A sampling of recent major achievements and developments from UC Davis Health System. For more listings and news, please visit our website, follow us on social media, or subscribe to UC Davis Health System news feeds with an RSS reader.

Garen Wintemute, M.D.

UC Davis will lead nation’s first state-funded firearm violence research center

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced her intent to establish the UC’s new Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis’ Sacramento campus under the direction of Garen Wintemute, M.D., an emergency medicine physician and pioneering researcher in the field. Launched with a $5 million state appropriation to cover the next five years, the new center will build on UC Davis’ unique resources for violence-prevention research and draw on the power of other UC campuses to provide scientific evidence that informs effective prevention. The center is the result of legislation introduced by state Sen. Lois Wolk, whose proposal became part of the California budget agreement signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in June.

Diana Farmer, M.D. Surgeon-in-chief, UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Diana Farmer, M.D.
Surgeon-in-chief, UC Davis Children's Hospital

American College of Surgeons - verified center badge

UC Davis Children’s Hospital verified as Level I Children’s Surgery Center by American College of Surgeons

UC Davis Children’s Hospital became the first hospital on the West Coast, and the fourth in the nation, to earn verification as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The designation from the ACS Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program focuses on the nation’s first and only multi-specialty standards of surgical care for pediatric patients. ACS surveyors included experienced children’s surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses who reviewed the hospital’s structure, process and clinical outcomes data.

DeVere White in operating room with colleague

De Vere White to serve on prestigious NIH panel

Ralph de Vere White, M.D., who retired in June as director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been named to a key committee at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For a two-year term, which began July 1, de Vere White will serve on the NIH Center for Scientific Review’s Developmental Therapeutics Study Section, tasked with reviewing research applications in the field of cancer therapeutics. The Developmental Therapeutics Study Section focuses on the development of research that offers promising opportunities for translation into medical practice.

New chief medical information officer, Jeffrey Wajda, D.O.

New chief medical information officer

Jeffrey Wajda, D.O., was appointed chief medical information officer for UC Davis Medical Center, the first physician to formally have the title. Board certified in emergency medicine, Wajda is responsible for the coordination, management and direction of the clinical information system within the hospital and clinics, and will emphasize the goal of maintaining state-of-the-art electronic medical records that are clinician-friendly and thoughtfully configured.

Most Wired 2016

HealthCare's most wired winner 2016

For the sixth time in as many years, UC Davis Medical Center has earned the “Most Wired” designation as a top leader in information technology. The annual assessment examines how hospitals use patient safety and quality-of-care priorities as well as public health, administrative processes and workforce decisions. Nearly 700 hospitals and health systems participated in the survey, representing more than 2,100 hospitals, which is nearly 34 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

National spotlight for use of technology to improve health of Californians

UC Davis has earned a special Commitment to Health IT Award from HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). UC Davis was one of four institutions across the country showcased through regional events during National Health IT Week this year, and was selected as a model institution representing the HIMSS western region.

New associate vice chancellor for academic personnel

Colleen Clancy Ph.D.

Pharmacology professor Colleen Clancy, Ph.D., is the new associate vice chancellor for academic personnel for the schools of Human Health Sciences. In her new role, Clancy will provide overall leadership, vision and strategic direction for academic personnel as well as collaborate with other key health system and campus leaders, including the vice provost for academic affairs, chief medical officer and chief compliance officer.

Kizer to chair national committee on housing, health and homelessness

Kenneth Kizer, M.D., M.P.H.

Kenneth Kizer, M.D., M.P.H., director of the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement, has been selected to chair the National Academy Committee on Housing, Health and Homelessness: Evaluating the Evidence. The committee brings together 11 of the nation’s leading population health specialists who are evaluating interventions and policy options to address urban homelessness, particularly the impact of permanent supportive housing on health.

One of America’s top hospitals

U.S. News Best Hospitals Award 2016-2017

U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Davis Medical Center among the nation’s best hospitals in 10 adult medical specialties for 2016-17, and the top in the Sacramento region. UC Davis ranked among the top 50 hospitals in cancer care; cardiology and heart surgery; ear, nose and throat; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopaedics; pulmonology and urology.

High performing in many common procedures and conditions

U.S. News Best Regional Hospitals Award 2016-2017

U.S. News & World Report also released ratings for common types of care, with UC Davis Medical Center rated as high performing in abdominal aortic aneurysm repair; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD; colon cancer surgery; heart failure; hip replacement; knee replacement; and lung cancer surgery. UC Davis was also designated as high performing in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery in the medical specialties rankings. The hospital met expected standards of care for aortic valve surgery and heart bypass surgery.

New grant solidifies leadership in translational research

Lars Berglund M.D., Ph.D., CTSC director and Associative Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Research

The UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center’s array of services supporting innovative biomedical research will continue thanks to a $27.8 million grant from the National Center for Accelerating Translational Science and the ongoing support from the School of Medicine. The new award will facilitate multicenter clinical trials; expand efforts to involve patients in studies evaluating rare diseases as well as health across the lifespan; and formalize relationships with the School of Veterinary Medicine, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and Center for Health and Technology. The CTSC has played an important role in advancing the school’s national standing in research funds received from the National Institutes of Health over the last 10 years, which increased from 51st in the U.S. to 30th.

NCI Board of Scientific Counselors appointment

Kit Lam, M.D., Ph.D.

Kit Lam, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, has been appointed to the National Cancer Institute’s Basic Science Board of Scientific Counselors. The group of senior advisors helps the NCI assure continued quality of scientific research, and advises on strategic direction and opportunities for intramural research. Lam is co-leader of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Therapeutics Program and an expert in combinatorial chemistry, chemical biology, drug development, molecular imaging, nanotherapeutics and medical oncology.

Honors for osteoporosis and bone biology research

Nancy Lane, M.D.

Nancy Lane, M.D., endowed professor of medicine, rheumatology and aging and director of the UC Davis Center for Musculoskeletal Health, has been honored by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) with its 2016 inaugural Steven M. Krane Award for her clinical research focused on osteoporosis and bone biology in patients with rheumatic diseases. Lane is an internationally known rheumatologist and an expert on the epidemiology and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The ASBMR’s Krane Award is given in recognition of outstanding achievements in basic, translational or clinical research in inflammation and/or skeletal matrix biology.

Prudence's Story

Sadie Marsh celebrating first birthday with mom - Prudence

Sadie Marsh’s first birthday was an unusually special blessing for parents Prudence and Jon.

The Northern California couple had previously lost two consecutive babies – both seemingly healthy – to sudden, unexplained lactic acidosis within hours of birth.

UC Davis specialists chased the medical mystery, investigating for more than two years until whole exome sequencing revealed abnormalities in the LIPT1 gene were responsible for the deaths. Prenatal testing indicated Sadie, shown in the video still at right, doesn’t carry the mutation. She’s now thriving, while a case study published on her lost siblings boosts awareness.

“I think finding the cause brought closure for all of us, and certainly for the parents,” said maternal-fetal medicine specialist Véronique Taché, M.D. “But for us as the providers who took care of Prudence, to understand why this happened and then be able to potentially help other couples who have gone through this is very important.”

For more, watch “Prudence’s story” on UC Davis Health System’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ucdavishealth.