Message from Department Chair, Deborah Krakow, MD
As we can finally view the unprecedented challenges of 2020 in our rearview mirror, we should look forward to 2021 with a sense of gratitude and hope. First, gratitude. Over most of 2020 our doctors, nurses and other health professionals worked in increasingly risky settings to deliver first class care and support to inpatients and outpatients. COVID impacts everyone - and doesn’t recognize a family expecting a new child or seeking assistance in planning a family, or a woman battling cancer. We continue to maintain a full schedule of services with very close attention to protecting our staff and patients from COVID-19 exposure. This work has required so much creative resolve and courage amidst so much uncertainty, and requires us all to endure changing schedules, workflows, and loss of many meaningful personal interactions. It is so difficult not to hug a crying patient or the parents of a new baby. COVID has forced us to sacrifice some of the elements of what makes us human, to ensure safety for all.
Second, hope. While we still have many tough days ahead, the start of 2021 brings us much hope for the future. The education and training of our future health professionals has continued strong during this difficult time. Vaccines whose efficacy seemed a dream last spring are now here and with them comes optimism that perhaps we might be turning a corner toward the pandemic’s end. And most important our healthcare system continues to hold steady through what is arguably one of the biggest challenges we have ever faced.
Our UCLA faculty and staff has been keenly focused on maintaining availability of services for our patients during this challenging time. In this issue of OBGYNews you will meet Dr. Christina Han, our new Division Director for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and hear about recent successful efforts to streamline collaborations with experts across UCLA Health to improve care for women with complex pregnancies - from pre-conception to pregnancy to post-partum services. You will also read about new groundbreaking research in the lab of Dr. Sandra Orsulic, studying mechanisms in the microenvironment that contribute to cancer initiation and progression, and using that information to identify markers for early cancer detection and generate models for testing targeted therapies. And you’ll learn more about our newest OBGYN Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS), a two year fully accredited program that will begin in July with the 2021-2022 academic year.
With gratitude and hope, I wish you all continued health and safety in 2021 and thank you for all that you do to support our patients and their families.
Deborah Krakow, MD
In this issue:
Meet the Faculty: Christina Han, MD, new Division Director for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Clinical Update: Advances in Maternal-Fetal Medicine Care
Education: MIGS Fellowship Program
New and Noteworthy
Research Update: Meet Sandra Orsulic, PhD, prominent cancer biologist