|Photo: Ann Johansson|
Not long after he was sworn in as America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt said: “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” One-hundred-and-fifteen years later, those remain words for us to embrace. As we pursue our goal of benefiting society by advancing medical research, providing excellent patient care and educating the next generations of healthcare leaders, we also take seriously our essential role to improve population health through research and community partnerships that address social, economic, cultural and biological factors.
Johnese Spisso, MPA, our new president of UCLA Health and CEO of UCLA Hospital System, talks about these and other efforts in this issue of U Magazine (“Raising the Bar,” page 14). I would like to add my own voice to the discussion. As a leading public medical school and teaching hospital in one of the most diverse cities in the country, UCLA has a responsibility to care for our local community and, in some cases, to provide services for which our institution receives minimal, if any, compensation, as well as provide community health education and preventive care. \
Our work in this regard manifests in many ways. Members of our faculty volunteer at the Venice Family Clinic to directly serve vulnerable patients, and our hospitals donate radiology, laboratory, surgical and other clinical services; the UCLA Stein Eye Institute’s Mobile Eye Clinic treats underserved populations at schools, community centers and social-service agencies throughout the region; and our Helping U Help the Community program supports UCLA Health-community partnerships that seek solutions to critical health issues in the Los Angeles region. These are just a few examples of our engagement to benefit our broad community. You can learn more about such programs by visiting the Community Engagment website.
In addition, we support and serve our nation’s fighting men and women through UCLA’s Operation Mend; the Ronald A. Katz Center for Military Collaborative Medicine; and our longstanding partnership with the Greater Los Angeles and Sepulveda VA Hospitals, where nearly 400 medical school faculty and 350 medical students provide care to more than 3,000 VA patients annually, and new and expanded services will include a UCLA-VA Family Resource and Well-Being Center and a Mental Health and Addictions Center for Excellence.
UCLA Health was a key partner in the reopening of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which serves the Southeast Los Angeles community, and we collaborate with the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to train healthcare leaders who are committed to serving disadvantaged populations. We also are engaged with two major county hospitals that are the cornerstones of healthcare services for hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents. As you see, we are involved on many fronts, and we’re proud of the work of our UCLA community to “make [this] a good place for all of us to live in.
John C. Mazziotta, MD (RES ’81, FEL ’83), PhD
Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
CEO, UCLA Health