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Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, develops Nutrition for Safer Surgeries initiative

The days leading up to a surgery can be unnerving, and many patients don't know how to properly prepare, either mentally or physically. A new initiative at UCLA Health called Nutrition for Safer Surgeries aims to change that. “The goal is to allow patients to be optimized prior to their surgeries and enable them to have a safer surgery,” said Yaceczko, an advanced-practice dietitian at the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases. Learn more on the UCLA Health blog

UCLA AGI Hirshberg Center achieves dual National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence designations in pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

The UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases was recently recognized by the National Pancreas Foundation as a Clinical and Academic Center of Excellence for both pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The center's designations, which are awarded separately, were the result of an extensive auditing process based on criteria developed by a task force of subject matter experts and patient advocates. At the core of UCLA's clinical program in pancreatic diseases is an integrated practice unit (IPU), which brings together a variety of services and expertise for the successful management of these complex and challenging conditions. Medical specialties represented include surgery, gastroenterology, radiology, pathology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, endocrinology and interventional radiology. Support services include genetic counseling, nutrition and dietetics, palliative care and psychosocial services. In addition, UCLA is an active center of research with a strong portfolio of grant-funded projects and growing strength in taking therapeutic ideas from the research laboratory all the way into clinical trials. The effort was led by Timothy Donahue, MD, chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and surgical director of the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases, and V. Raman Muthusamy, MD, MAS, director of Endoscopy at UCLA Health. UCLA Health patient story

UCLA awarded Canopy Cancer Collective Grant

We are excited to announce that we have been chosen to help advance the care we deliver to pancreatic cancer patients, by the Canopy Cancer Collective.

A $500,000 three-year grant will be used to collaborate and deliver more coordinated care in the Westwood IPU clinic and ultimately throughout the entire UCLA Health network. Through this initiative, we plan to improve and standardize pancreatic cancer care by focusing on nutrition, palliative care, genetic testing, clinical trial participation, neoadjuvant therapy, quality of life, and patient education.

Funded by the 1440 Foundation, the Canopy Cancer Collective Pancreatic Learning Health Network aims to help cancer centers deliver comprehensive, coordinated care to people with pancreatic cancer.

Timothy Donahue, MD, chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the Physician Champion leading the work, along with other great institutions such as UC San Francisco Health, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Stanford Cancer Institute, and nine others.

UCLA receives $5M for pancreatic disease center (Santa Monica Daily Press)
UCLA celebrated the naming of the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases in March 2015 at a gathering of Hirshberg's family and friends.