, has brought fragile X to the forefront of our scientific and clinical priorities. They have discovered that a mutation in this gene can lead to health issues that affect families across generations, from mental impairments in youth to neurodegenerative decline in the elderly. Their lab investigations are rapidly identifying molecular targets and treatments for these disorders, and have made their clinic a destination of choice for the worldwide community of fragile X families. Their goal is to stop–and perhaps even restore–the cognitive changes associated with fragile X syndrome and other disorders linked with the fragile X gene.