UC Irvine Medical Center

UC Irvine burn center, foundation team up to aid victim of acid attack

Orange, Calif., March 21, 2013 — UC Irvine Health and Circle of Care Burn Foundation are working together to heal the victim of an acid attack who suffered third degree burns over 40 percent of her body. The patient is known as Jane Doe, and she was the victim of domestic violence in Mexico. Details about her identity and home are being withheld for her safety.

Dr. Victor Joe, director of UC Irvine Regional Burn Center, is overseeing her treatment, which includes multiple skin grafts and other surgeries to address complications of the major burns.

“Jane’s wounds cover her chest and much of her back but she seems pretty resilient,” Joe said. “We wanted her to regain her strength in the first week or so here before we started doing skin grafts.”

Treatment in the hospital will take approximately one month, and will be followed by regular outpatient visits and therapy lasting up to a year. Jane will stay with family members during outpatient  care.

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Study: Most women with ovarian cancer don’t get proper treatment

Dr. Robert Bristow

IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times highlighted a study led by UC Irvine’s Dr. Robert Bristow which found that most women with ovarian cancer don’t get the proper treatment for their disease:

Most women with ovarian cancer receive inadequate care and miss out on treatments that could add a year or more to their lives, a new study has found.

The results highlight what many experts say is a neglected problem: widespread, persistent flaws in the care of women with this disease, which kills 15,000 a year in the United States. About 22,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, most of them discovered at an advanced stage and needing aggressive treatment. Worldwide, there are about 200,000 new cases a year.

Cancer specialists around the country say the main reason for the poor care is that most women are treated by doctors and hospitals that see few cases of the disease and lack expertise in the complex surgery and chemotherapy that can prolong life.

“If we could just make sure that women get to the people who are trained to take care of them, the impact would be much greater than that of any new chemotherapy drug or biological agent,” said Dr. Robert E. Bristow, the director of gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine, and lead author of the new study presented on Monday at a meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology in Los Angeles.


Autism center to screen documentary ‘Through the Heart of Tango’

On March 16, UC Irvine’s Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California will host a private screening of “Through the Heart of Tango,” a remarkable documentary about a group of young adults with developmental disorders learning to bond through dance.

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Cancer is even worse in the movies

Dr. Leonard Sender

IN THE NEWS: The Orange County Register interviewed Dr. Leonard Sender for an article about the unrealistic view of cancer shown in the movies:

Dr. Leonard Sender, a UC Irvine oncologist who specializes in young-adult cancer, said when he watches movies, he particularly focuses on the portrayals of doctors, sometimes cringing at their arrogance.

He attended an event where Will Reiser, the screenwriter of “50/50,” spoke about the 2011 film, which was based on his diagnosis of spinal cancer at 25. In the movie, the character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt undergoes chemotherapy, sees a therapist and ultimately survives.

“I thought it was really realistic,” Sender said. “Not everyone has to die in the movies. A lot more people are surviving from cancer than dying of cancer.”


UCI med school’s iPad program showing results

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Dr. Jose Carrillo, 36, uses his iPad to explain a patient’s case to third-year medical student Michelle Wedemeyer, 32, of Newport Beach. MACKENZIE REISS/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

IN THE MEDIA: The Orange County Register took a look at how iPads are used in the iMedEd initiative of the UC Irvine School of Medicine, which Apple recently recognized as a distinguished program:

UC Irvine’s pioneering medical school program put an iPad loaded with books, apps and notes covering the first year of curriculum in the hands of 104 incoming medical students a few months after Apple debuted the devices in 2010…

Apple last week singled out UCI’s trailblazing iMedEd Initiative as a distinguished program for its use of the company’s tablets. In addition, the medical school announced a 23 percent increase in scores, on average, on the initial test for a medical license taken by the first class to get iPads.

“Hopefully this will encourage other schools now that they can see it wasn’t a detriment,” said Dr. Warren Wiechmann, who heads up implementation of the program.


UC Irvine conference to focus on traditional, alternative and custom epilepsy treatments

UC Irvine’s eighth annual epilepsy symposium, “Epilepsy in Modern Life: Classic & Alternative Approaches,” will address the emerging roles of exercise, sleep and cognitive training and examine ways to integrate these activities into comprehensive treatment plans. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.

“Our goal is to provide insight and strategies to enhance the quality of life and cognitive function for people with epilepsy,” said Dr. Jack Lin, conference chairman and associate professor of neurology at UC Irvine.

The first session will focus on the influence of stress on epilepsy, as well as such complementary and alternative treatments as herbal therapy, dietary modification and exercise. The second session will address individualized approaches to treating epilepsy, including tailored drug and surgical therapies. Additional speakers will discuss epilepsy and the creative mind and how sleep and epilepsy interact.


UC Irvine receives $3 million grant for retinal degeneration research

The first-floor Gavin Herbert Eye Institute clinical center will be named the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation Center for Vision Care in honor of the late inventor and his wife.

UC Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for fellowships and instruments that advance research to prevent blindness caused by such diseases as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

“We are grateful to the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for demonstrating confidence in the quality of scientific discovery taking place at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute,” said Dr. Roger Steinert, professor and chair of ophthalmology and director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. “Researchers here share the late Dr. Beckman’s commitment to excellence and will use this grant to strategically support our bold goal of eradicating blindness by 2020.”

The Beckman Foundation grant includes $1 million for state-of-the-art instruments designed to perform promising medical procedures such as stem cell transplantation for retinal degeneration.


Medical students to honor humanism in clinical care

UC Irvine School of Medicine will join almost 60 medical schools and institutions from across North America on Feb. 14 in taking a stand for humanism in medicine by observing the third Gold Humanism Honor Society Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care.

The event was begun after the 2011 shootings in Tucson to honor the humanistic actions of Randall Friese, MD, the trauma surgeon who first treated shooting victim Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  Dr. Friese said that the most important thing he did for Giffords in the emergency room was to take her hand and tell her that she would be cared for.

To honor that spirit of caring, the Gold Humanism Honor Society of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation created  GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, when medical schools and healthcare institutions across North America create and undertake projects demonstrating the importance of empathy and compassion in patient care.

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UCI’s iMedEd Initiative named a 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program

Digital notes, outlines and diagrams dowloaded onto iPads aid students during lecture courses in the UC Irvine School of Medicine. It’s part of the iMedEd Initiative. STEVE ZYLIUS/ UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

The iMedEd Initiative – UC Irvine’s innovative medical education program based on iPad tablet computing – has been chosen as a 2012-13 Apple Distinguished Program.

This year, iMedEd Initiative joins select programs that Apple is honoring nationwide as exemplary learning environments. The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that integrate Apple technology into education and meet criteria for visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and a flexible learning environment.

“The iMedEd Initiative has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Program for its innovative, digital-based educational platform that conforms to the 21st century learning styles and needs of students throughout the world,” said Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

The iMedEd Initiative is reinventing the traditional medical school curriculum, Clayman added. It was the first in the nation to build a completely digital, interactive learning environment – which includes tablet-based learning and portable ultrasound clinical training – and continues to lead in adapting emerging technologies for all aspects of classroom and clinical training.


Study: Orange County still robust on quantity of life

Dr. Lisa Gibbs

IN THE NEWS: An Orange County Register article about a county health department study of life expectancy quoted UC Irvine geriatrician Dr. Lisa Gibbs. director of the UC Irvine SeniorHealth Center:

Orange County residents continue to exceed state and national average life expectancies, according to a new report by the county’s Health Care Agency.

An American born in 2010 has an average life expectancy of 78.7 years, but an Orange County resident born that year is forecast to live to 81.9 years. The state average is 81.4. …

[A]ccess to health care is important to life span. She said Orange County is fortunate to have a number of agencies and nonprofit organizations that address aging issues.

“Sometimes it’s not all about socioeconomic status,” Gibbs said. “There are plenty of older people that don’t have access to care because they’re isolated. They may not have transportation. They may have some dementia or depression. They may have Medicare and health insurance but there are other factors that isolate them so they’re not getting medical care.”