More achievements
UC Davis Health - Medical Center

More achievements

A sampling of recent major achievements and developments from UC Davis Health and the UC Davis School of Medicine. For more listings and news, please visit our newsroom and follow us on social media.

Lubarsky recognized among top 25 hospital executives and top academic medical center CEOs for 2023, and as a CEO influencer

David Lubarsky, M.D., M.B.A. Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis HealthUC Davis Health CEO and Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences David Lubarsky, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.S.A., has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “top academic medical center CEOs to know” for 2023, and among “60 health system CEO influencers” shaping the future of health care. C-Suite Spotlight also named him one of the top 25 hospital executives for 2023. The Becker’s influencers article stated: “Whether these leaders are challenging the status quo, championing public health issues, pioneering new models of care, or embracing novel technologies, the nation — and even the world — is watching. More often than not, the precedents these executives set go on to become the golden standard for health care.” Modern Healthcare also selected Lubarsky as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Health Care” for 2022, and Press Ganey named him “CEO of the Year” this February.

Sadro among top chief financial officers

Cheryl Sadro, C.P.A., M.S.M.Cheryl Sadro, C.P.A., M.S.M., chief financial officer at UC Davis Health, has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “academic medical center CFOs to know” for 2023. Becker’s recognized the leaders for their efforts to oversee the overall financial health of their institutions, lead long- and short-term financial strategies, manage large budgets and oversee strategic partnerships. The magazine also included Sadro in its list of CFOs to know for 2023, which highlights key financial leaders in strategic financial planning, growth, and partnerships. And Sadro was honored in the annual Becker’s Healthcare “Women hospital and health system CFOs to know” list for 2023.

Atreja among top chief digital officers

Ashish Atreja, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., A.G.A.F.Ashish Atreja, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., A.G.A.F., chief information and digital health officer at UC Davis Health, has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the top 35 “chief digital officers of health systems to know.” The list recognized this prestigious group of leaders for their efforts to oversee digital technology integration and improve the digital patient experience. A leading voice on evidence-based digital health and artificial intelligence, Atreja oversees UC Davis Health’s expansion of its digital footprint. That includes bridging the gap between IT, academia, research and innovation, as “Digital Davis” becomes a global validation hub for digital health.

Galante listed among top chief medical officers

Joseph M. Galante, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S.Joseph M. Galante, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S., interim chief medical officer at UC Davis Medical Center, has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “hospital and health system chief medical officers to know” for 2023. At UC Davis Health, Galante has a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including leading and directing the professional portion of the medical center’s clinical delivery system. He serves as liaison between the hospital, school of medicine and the self-governed medical staff, and is the senior officer for patient safety and quality at UC Davis Medical Center.

Ton receives top national DEI awards

Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S.Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S., associate vice chancellor for health equity, diversity, and inclusion at UC Davis Health, has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a “health system diversity, equity and inclusion officer to know” for 2023, and as one of Modern Healthcare’s top diversity leaders for 2023. Ton leads dedicated teams at UC Davis Health that work to advance DEI, such as the Office of Student and Resident Diversity and the Center for Reducing Health Disparities. He has presented nationally on cultural competence, education, and system change, and regularly receives awards for his work with health professionals and underserved communities.

Farmer first UC Davis Health faculty member appointed to a leadership role with the National Academy of Medicine

Department of Surgery chair and professor recognized for contributions to health and medicine

Diana Farmer, M.D.Diana Farmer, M.D., chair of the UC Davis Department of Surgery, has become the first UC Davis Health faculty member to be assigned to a prestigious leadership position within the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). This summer Farmer was appointed to the NAM membership committee, and will also serve as the Vice Chair of Section 6, which is one of 12 membership sections in the organization’s structure. The section Farmer will help oversee encompasses surgery, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, and radiology. Her two-year term began July 1.

The NAM is dedicated to advancing science, health, and medicine and inspiring positive change across sectors. As part of its mission, the organization annually recognizes remarkable professionals who have made significant contributions to their respective fields and have displayed an unwavering commitment to service. The appointment is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

“It is both an honor and a tremendous responsibility to accept this leadership position within the National Academy of Medicine,” Farmer said. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of health and medicine on a national level. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of medical science, inspire future generations, and shape a healthier, more equitable world.”

Farmer receives national research excellence award

Farmer also received the esteemed Robert E. Gross Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research and Achievement from the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) this spring. The award acknowledges exceptional contributions that have revolutionized the way pediatric surgeons approach a specific issue, and recognizes groundbreaking work that stands the test of time and is widely accepted as the gold standard in the field. Farmer’s contributions have reshaped pediatric surgical practices, with her expertise encompassing treatment of birth defects both inside and outside the womb. She conceived the MOMS Trial in the early 2000s, which showed fetal surgery could reduce neurological deficits associated with spina bifida; she is now leading the world’s first clinical trial combining stem cells and surgery to treat the most severe form of the disease. Her accomplishments extend over two decades, during which she has made significant advancements as the first female fetal surgeon. She has pioneered foundational techniques in pediatric and fetal surgery, revolutionizing the field and improving patient outcomes.

Neurology chair receives international research honor

Department of Neurology Chair Amy Brooks-Kayal, M.D., F.A.A.N., F.A.N.A., F.A.E.S.Department of Neurology Chair Amy Brooks-Kayal, M.D., F.A.A.N., F.A.N.A., F.A.E.S., is the 2023 recipient of the Child Neurology Society Bernard Sachs Award, given annually to honor a scholar of international status who has done leading neuroscience research related to the care of children with neurological disorders. Brooks-Kayal’s research, published in numerous journals, focuses on how seizures affect the brain, and she is also working to develop new treatments for epilepsy prevention and potentially, a cure. Brooks-Kayal received the Founders Award from the American Epilepsy Society in 2019 and the Ambassador for Epilepsy Award from the International League Against Epilepsy in 2021.

Microbiologist elected to National Academy of Sciences

Andreas Bäumler, Ph.D.Andreas Bäumler, Ph.D., vice chair of research and professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences this spring. Members are elected in recognition of contributions to original research, and membership is considered one of the highest honors a scientist can achieve. Bäumler is a highly cited author of more than 200 papers, with groundbreaking research focused on the role of i epithelium in the composition of gut microbiota and its effects in infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Lara co-chair-elect of SWOG cancer research network

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Primo “Lucky” Lara, Jr., M.D.UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Primo “Lucky” Lara, Jr., M.D., has been appointed co-chair-elect of the SWOG Cancer Research Network, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported alliance. He’ll share the job with Dawn L. Hershman, deputy director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University. The two will serve as co-chairs-elect until the term of current SWOG group chair Charles Blanke ends in 2025, when they will begin a six-year term as SWOG’s first group co-chairs. Lara is SWOG’s deputy chair and vice chair of operations.

Sauder American Joint Committee on cancer appointments

Candice Sauder, M.D., M.S., M.Ed., F.A.C.S.Candice Sauder, M.D., M.S., M.Ed., F.A.C.S., assistant professor of surgery and specialist within the Division of Surgical Oncology, has been named by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) to its Executive and Education Committees. Sauder will educate and improve efforts in using cancer staging standards and validate systems for classification and management of cancer. Founded in 1959 and administered by the American College of Surgeons, the AJCC has developed and compiled staging systems considered the gold standard for all cancers, and has staging experts from every field. Sauder was recently admitted to the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.

Johnson elected Academic Pediatric Association president

Tiffani Johnson, M.D., M.Sc.Tiffani Johnson, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of emergency medicine, was named president-elect of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) this spring. Her three-year term began April 30. Her responsibilities include chairing board meetings, representing the APA at regional, society and programmatic meetings, and serving on the APA Executive Committee. Johnson serves as a national mentor for the APA Young Investigator Award and New Century Scholars programs and co-chairs the APA Race in Medicine Special Interest Group, which seeks to bring awareness to the role of race in the practice of medicine and provide youth development support.

Morrison elected president of Society for Neuroscience

John Morrison, Ph.D., begins his term as president-elect of the Society for Neuroscience this November. Morrison is the director of the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis and a distinguished professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology. The three-year commitment includes one year as president-elect, one year as president, and one year as past president. The three presidents work together and serve as an executive council. The society has nearly 35,000 members in more than 95 countries.

UC Davis assists with AMA Health at Home framework

UC Davis Health played a key role in helping the American Medical Association (AMA) create comprehensive framework of medical services that can be delivered at home. AMA created the Health at Home framework after extensive research, input from experts and interviews with 10 organizations, including UC Davis Health. The article, released July 17 on the AMA website, provides insights into putting a care at home program into place and using digital technologies to enhance care. Vimal Mishra, M.D., head of digital care at UC Davis Health, was co-author.

Emergency physician wins geriatric medicine award

Emergency medicine physician Katren Tyler, M.D.Emergency medicine physician Katren Tyler, M.D., has been awarded the 2023 Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (AGEM) Education Career Achievement Award. Tyler is the vice chair for geriatric emergency medicine and wellness at UC Davis Health, and was the first in the nation to be named to such a role. Tyler was recognized by AGEM for her career achievements in advancing geriatric emergency medicine education through design and dissemination of training strategies, materials and standards for providers from several disciplines.

Spinal neurosurgeon earns ‘2023 Top Spine Paper of the Year’

Kee Kim, M.D.A paper by Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery Kee Kim, M.D., has been named the “2023 Top Spine Paper of the Year” by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). Kim, also a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery, was selected for “Acute Implantation of a Bioresorbable Polymer Scaffold in Patients With Complete Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury: 24-Month Follow-up From the INSPIRE Study,” published in Neurosurgery. The award from CNS recognizes his contributions to a clinical trial conducted across hospitals nationwide, including UC Davis. The intervention involves insertion of an investigational neuro-spinal scaffold, developed by InVivo Therapeutics Corp., directly into the injured spinal cord to help repair of nerve tissue.

Translational cancer researcher captures top imaging award

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher Julie Sutcliffe, Ph.D.UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher Julie Sutcliffe, Ph.D., was presented with the 2023 Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Henry N. Wagner, Jr., Image of the Year award for her leading-edge “theranostics” Phase I clinical trial in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Each year SNMMI chooses an image that best exemplifies the most promising advances in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, and this year’s was chosen from more than 1,500 abstracts. Sutcliffe’s award was the result of her team’s first-in-human evaluation of the novel theranostic pairing of two radiolabeled peptides as a diagnostic and therapeutic.

Pharmacology chair awarded for mentoring heart researchers

Distinguished Professor Donald M. Bers, Ph.D.Distinguished Professor Donald M. Bers, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology and the Joseph Silva Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research at the UC Davis School of Medicine, received this year’s Eric N. Olson Mentorship Award from the International Society for Heart Research North American Section. The award recognizes heart researchers with a clear dedication to mentorship and support for trainees and young scientists. Bers has mentored more than 120 doctoral students, postdocs and junior faculty, and a similar number of undergraduate students and specialists.