Clinical Scholars program

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National Meeting 2011 - UCLA

2011 Clinical Scholars National Meeting - Washington DC

Program Description:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars at UCLA receive intensive training in the methods of creating health and health care change at community, practice and policy levels. The curriculum is based on a social, behavioral and community conceptual framework that combines didactic and experiential teaching methods. Scholars build on their own talents, as well as those of their mentors and diverse community partners, in order to become agents for improving health and health care.

Scholars spend their first year in intensive, community-based learning and project development, followed in subsequent years by advanced project completion and elective work. Scholars also learn health services research methods, including theory, study design, and data analysis; fundamentals in health policy; biostatistics; scientific writing; and the application of these skills to conduct original research and to change health policy.

Scholars participate in clinical programs at the UCLA Medical Center, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, King Drew Medical Center, the Veterans Administration Hospitals at Sepulveda and West Los Angeles, or their affiliated community programs. Scholars may also collaborate with nationally recognized staff at RAND who work in areas ranging from health policy and national security to civil justice, public safety, education, child policy, and science and technology.

UCLA seeks applicants who are interested in coupling rigorous evaluation and research with efforts to enact community and policy change. Advanced elective experiences are available in supervised policy placements in Washington, D.C., and in the use of media to improve community health, building on the diverse media resources in Los Angeles. The community partners for the UCLA program are: Behavioral Health Services; Carson-Wilmington Community Advisory Board; Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Healthy African-American Families; L.A. County Department of Mental Health; L.A. County Department of Health Services; L.A. County of Department of Public Health; Los Angeles Unified School District; Mid-Valley Family Health Center; QueensCare Health and Faith Partnership; UCLA Health System; Venice Family Clinic; and the Veterans Administration.


Robert H. Brook, M.D. (Co-Director)

Dr. Brook is a Senior Advisor and the RAND Distinguished Chair in Health Care Services. He is also Professor of Medicine and Health Services at UCLA and directs the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Brook joined RAND in 1974, and led the RAND Health unit for nearly two decades, increasing its revenue six-fold. He led the Health and Quality Group on the $80M Health Insurance Experiment and was co-principal investigator on the Health Services Utilization Study. He was the co-principal investigator on the only national study that has investigated, at a clinical level, how Medicare’s prospective payment system affected the quality and outcome of acute hospital care. He was also the co-principal investigator on a joint activity of 12 academic medical centers, the AMA, and RAND, the purpose of which was to develop appropriateness criteria and parameters for the use of procedures.

Carol M. Mangione, M.D. (Co-Director)

Dr. Carol Mangione is the Barbara A. Levey M.D. & Gerald S. Levey M.D. Endowed Chair and Professor of Medicine and Health Services at UCLA. Dr. Mangione is the Director of the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) funded UCLA/Drew Resource Center for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement of Minority Elderly (RCMAR III/CHIME II), and Co-director of the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. In both of these programs she mentors and trains physicians developing research careers.

Dr. Mangione is the principal investigator for the Translational Research Centers for Diabetes Within Managed-Care Settings (TRIAD) Legacy study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study the quality of care for persons with diabetes where her work has focused on the relationship between organization of care, cost sharing, control of cardiovascular risk factors and process outcomes such as adherence to medications. She was also recently awarded funding from the CDC and NIDDK to conduct the Diabetes Health Plan: A System Level Intervention to Prevent and Treat Diabetes, and was appointed to be the National Chairperson for the multi-site National Program entitled Natural Experiments and Effectiveness Studies for Diabetes Prevention and Control.

Dr. Mangione is also a co-principal investigator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) funded project entitled Variations in Care: Comparing Heart Failure Care Transition Intervention Effects. This partnered project has developed and will evaluate a transition in care intervention for patients with heart failure who have been hospitalized in the University of California Medical Centers or in Cedars Sinai Hospital. Currently, Dr. Mangione serves as Principal Investigator of the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded project entitled Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Improvement (CEOI). This project is a statewide effort that aims to develop sustainable statewide infrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research on primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease among managed care populations.

Dr. Mangione received her B.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, her M.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and her M.S.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians (ASCI/AAP) and recipient of the 2007 Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Mid-Career Mentorship Award. She is also currently a member of the Board of Governors for the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Kenneth B. Wells, M.D. (Co-Director)

Dr. Kenneth Wells is a Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, a Professor of Health Services in the UCLA School of Public Health, and Affiliated Adjunct at RAND. His joint appointment across UCLA and RAND is supported by a UCLA-RAND Memorandum of Understanding that promotes research across these institutions. He is the Director of the Center for Health Services and Society at the UCLA Semel Institute and is Co-Director of the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, which supports health services research training for physicians in all clinical specialties. Dr. Wells received the American Psychiatric Association’s 2006 Research Prize for lifetime achievement in research and previously received the Senior Investigator Award of Academy Health. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and for four years chaired its Neuroscience and Behavioral Health Board. He has been Chair of the Community Health Improvement Collaborative (CHIC), a coalition of community and academic partners from four NIH-funded Centers in Los Angeles, that are seeking to improve infrastructure and methods for community-academic partnered participatory research in health. He is currently PI of the Center for Research on Quality in Managed Care, the Partnered Research Center for Quality Care (PRCQC) and Community Partners in Care (CPIC) R01.

Debra Saliba, M.D., M.P.H.

Debra Saliba, M.D., M.P.H. VA Liaison

Debra Saliba, MD, MPH (BA Economics, MD University of Alabama, MPH Epidemiology UCLA) holds the Anna & Harry Borun Endowed Chair in Geriatrics at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and directs the UCLA Borun Center for Applied Gerontological Research. Dr. Saliba is a practicing physician with the VA GRECC and serves as the Strategic Program Lead for Aging and Long-term Care Populations in the VA HSR&D Center of Excellence for the Study of Healthcare Provider. She is also a senior natural scientist at RAND.

Dr. Saliba’s research has focused on creating tools and knowledge that can be applied to improving quality of care and quality of life for vulnerable older adults across the long-term care continuum. This research has addressed transfers from nursing homes to hospitals, disaster response and resident safety, pressure ulcer care, quality measurement, fall prevention, the association between institutional structure and quality and the development of instruments to predict functional limitation and death.

Cristina Punzalan, MPH

Cristina Punzalan, MPH

Cristina Punzalan, MPH is the Program Administrator for the UCLA RWJF Clinical Scholars program. Prior to coming to UCLA in 2001, she spent 7 years with the Peace Corps in various capacities including serving as a student aid during her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, as a health education volunteer and volunteer trainer in Ecuador, and then as a recruiter upon her return to the United States. Having worked with Latina women on a healthy lifestyle intervention program, Cristina brings a wealth of experience in research project management and operations including institutional review board processes, budget monitoring, staffing, recruitment, training, and data collection. Cristina has a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of California Berkeley and a Master of Public Health from the University of California Los Angeles.

Elise Hayes

Elise Hayes is the Fund Manager for the UCLA RWJF Clinical Scholars program. Her prior experience includes 8 years with the Burbank Unified School District Fiscal Services department. Most recently she served as the fiscal liaison for Categorical Programs and Maintenance/Operations for Burbank Unified. Her experience includes serving as the Assistant Director of International Admission for Pepperdine University’s Seaver College. Elise earned her bachelor’s degree in International/Intercultural Communications from Pepperdine University and gained valuable experience teaching English in Thailand during the summers throughout her undergraduate years.

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