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Summer 2012

UCLA Community Network Continues to Grow

UCLA's primary and speciality care network include 80 offices Primary and preventive healthcare services are among the best strategies to improve health outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs. To address a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians, UCLA Health continues to expand its primary care network to ensure additional services are available where they are most needed - in the community.

"Primary care is the most important point of entry into the healthcare system," says UCLA family physician Denise Sur, M.D. "We want to provide convenient, high-quality, primary care and complement that with a full range of specialty services, all within one system of care."

UCLA's primary and specialty care network includes more than 80 community-based offices throughout Los Angeles, including locations in Westwood, West Los Angeles, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades and Manhattan Beach. A new office opened in Westlake Village this year, with plans to open several others in the Conejo Valley. Through these offices, pediatricians, family practitioners, internists and women's health specialists provide and coordinate primary healthcare services to promote health, prevent disease and manage acute and chronic illnesses for patients of all ages. 

"Most patients' healthcare needs can be addressed outside of the hospital," Dr. Sur says. "When patients need higher levels of care, we connect them with appropriate specialists and other resources, but we serve as the focal point for all needed services."

"I am able to follow my patients in the hospital, and then when they come back to my office, all of that information is available to me," Dr. Sur says. She adds that most offices have same-day appointments, which allows them to follow up with their patients without delay.

"We go beyond the four walls of the clinic to address the needs of our patients," says UCLA internist and pediatrician Alice Kuo, M.D., who directs a combined residency program in internal medicine and pediatrics. The curriculum is designed to teach residents to address social and mental health needs of patients, in addition to their medical issues.

"For example, many of our patients with chronic or complex medical problems have difficulties transitioning from adolescence to adulthood," she says. "In such cases, the primary care physicians take on the role of identifying or coordinating community resources to help these patients and their families navigate issues such as health insurance coverage, patient self-care, education and vocational training. The goal is to empower both the patient and the physician to improve healthcare," Dr. Kuo says.

The first step in improving the patient/physician experience, according to women's health specialist Mina Ma, M.D., is to make sure the patient feels comfortable with the physician. She also suggests checking physicians' credentials, reviewing websites and asking for recommendations or referrals from trusted sources.

Westlake Village Office Opens

A new neighborhood clinic in Westlake Village provides primary care through family and internal medicine doctors, and offers patients the opportunity to see specialists in cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology and rheumatology.
Call (805) 494-6920 or visit www.uclahealth.org/WestlakeVillage 

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