Media Highlights 2013

Value-based chronic disease care management awarded UCLA Innovation in health prize

The UCLA Health Institute for Innovation held its first contest in November 2013. The purpose of the contest was to identify innovations that have been implemented in the past 18 months and have produced dramatic improvements at UCLA Health. There were 44 entries and over 330 team members that participated. Entries were from all parts of the health system including outpatient clinics, the Emergency Department, Environmental Services, Pharmacy, Interpreter Services, Human Resources, Quality, MITS, and many more. As part of this contest, UCLA Health employees were invited to participate in determining the semi-finalists by voting on the innovation they liked best. There were over 1,800 people that registered to vote. Seven semi-finalist teams were selected to move on for the final round of judging. The entries were then evaluated by an expert judge panel for impact on patient experience, quality, total cost of care, measures of success, ability to scale, and ease of implementation. On December 19 the winner of the Institute for Innovation in Health Contest was announced at the Innovation Gallery that showcased all the innovations that entered the contest. Team Value Quotient was recognized for their Value-Based Chronic Disease Care Management innovation. Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases


More headlines for diverticulosis study
Health Exercise Dec. 10 and Virtual Medical Centre Dec. 18 reported on a study by Dr. Brennan Spiegel, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, that found diverticulosis is much less risky than previously believed.  


Connection between the brain and gut
Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, a professor of medicine in the divisions of digestive diseases, physiology and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and executive director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA, commented in a Nov. 27 Huffington Post blog on the connection between the gut and brain.


Diverticulosis study draws interest on internet news sites
Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun Dec. 10; Examiner.com, RedOrbitMedicalXpressHealth News Digest, Scrubs Report, Science Codex, Science Daily, Health Canal and Daily Rx Dec. 3; Medical News Today, Alaska Native News, EmaxHealth, Endo Nurse, News-Medical.net and Third Age Dec. 4; and Med Page Today, NewsMaxHealth and Ivanhoe News Dec. 5 reported on a study by Dr. Brennan Spiegel, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, that found diverticulosis is much less risky than previously believed.  


Dr. Peter Anton accepts chair position at the university of Buffalo Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance Program
Dr. Peter Anton has accepted the chair position for the University at Buffalo Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance Program, an NIAID funded initiative that is focused on HIV, HCV, TB and other HIV-related infections. Dr. Anton's role for the CPQA Advisory Board will be to chair quarterly meetings that include leadership representation from NIH and other experts in the field. The board considers current and emerging data and provides recommendations with regard to program planning in anticipation of NIH research studies to be conducted through the NIAID HIV research networks.
 
Dr. Anton is professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the UCLA Center for HIV Prevention Research, Core Director of the UCLA Center for AIDS Research's (CFAR)'s Mucosal Immunology Core Laboratory, and past Director of the UCLA Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. He has been with the Division of Digestive Diseases for more than 24 years, and his group was among the first to demonstrate that HIV infection triggers a persistent, active form of inflammatory bowel disease which can be viewed as a chronic infectious counterpart to the more conventional inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis/Crohn's disease). This group, with others, also reported the first evidence that while HIV vaccines may induce some antibodies and T cell responses in blood, they do not seem to similar (actually, markedly reduced) immune responses at the sexually exposed linings in the rectum. This finding continues to have a major impact on HIV vaccine study design, driving efforts to have a mucosally delivered vaccine (like the earlier polio sugar cube) and mucosal sampling in earlier trials. In addition, this awareness and expertise has fostered the rapid growth of using topical, lubricants during sex (which contain anti-HIV drugs; these products are known as "microbicides") that aim to kill HIV directly and/or prevent its ability to infect and replicate in immune cells.
 
With colleagues at University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Anton's laboratory has led the field in developing clinically-relevant mucosal assays (measurements of cell/tissue activity) in healthy, uninfected people without inflammatory bowel diseases. These tools and the normative ranges defined in many studies and in early Phase 1 FDA trials, have helped to demonstrate drug safety/no detected toxicity or injury (to the mucosal lining) and enabled some of the first quantification of anti-viral drug levels in rectal fluid, whole tissue biopsy homogenates, isolated mucosal immune cells as well as within CD4+ mucosal T cells (with Johns Hopkins). His group has also led the field in using drug-exposed human tissue to show early ability to prevent ex vivo tissue infection (using endoscopic biopsies in the laboratory). The group is also among the nation's leaders in assessing gene therapy approaches to HIV eradication and quantifying HIV reservoirs  and investigating why HIV ages immune cells much faster (in the gut even more so than the blood) in comparison to immune cell aging in HIV-negative individuals. 


Diverticulosis much less risky than previously thought, UCLA researchers find
In a 15-year study that contradicts the common wisdom on the rate of progression from diverticulosis to diverticulitis, UCLA researchers demonstrate that the risk is significantly lower than previously thought - about 1 percent over seven years. The study will help inform patients with diverticulosis - particularly those diagnosed at a younger age - and their physicians about the risks of developing acute diverticulitis, said study senior author Dr. Brennan Spiegel, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The study appears in the December edition of the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  


NPR covers brain/gut connections
NPR's "Morning Edition" Nov. 18 aired a feature on research, including work at UCLA, studying the connections between the brain and gut and in particular, the impact of the bacteria that lives in the intestines. The story featured interviews with Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases and director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for the Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience. A UCLA study subject was also featured at the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA.


Digestive diseases community leadership group highlighted
The Nov. 6 Beverly Hills Courier and Nov. 13 Beverly Hills Patch featured an inaugural dinner event for the Ambassadors of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, a newly established group of volunteer community leadership that will play a key role in broadening awareness of the division, which is within the UCLA Department of Medicine. The event was held at the Beverly Hills home of Drs. Melina and Eric Esrailian. Dr. Eric Esrailian and Dr. Gary Gitnick, co-chiefs of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, served as event co-chairs. Photos were featured as well. Learn more about the Ambassadors 


Hepatitis C treatments
Dr. Sammy Saab, professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases and of surgery, was quoted in a Nov. 13 Medscape report on costs for hepatitis C treatments.


Liver specialist discussed hepatitis C therapies
Dr. Sammy Saab, professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases and of surgery, was interviewed Nov. 7 in a CurrentMedicine.tv report on new therapies to combat hepatitis C.


Database of brain images for chronic pain
Voice of America reported Nov. 7 that the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience will serve as the main hub for a first-ever international database of brain images and other clinical information associated with chronic pain conditions. Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, physiology and psychiatry and executive director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, were interviewed.


Websites highlights brain imaging database for chronic pain conditions
E!Science News Oct. 16, Arthritis Research, Gutsfull and FibroDaily Oct. 17, and Fierce Medical Imaging Oct. 19 reported on a new database featuring hundreds of brain scans and other key clinical information that will help researchers tease out similarities and differences between chronic pain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, helping to accelerate research and treatment development. Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, a professor of medicine in the divisions of digestive diseases, physiology and psychiatry; Dr. Bruce Naliboff, a professor in the departments of medicine and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, and Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, were quoted. All faculty are part of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA.


LA Times delves into use of propofol for colonoscopies
Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, was interviewed for an Oct. 18 Los Angeles Times Business section column on the use of anesthesia, and the drug propofol, to sedate patients undergoing colonoscopies. Esrailian also commented that the goal for the healthcare community should be to increase the number of people undergoing colonoscopies to get a jump on potentially cancerous growths.


Reflux disease is common yet often overlooked
Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the division of digestive diseases, was quoted Sept. 14 in a Los Angeles Times article about acid reflux disease. 


Generous gift establishes the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center at UCLA 
Date: 09/09/2013

Bren and Melvin Simon

A multimillion-dollar gift has allowed the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases to provide patients with an innovative home health program; supported new, minimally invasive treatment procedures; and funded state-of-the-art gastroenterology research.  The funding has helped the division deliver the highest level of care to patients and offer novel approaches to medical therapies.

The generous gift, from the Melvin and Bren Simon Charitable Foundation, was made in memory of Melvin Simon, whose dynamic spirit was a driving force behind his many accomplishments-from co-founding the Simon Property Group, one of the largest shopping mall companies in the United States, to his longtime co-ownership of the NBA's Indiana Pacers.

The gift is a tribute to Melvin's achievements and furthers his wife Bren's tireless advocacy for programs that transform lives.  It establishes the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center at UCLA, an umbrella structure for all of the clinical operations and centers for excellence of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases.

The center will provide the resources to strengthen a practice group of 60 physicians and medical staff,  provide patients with the state-of-the-art technologies and support key division programs.

"We are very pleased to be able to contribute to the work and future of digestive diseases care at UCLA," said Bren Simon, who wanted to give back to the division in thanks for its care for Melvin, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 82.

Over the past three decades, Bren Simon has been committed to supporting programs that help improve lives, including the United States Institute of Peace, which helps forge international unity, and the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan organization that supports women's political progress internationally. She directs both the Melvin and Bren Simon Foundation and the Joshua Max Simon Charitable Foundation.

"We thank the Simons for their tremendous generosity," said Dr. Gary Gitnick, the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Chair in Digestive Diseases and chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, which is a leader in the diagnosis, treatment and research aimed at combating debilitating and deadly disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract. "We strive to provide unparalleled care, innovative research and robust physician training. The Simon Foundation's gift will strongly support us in our mission."

The multiyear gift has already made a difference, enabling the division to recruit faculty members to expand its program in inflammatory bowel diseases. Funds from the gift have also helped develop a state-of-the-art home care program, through which patients can use tablet computers to receive real-time support from their nurses and doctors. The program currently serves patients with debilitating diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and it will be expanded to patients with other chronic gastrointestinal disorders.

"We're dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of medicine and health care delivery," said Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases and the medical director for the Simon Center. "We're extremely grateful to Bren Simon for her transformative gift, which will support patient care and research for years to come."

Several other key division programs will benefit from the gift, including the Esophageal Center; the Center for Interventional Endoscopy, which offers the latest minimally invasive procedures to treat a wide range of digestive disorders involving the colon, gall bladder, pancreas and esophagus; and the Center for Systems Biomedicine, which is focused on identifying the immune-cell composition of pancreatic tumors and better understanding tumors' resistance to cancer drugs.

The Division of Digestive Diseases' clinical, research and training programs engage in creative and innovative approaches to understanding and treating gastrointestinal disorders. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2013, the division is continually ranked among the top 10 digestive diseases centers in the United States in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey.


Study on new form of IBS continues to attract coverage
Science Daily Sept. 5; Red Orbit, Zenopa, Health Canal and New-Medical.net Sept. 6; Free Press Journal, Gulf Prices and Financial Express Sept. 7; Medical Horizons Sept. 9; Gastroenterology Update Sept. 10, and the Beverly Hills Courier Sept. 12 reported on a study by Dr. Brennan Spiegel, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, that described a new form of irritable bowel syndrome.    


Generous gift to Divisio nof Digestive Diseases highlighted 
Examiner.com, Century-City Patch, News-Medical, Anchorage Daily News, Austin American Statesman (Texas), Belleville News Democrat (Ill.), Boston GlobeBuffalo News (N.Y.), Contra Costa TimesDaily Breeze, Education Today, El Paso Times (Texas), Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Healthcare Industry Today, KCOY-TV (Santa Maria, Calif.), KFJX-TV (Pittsburg, Kan.), KFRE-TV (Fresno, Calif), KHNL-TV (Honolulu), KING-TV (Seattle), KTVN-TV (Reno, Nev.), KWTV-TV (Oklahoma City), Los Angeles Daily NewsLos Angeles Biz Journals, MarketWatch, New York Business Journal, NewsdayPasadena Star-News and Sacramento Business Journal, among others, reported Sept. 9 on a multi-million dollar gift from the Melvin and Bren Simon Charitable Foundation that establishes the Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Disease Center at UCLA, an umbrella structure for all the clinical operations and centers of excellence for the division. The gift has allowed the division to offer novel approaches to medical therapies and state-of-the-art technologies and has furthered gastroenterology research. Dr. Gary Gitnick, the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Chair in Digestive Diseases and chief of the division of digestive diseases, and Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the division of digestive diseases and the medical director for the Simon Center, were quoted.


Dr. Jennifer Choi recognized as rising star
The selection process for Rising Stars is the same as Southern California Super Doctors. It is a peer-review selection process ensures that only the top physicians are selected to become Rising Star doctors. These doctors have excelled professionally and are widely recognized as leaders within their fields of practice. Every year, thousands of physicians receive ballots that ask: "If you needed medical care, which doctor would you choose?" Several safeguards prevent self-nomination and ballot manipulation. An expert Blue Ribbon Panel groups nominees into more than 30 medical practice areas and assigns point totals based on individual reviews. Each doctor's professional information is verified to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date.

While approximately 5 percent of the physicians within the respective state or region are named to Super Doctors, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.  


Aspirin may lower risk of colon cancer in women
Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief and assistant clinical professor of the division of digestive diseases, was quoted July 15 in an NBC News.com article about how aspirin may lower the risk of colon cancer in women.


Probiotic yogurt alters brain function
South China Morning Post July 2, Australia's ABC Radio June 29, and Psych Central June 26 reported on a study by researchers at UCLA's G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience that is part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases and the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, showing that ingesting probiotic bacteria can affect brain function in humans. Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, and Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases and of physiology and psychiatry, were quoted.


Probiotic yogurt alters brain function
Yahoo News June 22 and Guardian Express June 24 reported on a study by researchers at UCLA's G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience that is part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases and the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, showing that ingesting probiotic bacteria can affect brain function in humans. Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, and Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, a professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases and of physiology and psychiatry, were quoted. 


Get rid of polyps, keep your colon
Medical News Today June 19; News-Medical, Becker's ASC Review, Bio-Medicine, Breakthrough Digest, Medical Design Technology, Surgical Products News, and Bright Surf June 18; and Scrubs Report, Examiner.com, Alaska Native News, Health Canal, MedicalXpress and Stone Hearth News June 17 reported on research examining the effectiveness of a new minimally invasive technique for removing large and hard-to-reach polyps from the colon without removing part of the colon itself. Study authors Dr. James Yoo, assistant professor of surgery and chief of the colon and rectal surgery program, and Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the division of digestive diseases, were quoted in the coverage.


Probiotic yogurt alters brain function
The Miami Herald June 19, The Huffington Post June 17, and Prevention.com June 12 reported on a study by researchers at UCLA's G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience that is part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases and the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, showing that ingesting probiotic bacteria can affect brain function in humans. Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, was quoted in the Huffington Post and Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, and of physiology and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, commented in Prevention.com.   


Brain-gut study grabs national, international headlines
Neuroscience News, Bio-Medicine, Science News Line, Health Canal, e! Science News, Scrubs Report, Medical Xpress, Examiner.com, Medical DailyScience Daily, Science Codex, Science A GoGo May 28; Glamour MagazinePopular Science, New Kerala, Fars News AgencyZee NewsDeccan HeraldRed Orbit, India.com, Natural Products Insider, EndoNurse, Asian News International, Food News, SCV NewsDaily Mail UKEarth Sky, Indian Express, Press Trust of India, Food Product Design, Health Care Asia, Health India, Indian Mirror, Health Central, iTech Post, Indian Express, Bioscience Technology, Big News Network, India Vision, Medical News Today, Medic Magic, Nexus Now, News-Medical.net May 29; and Natural NewsDay News, United Kingdom News, News Reporter, Indo-Asian News Service, Telegraph UK, Kajhiya Times, Prokerala News, UA Magazine, and Med Guru May 30 reported on a study that provided the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. The Asian News International and Indo-Asian News Services stories also appeared in dozens of media outlets nationwide. Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, and Dr. Emeran A. Mayer, a professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry, were quoted. 


Endoscopy, beyond the cutting edge
Dr. V. Raman Muthusamy, associate clinical professor of medicine and director of interventional endoscopy, division of digestive diseases, commented in a March 25 report in DOT Med Daily News, an online trade publication, about the latest innovations in endoscopy technologies.


Can Enzymes Make the Meal?
Dr. Lin Chang, professor-in-residence of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, commented April 1 in a Wall Street Journal article about enzyme supplements that might help digestion.   


Voted Best Doctors in 2013

Best Doctors conducts an exhaustive, peer-reviewed survey of the medical profession, polling more than 50,000 doctors across the country. Doctors are asked to provide an assessment of the clinical abilities of their peers within each of the more than 400 subspecialties of medicine. The millions of individual data points collected through this process, after being compiled through algorithms that correct for statistical bias, yields the list of those physicians deemed "best" by their peers. Continuous peer-to-peer surveys help identify specialists who are considered by fellow physicians to be the most skilled in their fields and most qualified for reviewing and treating complex medical conditions.

Best Doctors objective is to identify the best trained, most experienced and most skilled specialists, regardless of where they practice. Only 5% of the doctors in any country are actually selected to become Best Doctors.

The following UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases physicians were recognized: Lin Chang, Marvin Derezin, Francisco Durazo, Steven-Huy Han, Dennis Jensen, V. Raman Muthusamy, Bennett Roth, Bruce Runyon, Sammy Saab and Andrew Soll  

Voted Best Doctors 2013-2014

Voted Southern California Super Doctors 2013

Super Doctors Icon

A peer-review selection process ensures that only the top physicians are selected to become Super Doctors. These doctors have excelled professionally and are widely recognized as leaders within their fields of practice. Every year, thousands of physicians receive ballots that ask: "If you needed medical care, which doctor would you choose?" Several safeguards prevent self-nomination and ballot manipulation. An expert Blue Ribbon Panel groups nominees into more than 30 medical practice areas and assigns point totals based on individual reviews. Each doctor's professional information is verified to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date.

UCLA Health System is proud to have such a diverse group of doctors be deemed "super" among their peers. Super Doctors is a respected publication that identifies top doctors through independent research and an objective selection process.

The following UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases physician were recognized: Peter Anton, Lin Chang, Daniel Cole, Francisco Durazo, Gary Gitnick, Steven-Huy Han, Dennis Jensen, Rome Jutabha, Thomas Kovacs, Emeran A. Mayer, Bennett Roth, Sammy Saab and Kirsten Tillisch

Superdoctors Southern California 2013

Forms at the doctor's office just got fun
Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases, commented in a Jan. 23 CNN.com article on the use of tablet apps for patient intake information.