Health and well-being is our mission, starting with safety. At UCLA Health we are advancing our organization's policies and practices to prevent and take action against sexual misconduct. That starts with maintaining open dialogue with our patients.
We have created this website to provide information and resources to patients following the charges against former UCLA employee, Dr. James Heaps.
Dr. James Heaps was employed at UCLA Health as an obstetrician-gynecologist from February 2014 to June 2018. He completed his internship and residency in that field and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the School of Medicine from 1983-1989. From 1990 to January 31, 2014, Dr. Heaps' private practice was independent from UCLA Health, but he had privileges at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and from 1989 until 2018, he served on the Medical School faculty. During his internship, residency, and fellowship, and extending until June 2010, Dr. Heaps was a consulting physician for UCLA Student Health.
In 2018, UCLA investigated Dr. Heaps for sexual misconduct and improper billing practices. We reported him to the Medical Board of California, and the US Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”), and law enforcement. We also informed Dr. Heaps that his employment was being terminated, after which he announced he was retiring.
What were the misconduct complaints against Heaps? The complaint that triggered our investigation and ultimately Dr. Heaps' termination was of inappropriate and medically unnecessary touching and communications during a gynecologic procedure. Through the investigation and since then, we also have become aware of similar allegations by additional patients of Dr. Heaps, and we substantiated allegations of billing irregularities and violation of our Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment policy.
For what period of time was Dr. Heaps employed by UCLA?Dr. Heaps was employed by UCLA as an ob-gyn from 2014 to 2018. Dr. Heaps did his internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at UCLA School of Medicine from 1983 to 1989. From 1990 to January 31, 2014, Dr. Heaps' private practice was independent from UCLA Health, but Dr. Heaps had privileges at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and from 1989 until 2018, Dr. Heaps served on the UCLA Medical School faculty. During his internship, residence, and fellowship, and until June of 2010, Dr. Heaps was a consulting physician for UCLA Student Health.
Were any of Dr. Heaps’ former patients UCLA students?Yes. Dr. Heaps worked on a part-time basis at the UCLA student health center from approximately 1983 through June of 2010. He may also have seen students by referral at his private practice prior to 2014 and then as a UCLA Health employee from 2014-2018.
What steps is UCLA taking?Sexual harassment or sexual violence against anyone is unacceptable. We are deeply sorry that a former member of our staff violated our policies and standards, our trust, and the trust of his patients. Because we know we can and must do better, in March 2019, we initiated an independent review of our institution's response to sexual misconduct in clinical settings. The review is examining UCLA’s response to such conduct and whether our policies and procedures to prevent, identify and address sexual misconduct are consistent with best practices and reflect the high standard of patient care we demand of ourselves. Based on the findings of the review, we will identify and implement necessary changes across all of UCLA’s clinical sites. Our process will be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability, fairness and devotion to our patients.
How many people have contacted UCLA about this?As of April 9, 2020, we have received approximately 500 contacts in response to this situation. 441 of these self-identified as patients of Dr. Heaps. Of these, 272 expressed support for Dr. Heaps, while 159 expressed concern about their interactions. Callers who alleged contact of an inappropriate nature are being contacted for follow-up interviews. We are assessing all communications based on the information provided.
If you are a former patient of Dr. James Heaps and want to report improper behavior, or are in need of support services, please contact the patient assistance hotline at 888-961-9273.
For information on preventing and responding to sexual misconduct at UCLA Health, please click here.
We encourage any patients with concerns about the care they received from Dr. Heaps to contact our dedicated third-party service at 888-961-9273.
If you have experienced sexual violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment at UCLA Health, please contact the Title IX office at 310-206-3417 or submit an online report.
SUBMIT ONLINE REPORT
You may also report sexual abuse and/or inappropriate conduct by Dr. Heaps directly to the law enforcement agencies conducting the criminal investigation of Dr. Heaps:
And/or to the Medical Board of California, which oversees licensing, regulation, and discipline of physicians.
If you have questions about how your information may be used, you may contact Investigator Patrick Foo of the Department of Consumer Affairs at 562-860-1528. You may contact the Medical Board of California’s Central Complaint Unit at 916-263-2528.
We are committed to the safe, supportive and respectful environment our patients and staff expect and deserve. If you would like to share general feedback about your experience at UCLA Health, please submit feedback here.
As an institution, we are all responsible for creating and maintaining the safe, supportive and respectful environment our patients and colleagues expect and deserve. All members of the UCLA community are urged to immediately report information regarding possible sexual misconduct directly to the Title IX office or anonymously to the compliance hotline. Click here to learn more about reporting misconduct.
Click here for the Arthur Ashe Student Health Center.
Visit the UCLA Medical Records page for more information.
Patients of the Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center may access their medical records here.
Media statement regarding the charges against Dr. James Heaps
Communication from Chancellor Block and Vice Chancellor Mazziotta (PDF)
Communication from Mazziotta, Spisso and Martin (PDF)
Media Inquiries:UCLA Health Media Relations310-267-7022UCLAHealthNews@mednet.ucla.edu
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