Patricia Nwajuaku, MD, MPH, our current fellow in thoracic anesthesiology, and Karen Sibert, MD, FASA, represented our department and the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) at the “Women’s Leadership Breakfast: Launch Her Future” event on March 22, benefiting the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA).
Attracting community leaders from across Los Angeles, the event held at the historic Ebell Theatre featured State Senator Holly Mitchell of the 30th Senate District, who is the Chair and founder of the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality.
GALA is the first public all-girls school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, opening in August 2016 with a commitment to offer a highly rigorous curriculum for grades 6-12 focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Electives include an innovative program in biomedical education developed by the national nonprofit organization Project Lead the Way.
Our department has partnered with CSA to support three local public schools – GALA, El Segundo High School, and Venice High School – that offer the PLTW biomedical education program. UCLA anesthesiology residents visit the high schools to talk about careers in medicine and give the students an opportunity for hands-on experience in airway management techniques and perioperative ultrasound. (Read more about their visits, and how much they are appreciated, in our online magazine, Open Circuit.)
Under the leadership of faculty member Christine Nguyen-Buckley, MD, our department also coordinates opportunities for the high school students to visit the UCLA Simulation Center.
Dr. Nwajuaku has a long record of interest in education and global health issues. A graduate of the David Geffen School of Medicine here at UCLA, she enlisted in the Air Force and served as a flight surgeon in the US and Europe. She has worked in health policy research and public health education in Nigeria, completed anesthesiology residency at the University of Florida, and earned her Master of Public Health degree at Columbia University.