Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean | UC Davis Health

Welcome Dr. David Lubarsky to UC Davis Health!

David A. LubarskyUC Davis Chancellor Gary May has appointed David A. Lubarsky to the position of vice chancellor of human health sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Health, which includes the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center, a 627-bed acute-care hospital. Lubarsky will join UC Davis on July 2, 2018.

Lubarsky most recently served as the chief medical and systems integration officer with the University of Miami Health System, a position he has held since 2012. As a leader within the system, he has overseen the system’s four hospital and practice chief medical officers as well as patient safety and quality. In addition, he led the university’s self-insured malpractice program, which focuses on prevention, and patient and visitor services, including patient experience. During his tenure at the University of Miami, Lubarsky integrated programs to create system-wide consistent approaches to care and quality improvement, including a new central safety and quality office, a system-wide safety and quality governing board, a system-wide chief medical officer council, a system-wide infection control and antibiotic stewardship program, and a central PI and project management office.

"David brings to UC Davis broad experience and proven results in a major healthcare market," May said. "He has an impressive record of sound financial management and innovative practices for a high functioning health care system that has gained national attention. His success in raising funds to meet pressing needs, including for enhanced access to Medicaid and indigent patients, aligns well with our values at UC Davis Health."

Lubarsky has been recognized for his success in helping establish a centralized scheduling system, improving infrastructure, and improving performance across many areas of the University of Miami health system. He raised more than $100 million annually for the University of Miami from state and federal funding sources to aid enhanced access for Medicaid and indigent patients. Previously, as CEO of the 1,100-physician practice, he turned a $100 million loss into a $32 million surplus in one year by growing patient volumes and optimizing the revenue cycle while making sure already high patient experience scores were maintained. Of note, every one of his major initiatives has explicitly prioritized quality and empathetic patient care.

In his efforts to meet community needs, Lubarsky has worked with the state of Florida and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand access to Medicaid, forging a close partnership with the other major academic centers in Florida in pursuit of this goal. He has also been working with Florida’s state and congressional representatives to expand existing graduate medical education programs that would best meet the state’s needs and to secure the necessary federal funding which has been frozen for more than 20 years.

For the last 16 years, Lubarsky has been chief of service of anesthesia and pain management for the largest safety net hospital in the U.S., Jackson Memorial Hospital. He served on their board overseeing safety and quality, and throughout his tenure has been a forceful advocate for a uniform high quality of care.

"It is a privilege to join this highly regarded, progressive and nationally recognized health system," Lubarsky said. "I look forward to working closely with the accomplished faculty and staff, and routinely interacting with Davis’ talented students and trainees. I have already heard many great ideas about how to catapult Davis to greater heights, and I hope to harness those ideas to catalyze innovation so that we better serve our patients, our local community and our academic mission."

UC Davis School of Medicine is one of the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. Ranked 34th in National Institutes of Health funding in 2013, it is designated as one of the nation’s inaugural Clinical Translational Science Centers.

A few highlights include:

  • A national reputation for life-changing biomedical discoveries
  • A passion for clinical care and a commitment to engaging people from underserved communities and advancing rural health
  • Fully accredited master’s degree programs in public health and in informatics
  • A combined M.D.-Ph.D. program that is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care

The Dean’s Departments and Offices include:

Additional departments:

To learn more, visit the medical school site.

UC Davis Medical Center, based in Sacramento, Calif., is a nationally renowned academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health.

A few highlights:

  • A 627-bed multispecialty academic medical center
  • Serves 33 counties covering a 65,000-square-mile area north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada
  • Recognized as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the U.S.
  • Recognized by The Leapfrog Group as a “Top Hospital” for delivery of high-quality care
  • Ranked Sacramento's top hospital by U.S. News & World Report

Centers of excellence include:

  • UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers nationwide
  • State-of-the-art emergency departments that include the region's only Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers
  • The internationally recognized UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders
  • UC Davis Children's Hospital, a nationally ranked pediatric hospital with more than 120 physicians in 33 pediatric subspecialties
  • A pioneering telehealth program, which gives remote, underserved communities access to academic specialty and subspecialty care

To learn more, visit the medical center site.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis cultivates academic excellence and addresses urgent, societal needs through leadership development, interprofessional education, transformative research, cultural inclusiveness and innovative technology. The school plays a critical role in preparing nurse leaders who will shape the future of health care and inform health policy.

The School of Nursing has five research focus areas: chronic disease management, health technology, pain management, Healthy People and Healthy Systems. Faculty come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, business administration, sociology, gerontology, medicine, information technology and psychology. School of Nursing students engage in classroom and clinical environments with students in the School of Medicine, health informatics and other health-related programs.

A few highlights include:

To learn more, visit the School of Nursing’s website.

The Practice Management Group (TPMG) represents all organized medical group practices of UC Davis Health System’s primary and specialty care faculty physicians. The group's purpose is to serve the health system’s missions through high-quality, cost-effective care delivery. By delegation from the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean, TPMG has shared responsibility for the clinical operations of the health system's professional practice activities.

The formation of TPMG is an important step in formalizing the leadership of the health system's medical group practices and in refining the role of its group practice in achieving the health system's research, teaching, patient care and community engagement goals. Its primary goal is to maintain a clinical practice that distinguishes UC Davis Health System as a leading faculty and academic health center.

Specific goals of TPMG include:

  • Increasing efficiency of practice and revenue
  • Decreasing practice expenses
  • Reducing silos and improving integration
  • Identifying areas to increase quality
  • Aligning incentives

David H. Wisner is the executive director of the Practice Management Group, overseeing faculty practice operations as well as the overall vision and strategic direction of TPMG and its day-to-day activities. Wisner collaborates with the leadership of the School of Medicine and medical center to set and achieve joint strategic goals across the health system.

More information



Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean | UC Davis Health

Welcome Dr. David Lubarsky to UC Davis Health!

David A. LubarskyUC Davis Chancellor Gary May has appointed David A. Lubarsky to the position of vice chancellor of human health sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Health, which includes the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center, a 627-bed acute-care hospital. Lubarsky will join UC Davis on July 2, 2018.

Lubarsky most recently served as the chief medical and systems integration officer with the University of Miami Health System, a position he has held since 2012. As a leader within the system, he has overseen the system’s four hospital and practice chief medical officers as well as patient safety and quality. In addition, he led the university’s self-insured malpractice program, which focuses on prevention, and patient and visitor services, including patient experience. During his tenure at the University of Miami, Lubarsky integrated programs to create system-wide consistent approaches to care and quality improvement, including a new central safety and quality office, a system-wide safety and quality governing board, a system-wide chief medical officer council, a system-wide infection control and antibiotic stewardship program, and a central PI and project management office.

"David brings to UC Davis broad experience and proven results in a major healthcare market," May said. "He has an impressive record of sound financial management and innovative practices for a high functioning health care system that has gained national attention. His success in raising funds to meet pressing needs, including for enhanced access to Medicaid and indigent patients, aligns well with our values at UC Davis Health."

Lubarsky has been recognized for his success in helping establish a centralized scheduling system, improving infrastructure, and improving performance across many areas of the University of Miami health system. He raised more than $100 million annually for the University of Miami from state and federal funding sources to aid enhanced access for Medicaid and indigent patients. Previously, as CEO of the 1,100-physician practice, he turned a $100 million loss into a $32 million surplus in one year by growing patient volumes and optimizing the revenue cycle while making sure already high patient experience scores were maintained. Of note, every one of his major initiatives has explicitly prioritized quality and empathetic patient care.

In his efforts to meet community needs, Lubarsky has worked with the state of Florida and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand access to Medicaid, forging a close partnership with the other major academic centers in Florida in pursuit of this goal. He has also been working with Florida’s state and congressional representatives to expand existing graduate medical education programs that would best meet the state’s needs and to secure the necessary federal funding which has been frozen for more than 20 years.

For the last 16 years, Lubarsky has been chief of service of anesthesia and pain management for the largest safety net hospital in the U.S., Jackson Memorial Hospital. He served on their board overseeing safety and quality, and throughout his tenure has been a forceful advocate for a uniform high quality of care.

"It is a privilege to join this highly regarded, progressive and nationally recognized health system," Lubarsky said. "I look forward to working closely with the accomplished faculty and staff, and routinely interacting with Davis’ talented students and trainees. I have already heard many great ideas about how to catapult Davis to greater heights, and I hope to harness those ideas to catalyze innovation so that we better serve our patients, our local community and our academic mission."

UC Davis School of Medicine is one of the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. Ranked 34th in National Institutes of Health funding in 2013, it is designated as one of the nation’s inaugural Clinical Translational Science Centers.

A few highlights include:

  • A national reputation for life-changing biomedical discoveries
  • A passion for clinical care and a commitment to engaging people from underserved communities and advancing rural health
  • Fully accredited master’s degree programs in public health and in informatics
  • A combined M.D.-Ph.D. program that is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care

The Dean’s Departments and Offices include:

Additional departments:

To learn more, visit the medical school site.

UC Davis Medical Center, based in Sacramento, Calif., is a nationally renowned academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health.

A few highlights:

  • A 627-bed multispecialty academic medical center
  • Serves 33 counties covering a 65,000-square-mile area north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada
  • Recognized as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the U.S.
  • Recognized by The Leapfrog Group as a “Top Hospital” for delivery of high-quality care
  • Ranked Sacramento's top hospital by U.S. News & World Report

Centers of excellence include:

  • UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers nationwide
  • State-of-the-art emergency departments that include the region's only Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers
  • The internationally recognized UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders
  • UC Davis Children's Hospital, a nationally ranked pediatric hospital with more than 120 physicians in 33 pediatric subspecialties
  • A pioneering telehealth program, which gives remote, underserved communities access to academic specialty and subspecialty care

To learn more, visit the medical center site.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis cultivates academic excellence and addresses urgent, societal needs through leadership development, interprofessional education, transformative research, cultural inclusiveness and innovative technology. The school plays a critical role in preparing nurse leaders who will shape the future of health care and inform health policy.

The School of Nursing has five research focus areas: chronic disease management, health technology, pain management, Healthy People and Healthy Systems. Faculty come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, business administration, sociology, gerontology, medicine, information technology and psychology. School of Nursing students engage in classroom and clinical environments with students in the School of Medicine, health informatics and other health-related programs.

A few highlights include:

To learn more, visit the School of Nursing’s website.

The Practice Management Group (TPMG) represents all organized medical group practices of UC Davis Health System’s primary and specialty care faculty physicians. The group's purpose is to serve the health system’s missions through high-quality, cost-effective care delivery. By delegation from the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean, TPMG has shared responsibility for the clinical operations of the health system's professional practice activities.

The formation of TPMG is an important step in formalizing the leadership of the health system's medical group practices and in refining the role of its group practice in achieving the health system's research, teaching, patient care and community engagement goals. Its primary goal is to maintain a clinical practice that distinguishes UC Davis Health System as a leading faculty and academic health center.

Specific goals of TPMG include:

  • Increasing efficiency of practice and revenue
  • Decreasing practice expenses
  • Reducing silos and improving integration
  • Identifying areas to increase quality
  • Aligning incentives

David H. Wisner is the executive director of the Practice Management Group, overseeing faculty practice operations as well as the overall vision and strategic direction of TPMG and its day-to-day activities. Wisner collaborates with the leadership of the School of Medicine and medical center to set and achieve joint strategic goals across the health system.

More information



Oropharyngeal cancer patients with human papillomavirus (HPV) have ...
Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean | UC Davis Health

Welcome Dr. David Lubarsky to UC Davis Health!

David A. LubarskyUC Davis Chancellor Gary May has appointed David A. Lubarsky to the position of vice chancellor of human health sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Health, which includes the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center, a 627-bed acute-care hospital. Lubarsky will join UC Davis on July 2, 2018.

Lubarsky most recently served as the chief medical and systems integration officer with the University of Miami Health System, a position he has held since 2012. As a leader within the system, he has overseen the system’s four hospital and practice chief medical officers as well as patient safety and quality. In addition, he led the university’s self-insured malpractice program, which focuses on prevention, and patient and visitor services, including patient experience. During his tenure at the University of Miami, Lubarsky integrated programs to create system-wide consistent approaches to care and quality improvement, including a new central safety and quality office, a system-wide safety and quality governing board, a system-wide chief medical officer council, a system-wide infection control and antibiotic stewardship program, and a central PI and project management office.

"David brings to UC Davis broad experience and proven results in a major healthcare market," May said. "He has an impressive record of sound financial management and innovative practices for a high functioning health care system that has gained national attention. His success in raising funds to meet pressing needs, including for enhanced access to Medicaid and indigent patients, aligns well with our values at UC Davis Health."

Lubarsky has been recognized for his success in helping establish a centralized scheduling system, improving infrastructure, and improving performance across many areas of the University of Miami health system. He raised more than $100 million annually for the University of Miami from state and federal funding sources to aid enhanced access for Medicaid and indigent patients. Previously, as CEO of the 1,100-physician practice, he turned a $100 million loss into a $32 million surplus in one year by growing patient volumes and optimizing the revenue cycle while making sure already high patient experience scores were maintained. Of note, every one of his major initiatives has explicitly prioritized quality and empathetic patient care.

In his efforts to meet community needs, Lubarsky has worked with the state of Florida and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand access to Medicaid, forging a close partnership with the other major academic centers in Florida in pursuit of this goal. He has also been working with Florida’s state and congressional representatives to expand existing graduate medical education programs that would best meet the state’s needs and to secure the necessary federal funding which has been frozen for more than 20 years.

For the last 16 years, Lubarsky has been chief of service of anesthesia and pain management for the largest safety net hospital in the U.S., Jackson Memorial Hospital. He served on their board overseeing safety and quality, and throughout his tenure has been a forceful advocate for a uniform high quality of care.

"It is a privilege to join this highly regarded, progressive and nationally recognized health system," Lubarsky said. "I look forward to working closely with the accomplished faculty and staff, and routinely interacting with Davis’ talented students and trainees. I have already heard many great ideas about how to catapult Davis to greater heights, and I hope to harness those ideas to catalyze innovation so that we better serve our patients, our local community and our academic mission."

UC Davis School of Medicine is one of the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. Ranked 34th in National Institutes of Health funding in 2013, it is designated as one of the nation’s inaugural Clinical Translational Science Centers.

A few highlights include:

  • A national reputation for life-changing biomedical discoveries
  • A passion for clinical care and a commitment to engaging people from underserved communities and advancing rural health
  • Fully accredited master’s degree programs in public health and in informatics
  • A combined M.D.-Ph.D. program that is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care

The Dean’s Departments and Offices include:

Additional departments:

To learn more, visit the medical school site.

UC Davis Medical Center, based in Sacramento, Calif., is a nationally renowned academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health.

A few highlights:

  • A 627-bed multispecialty academic medical center
  • Serves 33 counties covering a 65,000-square-mile area north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada
  • Recognized as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the U.S.
  • Recognized by The Leapfrog Group as a “Top Hospital” for delivery of high-quality care
  • Ranked Sacramento's top hospital by U.S. News & World Report

Centers of excellence include:

  • UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers nationwide
  • State-of-the-art emergency departments that include the region's only Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers
  • The internationally recognized UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders
  • UC Davis Children's Hospital, a nationally ranked pediatric hospital with more than 120 physicians in 33 pediatric subspecialties
  • A pioneering telehealth program, which gives remote, underserved communities access to academic specialty and subspecialty care

To learn more, visit the medical center site.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis cultivates academic excellence and addresses urgent, societal needs through leadership development, interprofessional education, transformative research, cultural inclusiveness and innovative technology. The school plays a critical role in preparing nurse leaders who will shape the future of health care and inform health policy.

The School of Nursing has five research focus areas: chronic disease management, health technology, pain management, Healthy People and Healthy Systems. Faculty come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, business administration, sociology, gerontology, medicine, information technology and psychology. School of Nursing students engage in classroom and clinical environments with students in the School of Medicine, health informatics and other health-related programs.

A few highlights include:

To learn more, visit the School of Nursing’s website.

The Practice Management Group (TPMG) represents all organized medical group practices of UC Davis Health System’s primary and specialty care faculty physicians. The group's purpose is to serve the health system’s missions through high-quality, cost-effective care delivery. By delegation from the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean, TPMG has shared responsibility for the clinical operations of the health system's professional practice activities.

The formation of TPMG is an important step in formalizing the leadership of the health system's medical group practices and in refining the role of its group practice in achieving the health system's research, teaching, patient care and community engagement goals. Its primary goal is to maintain a clinical practice that distinguishes UC Davis Health System as a leading faculty and academic health center.

Specific goals of TPMG include:

  • Increasing efficiency of practice and revenue
  • Decreasing practice expenses
  • Reducing silos and improving integration
  • Identifying areas to increase quality
  • Aligning incentives

David H. Wisner is the executive director of the Practice Management Group, overseeing faculty practice operations as well as the overall vision and strategic direction of TPMG and its day-to-day activities. Wisner collaborates with the leadership of the School of Medicine and medical center to set and achieve joint strategic goals across the health system.

More information



Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean | UC Davis Health

Welcome Dr. David Lubarsky to UC Davis Health!

David A. LubarskyUC Davis Chancellor Gary May has appointed David A. Lubarsky to the position of vice chancellor of human health sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Health, which includes the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center, a 627-bed acute-care hospital. Lubarsky will join UC Davis on July 2, 2018.

Lubarsky most recently served as the chief medical and systems integration officer with the University of Miami Health System, a position he has held since 2012. As a leader within the system, he has overseen the system’s four hospital and practice chief medical officers as well as patient safety and quality. In addition, he led the university’s self-insured malpractice program, which focuses on prevention, and patient and visitor services, including patient experience. During his tenure at the University of Miami, Lubarsky integrated programs to create system-wide consistent approaches to care and quality improvement, including a new central safety and quality office, a system-wide safety and quality governing board, a system-wide chief medical officer council, a system-wide infection control and antibiotic stewardship program, and a central PI and project management office.

"David brings to UC Davis broad experience and proven results in a major healthcare market," May said. "He has an impressive record of sound financial management and innovative practices for a high functioning health care system that has gained national attention. His success in raising funds to meet pressing needs, including for enhanced access to Medicaid and indigent patients, aligns well with our values at UC Davis Health."

Lubarsky has been recognized for his success in helping establish a centralized scheduling system, improving infrastructure, and improving performance across many areas of the University of Miami health system. He raised more than $100 million annually for the University of Miami from state and federal funding sources to aid enhanced access for Medicaid and indigent patients. Previously, as CEO of the 1,100-physician practice, he turned a $100 million loss into a $32 million surplus in one year by growing patient volumes and optimizing the revenue cycle while making sure already high patient experience scores were maintained. Of note, every one of his major initiatives has explicitly prioritized quality and empathetic patient care.

In his efforts to meet community needs, Lubarsky has worked with the state of Florida and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand access to Medicaid, forging a close partnership with the other major academic centers in Florida in pursuit of this goal. He has also been working with Florida’s state and congressional representatives to expand existing graduate medical education programs that would best meet the state’s needs and to secure the necessary federal funding which has been frozen for more than 20 years.

For the last 16 years, Lubarsky has been chief of service of anesthesia and pain management for the largest safety net hospital in the U.S., Jackson Memorial Hospital. He served on their board overseeing safety and quality, and throughout his tenure has been a forceful advocate for a uniform high quality of care.

"It is a privilege to join this highly regarded, progressive and nationally recognized health system," Lubarsky said. "I look forward to working closely with the accomplished faculty and staff, and routinely interacting with Davis’ talented students and trainees. I have already heard many great ideas about how to catapult Davis to greater heights, and I hope to harness those ideas to catalyze innovation so that we better serve our patients, our local community and our academic mission."

UC Davis School of Medicine is one of the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. Ranked 34th in National Institutes of Health funding in 2013, it is designated as one of the nation’s inaugural Clinical Translational Science Centers.

A few highlights include:

  • A national reputation for life-changing biomedical discoveries
  • A passion for clinical care and a commitment to engaging people from underserved communities and advancing rural health
  • Fully accredited master’s degree programs in public health and in informatics
  • A combined M.D.-Ph.D. program that is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care

The Dean’s Departments and Offices include:

Additional departments:

To learn more, visit the medical school site.

UC Davis Medical Center, based in Sacramento, Calif., is a nationally renowned academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health.

A few highlights:

  • A 627-bed multispecialty academic medical center
  • Serves 33 counties covering a 65,000-square-mile area north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada
  • Recognized as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the U.S.
  • Recognized by The Leapfrog Group as a “Top Hospital” for delivery of high-quality care
  • Ranked Sacramento's top hospital by U.S. News & World Report

Centers of excellence include:

  • UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers nationwide
  • State-of-the-art emergency departments that include the region's only Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers
  • The internationally recognized UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders
  • UC Davis Children's Hospital, a nationally ranked pediatric hospital with more than 120 physicians in 33 pediatric subspecialties
  • A pioneering telehealth program, which gives remote, underserved communities access to academic specialty and subspecialty care

To learn more, visit the medical center site.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis cultivates academic excellence and addresses urgent, societal needs through leadership development, interprofessional education, transformative research, cultural inclusiveness and innovative technology. The school plays a critical role in preparing nurse leaders who will shape the future of health care and inform health policy.

The School of Nursing has five research focus areas: chronic disease management, health technology, pain management, Healthy People and Healthy Systems. Faculty come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, business administration, sociology, gerontology, medicine, information technology and psychology. School of Nursing students engage in classroom and clinical environments with students in the School of Medicine, health informatics and other health-related programs.

A few highlights include:

To learn more, visit the School of Nursing’s website.

The Practice Management Group (TPMG) represents all organized medical group practices of UC Davis Health System’s primary and specialty care faculty physicians. The group's purpose is to serve the health system’s missions through high-quality, cost-effective care delivery. By delegation from the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean, TPMG has shared responsibility for the clinical operations of the health system's professional practice activities.

The formation of TPMG is an important step in formalizing the leadership of the health system's medical group practices and in refining the role of its group practice in achieving the health system's research, teaching, patient care and community engagement goals. Its primary goal is to maintain a clinical practice that distinguishes UC Davis Health System as a leading faculty and academic health center.

Specific goals of TPMG include:

  • Increasing efficiency of practice and revenue
  • Decreasing practice expenses
  • Reducing silos and improving integration
  • Identifying areas to increase quality
  • Aligning incentives

David H. Wisner is the executive director of the Practice Management Group, overseeing faculty practice operations as well as the overall vision and strategic direction of TPMG and its day-to-day activities. Wisner collaborates with the leadership of the School of Medicine and medical center to set and achieve joint strategic goals across the health system.

More information



NEWS | September 25, 2012

Oropharyngeal cancer patients with human papillomavirus (HPV) have a more robust response to radiation therapy

UC Davis research findings could alter treatment guidelines

(SACRAMENTO)

UC Davis cancer researchers have discovered significant differences in radiation-therapy response among patients with oropharyngeal cancer depending on whether they carry the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted virus. The findings, published online today in The Laryngoscope Journal, could lead to more individualized radiation treatment regimens, which for many patients with HPV could be shorter and potentially less toxic.

Allen Chen © UC Regents Allen Chen © UC Regents

HPV-related cancers of the oropharynx (the region of the throat between the soft palate and the epiglottis, including the tonsils, base of tongue and uvula) have steadily increased in recent years, according to the National Cancer Institute, especially among men. At the same time, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers related to other causes, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, is declining. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States; it can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex.

The UC Davis study, conducted by Allen Chen, associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Radiation Oncology, examined patterns of tumor reduction during radiation treatment in two otherwise similar groups of patients with oropharyngeal cancer: those who tested positive for HPV and those who tested negative for the virus.  None of the HPV patients in the study was a smoker, a leading risk factor for the disease.

Chen used CT scans acquired during image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and endoscopy (a tube with a small camera) to capture 3D images of the patients' tumors and monitor their treatment progress. He found that within the first two weeks after starting radiation, the gross tumor volume decreased by 33 percent in HPV-positive patients, while the volume decreased by only 10 percent in HPV-negative patients.

Chen said the results demonstrate that HPV-positive patients have a more rapid and robust response to radiation treatments, confirming what clinicians have suspected for years.

"These HPV-related tumors literally melt before your eyes," he said. "It is very gratifying to tell patients early on during treatment that their tumors are responding so quickly. Most of them are pleasantly relieved to hear such news."

The rapid rate of tumor regression did not continue, however, after the second week of radiation treatment, and by the end of the seven-week regimen, the total tumor shrinkage in both groups of patients was nearly the same.

However, "the dramatic early response observed in the HPV-positive patients strongly implies that these tumors behave distinctly from a biological standpoint and could be approached as a separate disease process," Chen said.

For example, the findings suggest that treatment for HPV-positive cancer may not need to be as intensive for it to be effective, Chen said, adding that a shorter, abbreviated treatment regimen would potentially lessen the side effects from radiation, which include sore throat, dry mouth, taste loss and swallowing difficulties.

"It is likely that treatment in the future will be individualized based on biomarkers present in the tumor, and HPV has the potential to do just that," said Chen.

Chen said there is increasing evidence that HPV-positive patients who receive radiation treatments live longer and have higher cure rates. According to the NCI, 88 percent of the HPV-positive patients are still alive two years after their treatments, compared with 66 percent of the HPV-negative patients.

"Given the impressive outcomes for patients with HPV-positive cancer using currently aggressive treatments, how to de-intensify therapy while maintaining cure rates is definitely a hot topic right now," said Chen.

Chen, in collaboration with colleagues, has recently launched a clinical trial of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer patients to evaluate outcomes when their radiation doses are reduced from seven weeks to either five or six, depending on their response to initial chemotherapy. This institutional trial, which is only available at UC Davis, just recently opened  enrollment.

"Why subject a patient to seven weeks of radiation when five weeks of radiation could be just as effective?" Chen said. "Sparing select patients from this extra radiation could potentially prevent significant toxic side effects and improve quality of life, both in the short-term and long-terms."

The current clinical trial also involves collection of oropharyngeal patient blood and tumor samples during treatment, so that researchers can precisely correlate HPV in these specimens with a patient's rate of response to radiation therapy.

The dramatic increase in oropharyngeal cancers in recent years has been described as an "epidemic," Chen said, due in large part to the increasing prevalence of HPV. In the United States, more than half of cancers currently diagnosed in the oropharynx are linked to HPV-16, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"Our trial was designed to help determine what the optimal treatment approach for these patients might be in the future," Chen said.

Why HPV-positive tumors respond differently to radiation treatment is under investigation at UC Davis, as well. The thought is that HPV labels cancer cells with a foreign antigen, which stimulates an immune response, Chen said.

"The HPV hijacks the host cancer cell leading to expression of a viral antigen on the surface, causing the patient's immune system to ramp up and fight the cancer," Chen said. "By identifying which molecular pathways are up-regulated or down-regulated during radiation therapy, it is our hope that insight may be gained into why HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is so radiation sensitive. This could have tremendous implications for developing strategies to fight not just oropharyngeal cancer, but all tumors in the future."

Other authors were Judy Li and Laurel A. Beckett from the Division of Biostatistics of the Department of Public Health Sciences, Talia Zhara of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Gregory Farwell of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery,  Derick H. Lau, associate professor of internal medicine, hematology and oncology, Regina Gandour-Edwards of  the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Andrew T. Vaughan, professor of radiation oncology, and James A. Purdy professor emeritus of the Department of Radiation Oncology and former director of the physics division.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit cancer.ucdavis.edu.

Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean | UC Davis Health

Welcome Dr. David Lubarsky to UC Davis Health!

David A. LubarskyUC Davis Chancellor Gary May has appointed David A. Lubarsky to the position of vice chancellor of human health sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Health, which includes the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center, a 627-bed acute-care hospital. Lubarsky will join UC Davis on July 2, 2018.

Lubarsky most recently served as the chief medical and systems integration officer with the University of Miami Health System, a position he has held since 2012. As a leader within the system, he has overseen the system’s four hospital and practice chief medical officers as well as patient safety and quality. In addition, he led the university’s self-insured malpractice program, which focuses on prevention, and patient and visitor services, including patient experience. During his tenure at the University of Miami, Lubarsky integrated programs to create system-wide consistent approaches to care and quality improvement, including a new central safety and quality office, a system-wide safety and quality governing board, a system-wide chief medical officer council, a system-wide infection control and antibiotic stewardship program, and a central PI and project management office.

"David brings to UC Davis broad experience and proven results in a major healthcare market," May said. "He has an impressive record of sound financial management and innovative practices for a high functioning health care system that has gained national attention. His success in raising funds to meet pressing needs, including for enhanced access to Medicaid and indigent patients, aligns well with our values at UC Davis Health."

Lubarsky has been recognized for his success in helping establish a centralized scheduling system, improving infrastructure, and improving performance across many areas of the University of Miami health system. He raised more than $100 million annually for the University of Miami from state and federal funding sources to aid enhanced access for Medicaid and indigent patients. Previously, as CEO of the 1,100-physician practice, he turned a $100 million loss into a $32 million surplus in one year by growing patient volumes and optimizing the revenue cycle while making sure already high patient experience scores were maintained. Of note, every one of his major initiatives has explicitly prioritized quality and empathetic patient care.

In his efforts to meet community needs, Lubarsky has worked with the state of Florida and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand access to Medicaid, forging a close partnership with the other major academic centers in Florida in pursuit of this goal. He has also been working with Florida’s state and congressional representatives to expand existing graduate medical education programs that would best meet the state’s needs and to secure the necessary federal funding which has been frozen for more than 20 years.

For the last 16 years, Lubarsky has been chief of service of anesthesia and pain management for the largest safety net hospital in the U.S., Jackson Memorial Hospital. He served on their board overseeing safety and quality, and throughout his tenure has been a forceful advocate for a uniform high quality of care.

"It is a privilege to join this highly regarded, progressive and nationally recognized health system," Lubarsky said. "I look forward to working closely with the accomplished faculty and staff, and routinely interacting with Davis’ talented students and trainees. I have already heard many great ideas about how to catapult Davis to greater heights, and I hope to harness those ideas to catalyze innovation so that we better serve our patients, our local community and our academic mission."

UC Davis School of Medicine is one of the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. Ranked 34th in National Institutes of Health funding in 2013, it is designated as one of the nation’s inaugural Clinical Translational Science Centers.

A few highlights include:

  • A national reputation for life-changing biomedical discoveries
  • A passion for clinical care and a commitment to engaging people from underserved communities and advancing rural health
  • Fully accredited master’s degree programs in public health and in informatics
  • A combined M.D.-Ph.D. program that is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care

The Dean’s Departments and Offices include:

Additional departments:

To learn more, visit the medical school site.

UC Davis Medical Center, based in Sacramento, Calif., is a nationally renowned academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health.

A few highlights:

  • A 627-bed multispecialty academic medical center
  • Serves 33 counties covering a 65,000-square-mile area north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada
  • Recognized as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the U.S.
  • Recognized by The Leapfrog Group as a “Top Hospital” for delivery of high-quality care
  • Ranked Sacramento's top hospital by U.S. News & World Report

Centers of excellence include:

  • UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers nationwide
  • State-of-the-art emergency departments that include the region's only Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers
  • The internationally recognized UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders
  • UC Davis Children's Hospital, a nationally ranked pediatric hospital with more than 120 physicians in 33 pediatric subspecialties
  • A pioneering telehealth program, which gives remote, underserved communities access to academic specialty and subspecialty care

To learn more, visit the medical center site.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis cultivates academic excellence and addresses urgent, societal needs through leadership development, interprofessional education, transformative research, cultural inclusiveness and innovative technology. The school plays a critical role in preparing nurse leaders who will shape the future of health care and inform health policy.

The School of Nursing has five research focus areas: chronic disease management, health technology, pain management, Healthy People and Healthy Systems. Faculty come from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, business administration, sociology, gerontology, medicine, information technology and psychology. School of Nursing students engage in classroom and clinical environments with students in the School of Medicine, health informatics and other health-related programs.

A few highlights include:

To learn more, visit the School of Nursing’s website.

The Practice Management Group (TPMG) represents all organized medical group practices of UC Davis Health System’s primary and specialty care faculty physicians. The group's purpose is to serve the health system’s missions through high-quality, cost-effective care delivery. By delegation from the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean, TPMG has shared responsibility for the clinical operations of the health system's professional practice activities.

The formation of TPMG is an important step in formalizing the leadership of the health system's medical group practices and in refining the role of its group practice in achieving the health system's research, teaching, patient care and community engagement goals. Its primary goal is to maintain a clinical practice that distinguishes UC Davis Health System as a leading faculty and academic health center.

Specific goals of TPMG include:

  • Increasing efficiency of practice and revenue
  • Decreasing practice expenses
  • Reducing silos and improving integration
  • Identifying areas to increase quality
  • Aligning incentives

David H. Wisner is the executive director of the Practice Management Group, overseeing faculty practice operations as well as the overall vision and strategic direction of TPMG and its day-to-day activities. Wisner collaborates with the leadership of the School of Medicine and medical center to set and achieve joint strategic goals across the health system.

More information