L.A. Lakers, UCLA hospital staff embrace new partnership

UCLA neurosurgeon Dr. Linda Liau looks up at Laker forward Brandon Ingram. Standing next to him is Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System.

To showcase a new long-term partnership between UCLA Health and the Los Angeles Lakers, the entire team showed up Monday, Jan. 30, at Reagan UCLA Medical Center to meet with physicians and top hospital administrators and trade team jerseys and white coats. 

An entourage of players, coaches and Laker Girls showed up to tour the hospital and its state-of-the-art operating rooms, get a hands-on demonstration of how surgeons learn to do robotic surgical procedures and shoot mini-hoops with pediatric patients on the hospital's outdoor terrace. The athletes also visited with patients’ family members, hospital staff and volunteers, including a few of their caring canines who regularly visit to cheer patients up.

"We were delighted to host the Los Angeles Laker organization and highlight the care we provide at UCLA Health," said Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA health sciences. "The players’ visit really lifted the spirits of our patients and their family members, and provided a memorable experience for so many of our staff and volunteers."

Laker forward Larry Nance Jr. gives a patient tips on how to make a basket.

Under the Lakers’ partnership with UCLA Health that was announced in August 2016, UCLA has been designated as the official in-game health provider for the team’s players. Set to open this summer in El Segundo, the Lakers’ 120,000-square-foot practice facility has been named the UCLA Health Training Center. Together with the Lakers, UCLA Health will be engaging in community, educational and research efforts in injury prevention and sports performance for the Lakers.  

"It was our pleasure to visit the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center today," Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton said in a public statement. "It is a facility that is so important to our community right now. We had the privilege of visiting young kids, raising their spirits and brightening their day. We look forward to the ongoing partnership with UCLA Health and are excited to foster growth in our shared community."

Courtesy of the L.A. Lakers - Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor for UCLA health sciences and CEO of UCLA Health, examines a white coat with Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton.

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