UP CLOSE | 2019: The Year in Review

2019: The Year in Review

UCSF Fresno achieved a number of milestones in 2019. As the year comes to a close, here’s a look back at some of our shining moments over the past year:  



We announced contributions of more than $1 million from two development companies and families known for giving back to the local community. The Kolligian, Arakelian and Kashian families of River Park Properties II, donated $1 million. UCSF Fresno also received $75,000 from Spano Enterprises. The donations enable UCSF Fresno to further develop its physician training and research programs.

UCSF Fresno held the first Endocrine and Diabetes Symposium for Primary Care Providers. About half of Fresno County adults show early signs of diabetes. The purpose of the conference is to enhance clinical knowledge and improve diabetes care and prevention in the region. The second conference will be held in February 2020.



For the 10th consecutive year, UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine, placed in the top five nationally in the U.S. News & World Report survey of best graduate and professional schools. UCSF was the only medical school to be ranked in the top five in both research and primary care. As a branch campus, UCSF Fresno is included in this incredible distinction.

We celebrated Match Day. A breakfast was held for students in the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME) who participated in the Match. Three of the five students matched with UCSF Fresno residency programs. A lunchtime event was held to announce the names of the incoming fellows and residents. UCSF Fresno received 6,751 applications from residents and fellows, conducted 1,292 interviews for 109 positions and filled all available residency spots.

UCSF Fresno underscored its commitment to wellness in 2019 by inviting all local physicians, health care providers, learners, staff and significant others to a series of presentations by Dike Drummond, MD, a national expert on preventing physician burnout and leading more balanced lives.



UCSF Fresno and partners held an Autism Symposium for Primary Care Providers. Nationally, about 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. The purpose of the conference was to bring together physicians, parents, educators and other health providers to improve education about autism and share information about autism resources.



We graduated more than 100 residents and fellows along with three oral and maxillofacial surgery residents and five physician assistants. Nearly 40% of the physicians completing training in family and community medicine, almost 50% of pediatrics residents and 44% of internal medicine residents remained in the area to care for community members.




UCSF Fresno was invited to take part in a communitywide effort – Developing the Region’s Inclusive & Vibrant Economy (DRIVE). The 10-year plan is seeking public and private investment to develop the region’s inclusive and vibrant economy. The plan focuses on initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion, including the UCSF School of Medicine Fresno branch campus. The Fresno DRIVE plan was drafted with input from a 300-person steering committee
representing over 150 organizations.



The first cohort in the new UCSF SJV PRIME was admitted. Students started their training at the main campus in San Francisco and will report to UCSF Fresno in 2021 to complete their training – about two and a half years – in Fresno and the Valley.

UCSF Fresno partnered with the Alliance for Medical Outreach & Relief (AMOR) to deliver diabetes education to clinicians at the Afshar Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. The first lecture – step-by-step guidelines for diabetes management – was presented to Afghani clinicians via Zoom.



UCSF Fresno became the newest member of the University of California Hematologic Malignancies Consortium (UCHMC). The UCHMC is a collaboration of academic physicians doing clinical research at five UC Cancer Centers. UCSF Fresno joined the consortium as its sixth member. Inclusion in the UCHMC allows UCSF Fresno medical oncologists to work jointly with researchers at UC Cancer Centers located at UC Davis, UCSF, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UCLA; and the collaboration opens the door for patients in the San Joaquin Valley with cancers of the blood to participate in clinical trials that have mostly been unavailable to them.

We held the first Liver Expo, an interactive event focused on prevention, diagnosis and management of liver diseases such as fatty liver and hepatitis C. About 30% to 40% of adults in the U.S. have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.



We expanded our wellness committee – Live, Inspiration, Vitality and Engagement (LIVE) – to include additional partners, hired a wellness manager and held a Wellness Fair.





UC President Janet Napolitano visited UCSF Fresno in November. She met with residents, an SJV PRIME medical student, a student in the UCSF Fresno Sunnyside High School Doctors Academy and toured our clinical skills lab.







10 years  for the UCSF Fresno and Community Medical Centers Lung Nodule Program. Before the Lung Nodule Program, patients in the Valley who had suspicious spots on their lungs could wait 70 days or more to see a specialist to find out if the nodules were lung cancer. Fast forward to today, and patients referred to the program have a diagnosis, staffing and treatment plans within seven to 10 days. The speedy turnaround is better than national and international recommended times.

20 years  for the UCSF Fresno Doctors Academy (DA). The DA is a challenging academic preparation program to develop future physicians and other health care professionals to provide culturally sensitive health services in the Valley. Since its beginning at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, the DA has grown to include rural programs at Caruthers and Selma high schools as well as Junior Doctors Academy programs at three Fresno Unified middle schools. Altogether, 865 students have graduated from the DA and more than 3,000 have received services. This year, as in the past, 100% of DA graduates were admitted to colleges and universities.

35 years  for the UCSF Fresno Alzheimer and Memory Center (AMC), one of ten California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the state, the UCSF Fresno AMC serves patients and families from Modesto to Bakersfield.


In 2020, UCSF Fresno will celebrate its 45th anniversary. With your ongoing support, we look forward to continuing our mission of improving health in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond through medical education, patient care, research and community partnerships. To make an end-of-the-year gift, please go to: https://www.fresno.ucsf.edu/give/





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