A sampling of recent major achievements and developments from UC Davis Health System. For more listings and news, please visit our website or subscribe to UC Davis Health System news feeds with an RSS reader such as Google Reader or My Yahoo!

UC Davis Hospital entrance

One of America’s top hospitals

U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Davis Medical Center among the nation’s best hospitals in 10 adult medical specialties for 2015–16. The annual rankings, released in summer, recognize hospitals that excel in treating patients with the most serious and challenging injuries and illnesses. UC Davis ranked among the U.S. top 50 in cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; ear, nose & throat; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and urology. Less than 3 percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitals analyzed ranked nationally in a specialty. UC Davis also was designated as high-performing in diabetes & endocrinology and gastroenterology & GI surgery.

UC Davis Medical Center

A most wired Medical Center

UC Davis Medical Center earned a fifth consecutive “Most Wired” designation for 2015 as one of the nation’s top health leaders in information technology. The award is based on a national survey conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, a publication of the American Hospital Association. The annual assessment considers how hospitals use information technology to complement their patient safety and quality-of-care priorities as well as public health, administrative processes and workforce decisions. The honor follows numerous other IT awards honoring the clinical and research enterprise on the Sacramento campus, and complements recognition as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Most Connected Hospitals” for 2015–16.

2015 Digital Government Achievement Award logo

Helping a hero

U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, at center in gown, poses with members of his care team upon his release from UC Davis Medical Center on Oct. 15. An international hero after stopping an August terrorist attack in France, Stone was treated at UC Davis for stab wounds after he was assaulted in an unrelated incident. His family expressed their “deepest gratitude to the staff and providers at UC Davis Medical Center … including the entire trauma team and the ICU nurses who treated him so well.” Surrounding Stone are, from left to right: trauma surgeon Garth Utter, nurse practitioner Beth Maese, surgery resident Eleanor Curtis, nurse practitioner Joyce Colobong and nurses Ruby Recta, Kaitlyn Morris and Bernadette Beloy-Bachiller.

rendering of new education building

New building for Sacramento campus

UC Davis Health System is constructing a new education building on the Sacramento campus. Betty Irene Moore Hall will be the fourth structure in the educational core of the campus and will house graduate programs of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, as well as support other interprofessional health-science education. Once complete in fall 2017, the hall will feature collaborative learning spaces rather than traditional classrooms, as well as planned state-of-the-art simulation suites to engage students through interactive learning platforms.

2015 Digital Government Achievement Award logo

Digital government award

Welltopia, a website launched by the California Department of Health Care Services and UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement, was honored with a 2015 Digital Government Achievement Award by GovTech’s Center for Digital Government. The one-stop site offers resources to help Californians, especially those on limited incomes, build healthier lives and communities.

Microcirculation research honors

Fitz-Roy Curry

Fitz-Roy Curry, distinguished professor emeritus of physiology and membrane biology and biomedical engineering, was recognized by prominent science organizations in Norway and Japan. Curry is internationally renowned for his work on microcirculation and especially the mechanics of the vascular barrier, which can break down in the early stages of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Research Publishing award for nursing professor

Gerald Kayingo

Gerald Kayingo, a physician assistant and assistant clinical professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, received the American Academy of Physician Assistants Research Publishing Award honoring a member’s exceptional research article. Kayingo published “Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Physician Assistant Education: Preparing the PA Student for the Practice of the Future” in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education.

Neuroendocrine research award

Michael Rogawski

Neurology professor Michael Rogawski received the American Academy of Neurology’s 2015 Neuroendocrine Research Award at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Rogawski, a leading expert on epilepsy therapeutics, was honored in recognition of his pioneering research on neuro-steroids in the treatment of neurological disorders.


Julie Freischlag

Julie Freischlag, UC Davis vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. The academy – formerly the Institute of Medicine – advises the nation on critical issues in health and medicine, and election is one of the highest honors in the field.

Maternal mental health panel

Erik Fernandez y Garcia

Pediatrics associate professor Erik Fernandez y Garcia was appointed to the California Task Force on the Status of Maternal Mental Health Care. The 20-member blue-ribbon group is slated to research gaps in services and policy and make recommendations. Fernandez y Garcia helped develop Motivating our Mothers (MOM), an intervention that identifies potentially depressed mothers and encourages them to seek treatment.

Physiology/membrane biology chair

Luis Fernando Santana

Luis Fernando Santana, a scientist with an international reputation for his work on arrhythmias and the physiology of calcium channels in smooth and cardiac muscle, was named professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology. He holds the Arline Miller Rolkin Endowed Chair, focused on mentoring junior faculty members in basic science research.