Dean’s Team Award for Excellence List
Interstitial Gynecological Brachytherapy Program (Clinical Care)
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.
Ulysses Project (Community Engagement)
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 (Education)
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 System 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.
ROAD Program (Research)
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.
The 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 & 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 & 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 & 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.
W. Suzanne Eidson-Ton, M.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director for Rural PRIME; and Tonya Fancher, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Associate Director to Valley PRIME/TEACH-MS
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.
JoAnne Natale, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Natale's team, also known as the Interprofessional Collaborative Incident Response Team (I-CIRT), 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 inter-professional 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.
Nancy Lane, M.D., Director, Center for Musculoskeletal Health, and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Dr. Lane's 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.
Edward Callahan, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Personnel, and Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Dr. Callahan's 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 System is the 1st academic center to launch such a program in the country.
W. Suzanne Eidson-Ton, M.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director for Rural PRIME; and Tonya Fancher, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Associate Director to Valley PRIME/TEACH-MS
This team, called the FluCrew, 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. Th 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 7 vaccination events held, and close to 150 patients were given free flu vaccines during a time period of little over one month.
Rhonda Becker, M.P.A., Assistant Director, Professional Services; Jeffrey Gregg, M.D., Director, Clinical Pathology; Chris Jarvinen, C.L.S., Pavilion Lab Manager
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.
Mark Henderson, M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Dr. Henderson's 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.
James Marcin, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, Department of Pediatrics
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 team's Telemedicine Pediatric Emergency Medicine 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.
Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
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.”
Björn Oskarsson, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Dr. Oskarsson's 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.
Jan Nolta, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Dr. Nolta's team has accomplished the remarkable task of establishing a novel and highly successful Stem Cell Program at the UC Davis Health System 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.
Dennis Matthews, Ph.D., Professor, Neurological Surgery
The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) Education and Outreach Program 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.
Peter Belafsky, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
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.
D. Gregory Farwell, M.D., F.A.C.S, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
Dr. Farwell and his 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 System), 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.
Estella Geraghty, M.D., M.S., M.P.H./C.P.H., F.A.C.P., Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Dr. Geraghty and her team employed a mixed-method, multi-disciplinary, 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.
Hendry Ton, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and
Dr. Ton’s team 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.
Randi Hagerman, M.D., Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Hagerman’s team 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.