NEWS | January 28, 2013

Three UC Davis recipients awarded fellowships from UC innovation center


Three UC Davis researchers are among the 10 new recipients of fellowships awarded by the University of California’s Center for Health Quality and Innovation. Representing five UC campuses, the recipients received the fellowships to support projects to improve the quality and value of care delivered by UC Health.

UC Davis fellows are:

  • James Marcin, professor of pediatrics and pediatric critical care and the director of the Pediatric Telemedicine Program.
    • Project: “Telemedicine Program in Pediatrics.” The project goal is to work with the UC Davis Health System's Center for Health and Technology, the Department of Pediatrics and the UC Davis Children's Hospital to better integrate telehealth technologies into its practice of outpatient and inpatient medicine with the ultimate goal of improving the timeliness, efficiency, quality and cost effectiveness of its pediatric clinical services.
    • He also is the senior medical adviser to the Center for Connected Health Policy. Marcin has been involved with telemedicine as it relates to clinical outcomes, quality of care and cost effectiveness for more than 12 years. He works closely with other clinicians, administrators, technicians and health policymakers to support the use of telemedicine in the most effective and cost-efficient settings. He has been a member of the American Telemedicine Association for more than 10 years and is the founding and immediate past chair of the Pediatric Telehealth Special Interest Group. He conducts research in telemedicine and quality of care, particularly as it relates to acutely ill and injured children in the emergency department and the intensive care unit. He has been principal investigator on grants from AHRQ, HRSA and EMS-C investigating the impact of telemedicine on quality of care and specific patient outcomes.
  • Joo Song, assistant professor of pathology
    • Project: "Expand the UC Davis Pathology Consortium to Southern California Medical Centers." Although the five UC medical campuses are considered a single entity under the University of California, the large majority of the esoteric testing is not shared between each other. With improvement in communication, relationship and connectivity between the individual pathology departments of the UC Health system, esoteric tests, as well as novel tests, can be shared among all campuses, which will result in greater efficiency, reduction in cost and increased revenue.
    • Song is a native of Southern California who completed his undergraduate training at UCLA. He moved out to the East Coast to complete his medical school and residency training in pathology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, he completed his fellowship training in hematopathology at the National Cancer Institute under the direction of Dr. Elaine Jaffe. Currently, as an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at UC Davis, Song is actively involved in teaching, research and serves as a liaison between UC campuses as the associate director of the outreach program. As a recipient of the NIH Loan Repayment program, Song was supported in his investigational pursuits in the classification and biology of lymphomas.
  • Elisa Tong, associate professor of internal medicine
    • Project: "Tobacco Cessation Incentive Program Using Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)." The fellowship will provide the opportunity to lead and strengthen a UC-wide tobacco cessation network. This project aims to implement and refine EMR modification prototypes to promote tobacco cessation, including an EMR interface with the California Smokers' Helpline; to evaluate the impact of the EMR modifications on provider action and patient cessation, and begin assessment of cost savings from cessation; and to disseminate the EMR modifications, workflow processes and technical reports to the other UC medical campuses.
    • Tong completed her undergraduate, medical and master's in health services research degrees at Stanford University, as well as a postdoctoral research fellowship in general internal medicine at UCSF. She has been on faculty at UC Davis since 2006. Tong's research interest is in tobacco control policy and cessation.

The yearlong UC Health Fellowships will build leadership skills and address a range of projects including ones to increase access to specialty care, expand the use of telehealth and enhance patient recovery after surgery. The fellows’ institutions will receive a $50,000 award that will support a portion of the salary and benefits associated with their time spent on their projects.

UC Health launched the center in 2010 as part of its commitment to improve the quality of care to medically vulnerable Californians while also developing strategies to improve the delivery of care to help contain costs. The center is governed by a board composed of the six UC medical school deans, five UC medical center CEOs and chaired by the UC Health senior vice president.

The CHQI board selected the fellows from 36 applications by UC faculty and staff, which were evaluated on the leadership potential of the applicant, mentorship opportunity at the campus for the applicant, and the strength and strategic relevance of the proposed project. Fellows will receive mentorship from their campuses and will meet with the other fellows and leadership from all five UC medical center campuses.