Gabe Mannis wanted a career that would offer a constant intellectual challenge and the ability
to give back to the community. So he chose to pursue a medical education at UC Davis School of Medicine,
in part because it offers medical students hands-on patient care training through volunteer opportunities
at five student-run clinics that provide free health care to medically underserved populations.
Little did he know he would soon be able to add "fund-raising experience" to his resumé.
As last year's co-director of the Shifa Clinic, which provides health care to the Muslim community, Mannis
spent much of his time searching for funds to support more than three-quarters of the clinic's annual
operating budget. At the same time, he treated clinic patients, conducted a full-time research project
and continued his education.
"I was on my own to secure funding for the clinic," he said. "I had to balance weekly
patient care and research with soliciting donations from a community that I was entirely unfamiliar with
at the time."
Mannis successfully met the challenge, and recently turned over leadership to Shifa's incoming co-director
with funding secured. Beginning this year, co-directors from each UC Davis student-run clinic will receive
much-needed help, thanks to a $200,000 grant from The California Wellness Foundation.
Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, The California Wellness Foundation is charged
with improving the health of Californians by funding health promotion, wellness education and disease-prevention
The foundation's grant to the student-run clinics will be used to hire an inter-clinic coordinator to
ensure continuity from year to year as new student directors come in. In addition, the fund will cover
the cost of developing a database to track critical information, such as the average annual distribution
of flu vaccine, to improve operations.
"The clinics have been providing outstanding, culturally sensitive health-care services to under-served
communities in Sacramento for more than 30 years," said Amerish Bera, assistant dean of admissions
and outreach for UC Davis School of Medicine. "Thanks to The California Wellness Foundation, they
will have continued success in providing care that the Sacramento community depends upon."
How you can help
UC Davis Health System plays an important role in improving the quality of life in the Sacramento region
and beyond by providing high quality, compassionate health care, conducting cutting-edge research, and
offering an exceptional medical education program. It also addresses a critical community need through
its student-run clinics. "There was a very good fit between the clinics' role in serving Sacramento's
diverse communities and the California Wellness Foundation's commitment to improving access to health-care
services in California," said Jeff Ellis, director of corporate and foundation relations for UC Davis
Health System. "We thank the Wellness Foundation for its support."
Your company or foundation also can benefit from a collaborative relationship with the health system.
To find out more about how your organization can partner with UC Davis Health System, contact Ellis at
(916) 734-9583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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People with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of dying from vascular disease. The Richard
A. and Nora Eccles Harrison Endowed-Chair-in-Diabetes-Research Fund was established to research ways to
prevent the onset of the disease and reduce its complications. A majority of the endowment money is used
to recruit to UC Davis Health System established, high-quality basic scientists who will focus their research
efforts on the diabetes mellitus.
The Harrison research fund has opened new areas of research in vascular disease related to diabetes conducted
by Jason Eiserich, assistant professor of nephrology. His research team is investigating how aspects of
a white blood cell protein, called myeloperoxidase, act as a mediator of vascular inflammatory disease.
The research team also is researching the role that vitamin E plays in modulating vascular inflammation
and how novel oxidant producing enzymes in vascular smooth muscle cells can mediate smooth muscle cell
The fund already has allowed Eiserich and his team to complete a series of basic science studies that
led to larger research grants. The team has secured multi-year funding from the National Institutes of
Health and the USDA, among others. In addition, they have research proposals pending with the American
Heart Association and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
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The stork will pay a visit to the UC Davis Health System's Center for Virtual Care this summer, thanks
to a $40,000 grant from funds raised on behalf of UC Davis Children's Hospital by Children's Miracle Network.
BabySIM, a patient simulator developed by Medical Education Technologies, Inc. in Florida, will enable
UC Davis medical students and professionals to learn how to care for their tiniest patients. The 3- to
6-month-old simulated infant will soon arrive with realistic features, such as clenched fists and a "loving
layer of baby fat."
UC Davis medical students and professionals already train on the center's high-tech adult and pediatric
simulation systems. The specialized infant training will permit the teaching of critical infant interventions,
such as drug administration, CPR and airway management.
"Often, medical students and staff get their first real exposure to the complexities and nuances
of treating critically ill and injured infants when the stakes are high and the dangers are real,"
said Peter Rutan, training coordinator for the center. "BabySIM will allow them to learn infant care
in a safe but realistic environment."
The Sacramento community donates more than $1 million annually to Children's Miracle Network through
Radiothon pledges, miracle balloon sales and other events. Funds are awarded each spring through a competitive
grant system to UC Davis Health System researchers, educators and other staff. All funds support the care
and treatment of sick and injured children.