Gifts

Friends: U Magazine Spring 2023
Michael Keaton (left) and Henry Gluck - U Magazine Spring 2023
Michael Keaton (left) and Henry Gluck. Photo by Todd Cheney/UCLA
7 min read

CELEBRATING THE PHILANTHROPIC WORK OF UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM BOARD MEMBERS

On October 20, 2022, the UCLA Health System Board celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding in 2012. The evening marked the return of this annual meeting after a three-year hiatus and featured Henry Gluck, chairman of the UCLA Health System Board; Dr. John C. Mazziotta (RES ’81, FEL ’83), vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health; and Johnese Spisso, MPA, president of UCLA Health, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences. Award-winning actor, producer and director Michael Keaton was the featured guest speaker. He shared his experience as a teen with his mother’s life-altering stroke, and expressed gratitude to UCLA Health for its commitment to preventing and treating strokes, and to physicians, such as the event’s featured faculty speaker, Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael (FEL ’01), chair of the UCLA Department of Neurology and the Frances Stark Chair in Neurology. His presentation, “The Future State of Brain and Aging,” highlighted UCLA’s innovations in treating brain diseases, brain aging and brain-injury repair. He noted the latest technological advancements in research, prevention and patient care around stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Dr. Mazziotta and Spisso reported on the university’s achievements in providing the best in health care and the latest in medical technology to the people of Los Angeles and around the world. Gluck thanked members for their continued partnership, philanthropy and contributions as UCLA Health ambassadors within the community.
For more information, contact Danielle Barr at: 310-267-0050


MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN WOMEN’S HEALTH

Beth and Joshua Friedman have made a philanthropic commitment to advance women’s health and genetics. The gift will establish an endowed chair and annual faculty award in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and support pediatrics at UCLA Health, as well as the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. The Joshua S. and Beth C. Friedman Chair for Women’s Genetic Research will support the work of a faculty member in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology who has expertise in women’s health and genetics, and the endowed Joshua S. and Beth C. Friedman Award for Women’s Reproductive Sciences will foster research breakthroughs that improve women’s health through annual awards for promising studies. The Joshua S. and Beth C. Friedman Pediatric Assistance and Innovation Fund will support patient care and clinical innovation in UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and pediatric clinics. The Friedman gift also benefits the UCLA East-West Primary Care and UCLA East-West Consultative services. In recognition of this gift, the executive leadership suite on the first floor of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been named the Beth C. and Joshua S. Friedman Executive Leadership Center.
For more information, contact Gemma Badini at: 310-206-9235


A FRIENDSHIP INSPIRES PHILANTHROPY

Farah and Steve Gozini and Thomas Safran have pledged $1 million to support the UCLA Medical Assistant Program. Steve Gozini made the lead gift of $500,000, which inspired Safran to match the contribution. The two close friends are both involved in various areas on the UCLA campus; Gozini serves as a UCLA Health System Board Member and Safran serves on the UCLA Ziman Center Board in the Anderson School of Management and on the Founders Council for the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute. Medical assistants play an essential role in helping physicians care for patients by taking vital signs, administering medications and performing administrative tasks. The UCLA Medical Assistant Program combines the theory and practical experience necessary to prepare students to transition successfully into a career as a medical assistant.
For more information, contact Ellen Haddigan-Durgun at: 310-321-8366


SUPPORTING PALLIATIVE CARE FELLOWSHIPS

The board of the Hennings-Fischer Foundation has contributed $30,000 to support the work of Dr. Christopher Pietras, director of palliative care at UCLA Health. The gift will support seven hospice and palliative medicine fellowship trainees annually. This is the seventh consecutive year that the Hennings-Fischer Foundation has provided funding in the area of palliative care. This year, partial funding will be directed toward homeless palliative care and advance care planning efforts.
For more information, contact Noah Green at: 424-325-8184

Palliative Fellowship Trainees - U Magazine Spring 2023
(From left) Current fellows Drs. John Horton, Marina “Molly” Sprague, Helen Chernicoff, Jessica Lucier, Sarah Jensen, Christine Bui and Tiffany Hsu, and (kneeling) Brandon Wolfeld. Photo by Robin Catino

GIVING BACK TO ADVANCE GRADUATE STUDENTS

Lynn and Dr. Gary Kukes (PhD ’72, FEL ’74, MD ’77, RES ’81) have made a $115,000 contribution to establish and endow the Lynn and Gary Kukes Trainee Travel Award to support graduate students working in neurobiology laboratories. The gift, under the administration of the UCLA Department of Neurobiology chair (currently Dr. Paul Micevych), will help defray costs associated with conference travel. Wanting to give back to future alumni, Dr. Kukes, who in addition to completing his doctorate and medical degrees at UCLA also received his bachelor’s degree from the university, said, “I am very grateful for the education I received at UCLA, which provided a solid foundation in science and medicine.” Dr. Kukes worked at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System for 28 years and held an academic appointment at UC Irvine.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Naito at: 310-869-0410

Dr. Gary and Lynn Kukes - U Magazine Spring 2023
Dr. Gary and Lynn Kukes. Courtesy of the Kukes Family

HUMANITARIAN PRIZE ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF YOUNES NAZARIAN

The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to establish the Younes Nazarian Medical Humanitarian Prize in memory of Younes Nazarian, who passed away in March 2022. This gift will recognize a UCLA Health visionary practitioner or senior-level health care provider whose clinical care, medical research, community programs or technological innovations are advancing humanity. Dr. David Reuben (FEL ’88), chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Archstone Foundation Endowed Chair in Geriatrics, was awarded the inaugural prize on September 28, 2022. A businessman and vital benefactor to UCLA, Mr. Nazarian supported the creation of the Israel studies program and, with his wife, Soraya, established a permanent endowment in 2010 that led to the naming of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. “Our father was a man who believed in the decency and humanity of people,” said Sharon Nazarian. “Establishing a prize in his name that celebrates those in the medical profession who touch so many lives, day in and day out, and whose humanity can make the difference between life and death, is a true reflection of what our father stood for. We are thrilled once again to partner with UCLA to enshrine our family values in ways that celebrate those doing good for our greater society.”
For more information, contact Ellen Haddigan-Durgun at: 310-321-8366


EXPANDING SPECIALTY NURSING TRAINING

Longtime UCLA supporters Lynda and Stewart Resnick have made an investment in the education and professional development of cardiac care nurses. The gift to the UCLA Health Center for Nursing Excellence will expand a range of training programs, including providing resources that enable nurses to attend symposia and conferences that enhance specialty nursing practices for cardiac and cardiothoracic nursing clinical care. Thanks to this funding, “The Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium Presented by Stewart and Lynda Resnick” took place on November 18, 2022, at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center and covered costs for UCLA nurses to attend at no charge.
For more information, contact Noah Green at: 424-325-8184


FURTHERING SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY IN CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE

The Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center (ACHDC) has received a $250,000 contribution from the Ruth J. Wagner Survivor’s Trust, established by UCLA alumna Ruth J. Wagner and her husband, Gerald D. Wagner. Under the guidance of the center director, Dr. Jamil A. Aboulhosn (MD ’99, RES ’02, FEL ’06), Streisand Chair in Cardiology, the fund will broadly support ACHDC’s mission to respond directly to the needs of a growing patient population, lead the way in research and train the next generation of experts in congenital heart disease. “We are honored by the commitment from Ruth and Gerald,” said Dr. Aboulhosn. “Their legacy will enable the UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center to advance scientific discovery, ultimately benefiting the lives of countless heart patients for many years to come.”
For more information contact Lindsey Walton at: 424-946-6102


GRATEFUL PATIENT FAMILY HOLDS FUNDRAISING EVENT TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT KIDNEY DISEASES

On October 22, 2022, Nanette and Rick Zumwalt hosted a gala to raise awareness and funds for the UCLA CORE Kidney Health Program to promote its CORE values of clinical excellence, outreach, research and education. Held at the UCLA Wasserman Football Center, family and friends of the Zumwalts, UCLA CORE Kidney staff and faculty and other UCLA staff and faculty members attended the event, which raised more than $190,000. Under the direction of Dr. Anjay Rastogi (PhD ’00, RES ’03, FEL ’05), the CORE Kidney Health Program aims to spread awareness about kidney disease and provide resources for patients, doctors and the general public. The ultimate goal of this fundraising event was to help fund a CORE Kidney Center that advances the future of comprehensive kidney care. Following Nanette Zumwalt’s polycystic kidney disease (PKD) diagnosis, the program helped the couple by providing guidance, support and education. Roughly 600,000 people living in the United States have PKD, which is the fourth-leading cause of kidney failure. Grateful to UCLA for the help they received, the Zumwalts are committed to creating awareness about the UCLA CORE Program and kidney diseases. The family hopes to make this an annual event.
For more information, contact Katie Brown at: 310-267-1845