Dr. Gary Gitnick, chief emeritus of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Disease, died November 4, 2021. He was 82 years old. Dr. Gitnick joined the UCLA faculty in 1969, and he later became chief of staff of the UCLA Medical Center, medical director of the UCLA Health Care Programs and chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases. Dr. Gitnick produced more than 300 publications and authored or edited 64 books on gastroenterology and hepatology. “Gary Gitnick’s leadership over more than two decades helped the Division of Digestive Diseases become the best in the world,” said Dr. Alan Fogelman (MD ’66, RES ’68, ’71 , FEL ’73), the recently retired chair of UCLA’s Department of Medicine. “His work will continue to benefit the lives of many for decades to come.”
Dr. Lissy Jarvik, professor emerita of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, died October 1, 2021. She was 97 years old. Dr. Jarvik was one of the earliest researchers in the new field of neuropsychogeriatrics. While a graduate student at Columbia University, she began conducting research that would ultimately demonstrate that mental decline was not a part of the normal aging process. Her study would help to guide future research into Alzheimer’s disease. In the 1970s, she joined the faculty of UCLA, where she established the first inpatient psychogeriatric unit.
Dr. Charles R. Kleeman, Factor Family Foundation Professor of Medicine and Nephrology emeritus, died August 15, 2021. He was 97 years old. Dr. Kleeman joined the UCLA faculty in 1956 as chief of metabolic diseases at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center. He founded the Mark Taper Center for Health Enhancement, Education and Research at UCLA, the first university-based center for health promotion and disease prevention.
Dr. Ronald K. Tompkins, former chief of the Division of General Surgery, died August 17, 2021. He was 86 years old. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1969. In addition to serving as chief of general surgery and gastrointestinal surgery, Dr. Tompkins was director of the basic-surgical-training program, director of the general-surgery residency program and inaugural director of surgical education. In 2004, the Department of Surgery named the Ronald K. Tompkins Gold Apple Award, given to a surgical resident for outstanding student teaching.