Category Archives: Healthcare

First Doctoral Program At CBU Scheduled For Fall 2015 Launch

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dr. Mark A Wyatt and published in CBU News & Events on January 15, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University will have its first doctoral degree beginning in the fall of 2015. The School of Nursing will offer the doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) after it was approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

“It is very exciting to be launching CBU’s first doctoral program later this year,” said Dr. Jonathan Parker, CBU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We have been working very diligently to develop a high quality DNP degree program and I’m especially pleased that our accrediting agency has recognized that effort and commented very favorably on the result.”

The school expects 20 students in its first class, said Dr. Lisa Bursch, acting director of the DNP program. Bursch said there is a national movement to have more nurses educated at a doctoral level because of the complexity of health care. For that reason, the school is looking to train nurse leaders to have an impact on health outcomes.

“For as much money as (the nation) spends on health care, our national outcomes are not that great,” Bursch said. “Something’s not translating between what we know to do and what’s being done.”

The nursing doctoral program will be the only one in Riverside County, Bursch said. Students in the clinical doctorate will take original research and put it into practice. Classes will include organization and systems leadership class, nursing theory and translational research, policy and finance. All students will do a project, which involves looking at health outcomes and how to improve them.

Parker said it is fitting that CBU’s first doctoral program is in nursing. “Programs such as the DNP not only help to meet an important need in society by producing highly-trained healthcare professionals,” he explained, “but they also represent the service-related values that California Baptist University seeks to instill in its graduates.”

Being the first and only nursing doctoral program in Riverside County, CBU’s effort to develop programs the meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.

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What’s For Lunch? More Often, It’s Fresh And California-Grown

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dayna Straehley and published in The Press Enterprise on January 2, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

On California Thursdays at Hillcrest High School, lunches made with fresh vegetables sell out first.

California Thursdays started Oct. 23, and is already a hit at schools such as Hillcrest. The center worked with school food service directors, farmers and produce distributors to develop recipes that students enjoy and can be made from scratch with fresh ingredients grown in-state.

They’re an alternative to frozen, processed, prepackaged meals shipped from out of state and reheated for schools, according to the center, a nonprofit dedicated to education for sustainable living and based in Berkley. Sometimes produce from California is shipped to Chicago and other distant locations for processing before it comes back to schools, the center said.

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

The California Thursdays entree features broccoli buds andcelery slices from Salinas, sliced red peppers from the Coachella Valley, sliced onions and matchstick carrots, rice grown in California and chicken. Food service workers put the vegetables on baking pans with a little water and into the oven. The cooked vegetables are then placed on top of the chicken and rice.

Although the full entree of only California-grown food is a weekly feature, Alvord Child Nutrition Services Director Eric Holliday said his department works with Sunrise Produce to include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to serve students every day.

The fruit also has fewer preservatives and the apples aren’t waxed like the ones in supermarkets, said Lisa Marquez, vice president of sales for Sunrise, which works with farmers and 75 to 80 school districts in Southern California.

Holliday said schools try to educate students about food and teach them where it comes from. Those education efforts encourage students to eat more fresh foods that may be unfamiliar initially.

Located in beautiful Southern California, Riverside has weather that is conducive to the production of year-round produce and excellent recreational opportunities.  Riverside is a location of choice for those that desire a healthy lifestyle.

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Fighting A “Food Desert”

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Alicia Robinson and published in The Press Enterprise on December 31, 2014.)

Joey Romero, program director of Mobile Fresh, stands in the doorway of an old RTA bus that has been converted to a mini market with fresh vegetables and other healthy food. Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise
Joey Romero, program director of Mobile Fresh, stands in the doorway of an old RTA bus that has been converted to a mini market with fresh vegetables and other healthy food. Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise

More than a dozen communities around the state are part of Kaiser’s HEAL Zone effort. On the Eastside, an estimated 57.77 percent of adults are overweight or obese, and the area is considered a “food desert” – meaning it has plenty of fast food and convenience stores but few places offering fresh, healthy options.

Spearheaded by the nonprofit Riverside Community Health Foundation, those working on the HEAL Zone project are attacking the healthy eating component on several fronts.

Organizers are publicizing classes on eating right and diabetes education at community centers. The Riverside Spanish Seventh Day Adventist church is offering a monthly healthy cooking class. Riverside city staff want to create a community-supported agriculture program that would deliver Eastside residents monthly boxes of locally-grown produce.

To compete with the large number of unhealthy offerings – 36 fast food restaurants within a half-mile of North High School – officials are working with two neighborhood markets to get newer, more energy-efficient chilled cases to hold fresh produce and to create signs, murals and other advertising to let people know they sell fruit and vegetables.

Riverside County public health officials, who are coordinating the market project, also want to help the store owners buy produce at lower prices so they can charge customers less to compete with cheaper fast food, said Lorie Brendecke, a nutritionist with the county public health department.

Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: David Bauman, The Press Enterprise

Another choice for those who can’t get to a full-fledged grocery store is the Mobile Fresh bus. The produce-filled bus is a project of the nonprofit Family Service Association that linked up with the HEAL Zone because of their shared goals, said Joey Romero, an operations specialist with the association.

The bus, donated by the Riverside Transit Agency, regularly visits more than 40 spots around the county to offer low prices on bags of Brussels sprouts and green beans, bunches of asparagus, mangoes, apples and other fresh foods.

Riversiders commitment to making one-other’s life a little better is a great example of Riverside acting as a unified city. The actions of all the participating organizations demonstrates that Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

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Changing the Face of Medical Education in the U.S.

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by G. Richard Olds and published in Zocalo Public Square on December 17, 2014.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

The United States spends more money on health care than any other country in the world. So how does Costa Rica outperform the United States in every measure of health of its population?

Costa Rica is healthier because its government spends more money than ours does on prevention and wellness.

In our country, we have left vast segments of the population without affordable care and we do not focus on wellness or chronic disease management. We don’t consistently control the glucose levels in diabetics and, consequently, too many go blind or lose a limb. Too often, hypertension goes untreated until the patient has a stroke or kidney disease. Then, all too often, these individuals go on medical disability with far more societal expense than the cost of the original health management.

Sadly, it has become the American way to leave many chronic diseases untreated until they become emergency situations at exorbitant cost to the U.S. healthcare system. For many patients, this care is too late to prevent life-changing disabilities and an early death.

When people ask me why we started the UC Riverside School of Medicine last year – the first new public medical school on the West Coast in more than four decades – I talk about the need for well-trained doctors here in inland Southern California. But we also wanted to demonstrate that a health care system that rewards keeping people healthy is better than one which rewards not treating people until they become terribly ill.

As we build this school, we have a focus on wellness, prevention, chronic disease management, and finding ways to deliver health care in the most cost-effective setting, which is what American health care needs.

We also teach a team approach to medicine—another necessary direction for our health care system. If you have a relatively minor problem, your doctor might refer you to a nurse practitioner or physician assistant for follow-up. This kind of team care makes financial and clinical sense, particularly since we have such a national shortage of primary care doctors. The good news: Even among physicians, the team approach, or medical home model, is gaining ground, with the Affordable Care Act accelerating change.

For all the talk about the lack of health insurance in this country, we don’t often discuss the other side of the problem – the fact that many Americans get more care than they need. You may have heard advertisements that you should have your wife or mother get a total body scan for Mother’s Day, because it will find cancer or heart disease. There is no evidence that this screening is a good idea. But in the U.S., we often encourage people to do things that have no proven benefit, and our churches or community centers sponsor these activities.

For all these reasons, we must shift the focus of health care to prevention. Two of the most profitable prescription drugs in the U.S., according to some sources, are those that reduce blood cholesterol and prevent blood clots—both symptoms of coronary heart disease, a largely preventable condition. Shouldn’t we be spending at least as much on prevention as we do on prescriptions? Closely connected to prevention is wellness. So many of our health problems in the United States are self-inflicted, because we smoke, eat too much, and don’t exercise. Doctors need to “prescribe” effective smoking cessation programs, proper diets and exercise as an integral part of care.

One way to accomplish this shift is to teach it to future doctors. At UC Riverside, we are supplementing the traditional medical school curriculum with training in the delivery of preventive care and in outpatient settings. Our approach is three-pronged..

First, we work with local schools and students to increase access to medical school through programs that stimulate an interest in medicine and help disadvantaged students become competitive applicants for admission to medical school or other professional health education programs. These activities start with students at even younger than middle school age, because that is when students begin to formulate ideas about what they want to be when they grow up. We focus on students from Inland Southern California because students who live here now will be among those best equipped to provide medical care to our increasingly diverse patient population. Doctors who share their patients’ cultural and economic backgrounds are better at influencing their health behaviors.

Second, we recruit our medical students specifically with a focus on increasing the number of physicians in Inland Southern California in primary care and short-supply specialties. Our region has just 40 primary care physicians per 100,000 people—far below the 60 to 80 recommended—and a shortage in nearly every kind of medical specialty. Students who have been heavily involved in service such as the Peace Corps, or who are engaged in community-based causes, are more likely to go into primary care specialties and practice in their hometowns.

Then, we teach our medical students an innovative curriculum. For instance, the Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience, called LACE for short, replaces the traditional “shadowing” preceptorship, where students follow around different physicians. Instead, our students participate in an a three-year continuity-of-care primary care experience that includes a sustained mentor-mentee relationship with a single community-based primary care physician. In this experience, they “follow” a panel of patients and gain an in-depth understanding of the importance of primary care, prevention and wellness. Our approach also includes community-based research that grounds medical students in public health issues such as the social determinants of health, smoking cessation, early identification of pre-diabetic patients, weight loss management and the use of mammograms to detect breast cancer.

We try to remove the powerful financial incentive for medical students to choose the highest paying specialties in order to pay off educational loans. We do this with “mission” scholarships that cover tuition in all four years of our medical school. This type of scholarship provides an incentive for students to go into primary care and the shortest-supply specialties and to remain in Inland Southern California for at least five years following medical school education and residency training. If the recipients practice outside of the region or go into another field of practice before the end of those five years, the scholarships become repayable loans.

Third, we are creating new residency training opportunities in our region to capitalize on the strong propensity for physicians to practice in the geographic location where they finish their post-M.D. training. Responding to our region’s most critical shortages, we are concentrating the programs on primary care specialties like family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics, as well as the short-supply specialties of general surgery, psychiatry, and OB/GYN. We are also developing a loan-repayment program for residents linked to practice in our region.

Ultimately, we hope our ideas for how to change health care will succeed and be adopted by others. It might take 30 years, but we believe what we are doing at the UC Riverside School of Medicine will change the face of medical education in the U.S.

UC Riverside School of Medicine  is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas, research, products, and scholars. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, nation, and world to follow.

G. Richard Olds is vice chancellor of health affairs and the founding dean of the UC Riverside School of Medicine. He wrote this for Zocalo Public Square. Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

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Research points to MS relief

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mark Muckenfuss and published in The Press Enterprise on December 2, 2014.) 

Seema Tiwari-Woodruff is an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine. Photo Credit: Pittalwala, UCR Today
Seema Tiwari-Woodruff is an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine. Photo Credit: Pittalwala, UCR Today

A UC Riverside researcher says she has tested a drug that may not only stop, but reverse the damage caused by multiple sclerosis.

Seema Tiwari-Woodruff is a biomedical science professor with UCR’s School of Medicine. She came to the campus in June from UCLA, where she had been researching multiple sclerosis therapies since 2007.

Tiwari-Woodruff said she and her team tested several ligands, chemicals that mimic estrogen. One particular ligand, Ind-Cl, was especially helpful for mice with multiple sclerotic symptoms.

The results were published Monday in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

Multiple sclerosis affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. The disease attacks the central nervous system, damaging or destroying the myelin sheath that surrounds the axons on nerve cells. The axons carry electrical impulses from nerve cell receptors to their synapses. The myelin acts as an insulator. Without it, the nerve cell can’t effectively send signals.

Mice that received the drug saw as much as a 60 percent improvement in their condition. Not only did the drug diminish the inflammation that accompanies flare-ups of the disease, but the degeneration of the myelin sheath on nerve cell axons, Tiwari-Woodruff said, actually began to be repaired.

Testing showed that the cells with regrown myelin were capable of transmitting nerve signals once more. So far, the drug seems to have few, if any side effects.

This medical discovery is an outstanding representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. The students and staff at UCR cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Recognized For Encouraging Healthy Workplace

(This article contains excerpts from an article Suzanne Hurt, published in the Press-Enterprise on October 9, 2014.)

The American Heart Association has recognized the city of Riverside’s continued effort to improve employees’ health.  The association gave the city a 2014 Platinum Fit-Friendly Award and Work site Innovation Award at a City Council meeting Aug. 12, according to city spokesman Phil Pitchford.  The city was also recognized with the health award in 2013.

Photo credit: Press-Enterprise
Photo credit: Press-Enterprise

The award is given to companies and organizations that meet criteria such as offering healthy food at the workplace, supporting workers’ fitness activities and taking other steps to encourage a healthy work site, according to the association.

The City’s Human Resources Department began its wellness programs in 2009. Workers lost 7,400 pounds in four years through an annual “Get Fit Challenge” weight-loss program.

The City of Riverside being recognized by the American Heart Association for two consecutive years, makes our beloved city a location of choice for individuals seeking a healthy lifestyle.  What really makes Riverside so unique are the intangible benefits and values that enhance the quality of life in the city.  Riverside is becoming a location of choice for people and organizations all over the world.

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Riverside Bike-Sharing Program In The Works

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Alicia Robinson, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 16, 2014)

In Riverside’s continuing quest to expand public transit offerings and foster a “bicycle culture,” the city plans to launch what is likely the Inland area’s first public bike sharing program.  A city wide bike-share program would be a great opportunity for all Riversiders, providing one more reason why Riverside is a location of choice.  Not only would this provide Riversiders with more convenient public transportation options, it would be a fun opportunity for people to stay active and enjoy the great climate and environment that Riverside has to offer.  Our city is increasingly becoming the location of choice for people and organizations from all over the world.     

People check out bicycles from a Citi Bike station in New York City's Central Park. Riverside plans to test a bike share program, possibly starting in 2015.  Photo credit: Matthew Christensen
People check out bicycles from a Citi Bike station in New York City’s Central Park. Riverside plans to test a bike share program, possibly starting in 2015. Photo credit: Matthew Christensen

The bike share concept isn’t new. Community bikes were used in Amsterdam as early as the 1960s. The first organized programs in the U.S. date to the 1990s, said Susan Shaheen, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center.  Esri, a Redlands geographic information systems company, offers free shared bicycles as an employee perk.

Riverside’s pilot project, which could start in 2015, will likely include four bike kiosks – one near City Hall, one at the downtown Metrolink station and spots near the UC Riverside and Riverside City College campuses, said Brandi Becker, a senior administrative analyst in the city’s public works department.  For most systems, pricing is set to encourage trips of a half-hour or less. Denver’s B-cycle, for example, starts at $8 for a 24-hour pass or $80 for a year, with weekly and monthly passes also offered. With all passes, trips up to 30 minutes are free; extra hourly charges apply for those who keep bikes out longer.

Many bike shares are still ironing out financial and logistical issues, but Riverside should be able to learn from others’ early mistakes, said Charlie Gandy, a bike consultant and vice president of the California Bicycle Coalition.    Gandy expects a bike share to fuel even more interest in cycling, whether for work, fun or fitness.   “Cities that take on this type of project see a major shift in people’s attitudes towards bicycling,” he said.

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UCR Students Turn Diaper Into Medical Tool

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Janet Zimmerman, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 11, 2014. )

Five UC Riverside students and recent grads cleaned up in a national engineering contest by building a better diaper.  The group came up with an inexpensive liner that detects dehydration and bacterial infections in infants, an invention that could facilitate testing in poor countries and ease infants’ suffering. They call it the Diaper Detective.

Bioengineering students from UC Riverside developed a diaper insert for detecting bacterial infections and dehydration in infants. The team includes, from left, Stephanie Tehseldar, Veronica Boulos, Sara Said, Claire Tran and Melissa Cruz.  Photo credit: Harish Dixit
Bioengineering students from UC Riverside developed a diaper insert for detecting bacterial infections and dehydration in infants. The team includes, from left, Stephanie Tehseldar, Veronica Boulos, Sara Said, Claire Tran and Melissa Cruz. Photo credit: Harish Dixit

“We created this to fulfill a need for a versatile, inexpensive, non-invasive method of urine collection in developing countries and elsewhere,” co-inventor Veronica Boulos said. “The beauty of this is that it solves a huge problem with simplicity.”  The Diaper Detective was the result of a class that requires bioengineering students to design and develop a product. It took third place – and $10,000 – last month in the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams Challenge sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The Diaper Detective, created by UC Riverside students, uses chemicals that react with a baby's urine to detect illness and dehydration.  Photo credit: UC Riverside
The Diaper Detective, created by UC Riverside students, uses chemicals that react with a baby’s urine to detect illness and dehydration. Photo credit: UC Riverside

The idea was enough to attract interest from Procter & Gamble’s research department, which called the invention “novel, broadly relevant and affordable.” The group is in talks with the company for further development, possibly for adult incontinence products.

They hope their product eventually will be distributed to needy areas via relief organizations. If it qualifies for insurance coverage, it could be an inexpensive option for low-income parents, the scientists said.

The Diaper Detective is an outstanding model of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  The students and staff at UC Riverside cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do in Riveside, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.  

To read more, click here.