Volume XX | Month Day 20XX
VOLUME 1, MAY 2021
Greetings from UCI Family Medicine and Geriatrics! We’re proud to share this first edition of the UCI Family Medicine newsletter as we rebound from a year that tested us individually and collectively. While none of us expected to work through a global pandemic, we did not just survive, but emerged stronger with new insights, skills and capacities. We expanded our mission to discover-teach-heal and serve, and manifested our vision as a thriving academic department that promotes optimal health for all.
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Department and Clinic News
UCI Health has achieved the designation of an Age Friendly Health System, a recognition by the national Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). This acknowledgment highlights our commitment to providing exceptional geriatric care through the 4 M’s: Mind, Mobility, Medications, and what Matters Most to each older adult throughout UCI Health’s clinics, emergency room and hospital. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have created and launched many innovative programs to reduce isolation. And proactively care for our patients.
Without traditional athletic activities our clinics faced a dramatic drop in patients. Just like
physical health, our practice health depended on our flexibility and adaptability. In these rebuilding months, we have seen the evolution of our academic, clinical, and community engagements in ways that will strengthen our service moving forward. Family physician faculty with qualifications in Sports Medicine see patients in Irvine, Santa Ana, Orange, and Newport Beach. 
UCI Family Medicine has increased the number of faculty who provide women’s health services in close collaboration with the UCI Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Five family medicine faculty including Drs. Hanami, Kipp, Kolahi, Leveroni and Vo provide reproductive services including attending obstetrical deliveries. They expanded the capacity for prenatal care offered by Drs Salcedo and Nguyen at the Anaheim Family Health Center. We look towards continued growth for our residents. Family physicians are honored to care for women, children, their families and communities from ‘womb to tomb’, across the entire lifespan. 
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HELIOS lab undergraduate researchers drive health equity research projects with community and DFM partners
Department of Family Medicine faculty, residents and students have risen to the challenge of the pandemic, using research to elevate the voices of community members and frontline workers.

  • Tan Nguyen, MD and Johanna Shapiro, PhD led an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods study of the psychosocial consequences of family physicians working on the frontlines of COVID-19 care across the state of California. 

  • Lisa Gibbs, MD, Julie Rousseau, PhD and members of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and Gross School of Nursing, with support of multiple grant awards, have launched the CARES/ASSIST and Digital Health Initiative projects to support socially isolated seniors through telehealth.

  • Supported by a four-year, $2.4 million award from the NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute David Kilgore, MD and John Billimek, PhD are leading the Mi Propio Camino study, helping Spanish speaking adults with uncontrolled hypertension use self-monitoring strategies to tailor their blood pressure management strategies.

  • Second year resident Sola Lee, MD collaborated with student members of the HELIOS lab, Family Medicine’s undergraduate health equity research pipeline program to study outcomes of uninsured patient referrals to specialty care at free clinics.

  • Working with the HELIOS lab students, postdoctoral researcher Vanessa Kauffman, PhD was awarded a UCI CRAFT COVID grant to conduct the COVID-19 Unity Project study, including interviews with dozens of Latino/a/x residents of Orange County, health workers and community leaders to understand the social and economic impacts.

  • Jeff Arroyo, MD and Chris Kroner, MD are collaborating on a PCORI-funded project to document the impacts of telehealth on diabetes management in primary care. Arroyo and Billimek are also Co-investigators on a NIH/National Institute on Aging funded study of tailored cancer prevention strategies with the UCI Chao Cancer Center and UC Davis. Dr. Dow continues to contribute to the NIH-funded All of Us Research Program and to ensure a broad representation of under-represented minorities in research.
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During the spring of 2020, medical students across the country were pulled from clinical rotations and restricted from lecture halls, upending long-held approaches to medical education. We have been humbled by the resilience and dedication of our colleagues who have endured crash courses in telemedicine and distance learning, and have succeeded in discovering innovative ways to continue providing high-quality education and mentorship to our learners.
The Program in Medical Humanities & Arts is dedicated to integrating literature and the arts into medical education for the purposes of promoting critical reflection and compassionate attention to patient care; and enhancing both patient and physician wellbeing. Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Nguyen lead this effort. The Program offers humanities- informed curriculum throughout all 4 years of medical school, supports humanities student research and sponsors many special events. Thanks to the generosity of anonymous donors, the SOM raised an endowment and launched a national search for a new Endowed Chair. Dr. Shapiro will continue to lead the program until the new leader is recruited. 
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UC Irvine Department of Family Medicine has a strong record of dedication to inclusive excellence and promoting health equity for diverse communities. Our faculty, residents and staff care for diverse patients in the community; we support student-run free clinics and community engagement to promote public health. Drs. Vega, Hanami, Kipp and Nobe are ampliflying our efforts through their leadership of a new Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Salutogenesis (IDEAS) committee.
The UCI Health Family Health Centers in Santa Ana and Anaheim were the first federally-qualified health centers in Orange County.  Our entire staff, residents, faculty and UCI community family physicians demonstrated compassion, sacrifice, and commitment throughout the pandemic. They provided testing, treatment and vaccines for more than 24,000 patients who were severely impacted by the pandemic. Many of our patients live below the poverty line and/or are of Latino descent; a third are children. After 43 years, the Family Health Center in Anaheim moved into a beautiful new building. Our Santa Ana dental clinic also moved to a new, state-of-the-art space. 
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Residents, Faculty and Staff

In this unprecedented year of the pandemic, our residents have emerged strong and resilient despite the near-constant upheavals in their training. We celebrated Thank-a-Resident Day on February 26 to recognize our residents’ service in soldiering through it all - covering the ICU at the height of the pandemic to help the internal medicine teams and staffing COVID follow-up appointments for our patients. Residents and faculty cross-covered clinics for colleagues who were re-assigned to the hospital or out with symptoms themselves as they worked through nearly daily schedule changes. Throughout it all, they supported each other mentally and emotionally, and were models of courage, team work and dedication.  
Faculty Spotlight
Co-Director PRIME-LC residency track
UCI Family Medicine Residency graduate (’20)
Integrative Medicine & FM/IM Residency Track
Previously at Northwest Permanente, Portland, OR
Family Medicine Medical Director, Santa Ana
Came to UCI from Wellstar Medical Group, Atlanta, GA
Welcome New Staff
Eilleen Sabino-Laughlin
Project Coordinator
“I really enjoy cooking meals that reflect our family’s upbringings and past homes. (New York, New Orleans, Hawai’i). I also try to fit in reading for pleasure, Reformer Pilates, and spending time at the beach with my kids whenever I can.”

Daniela Santoro
Executive & Communication Specialist
“I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love traveling, especially to visit family in Brazil.”

Austin McBride
Financial Analyst
“I enjoy spending time with friends and family, watching horror movies (even the bad ones), learning how to bake/cook new things, going to Disneyland, and exploring new places. I’ll be wrapping up my MBA this Spring before taking a year off to determine if I want to pursue a PhD.”
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UCI Family Medicine has trained more than 400 family physicians since it was established in 1969. We are proud of our graduates and grateful for your support. If you would like to support training future family physicians and/or outreach efforts, we invite you to donate here.