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HEALTH CARE–UC Regents Give Nod to School of Pharmacy



Children’s Hospital Open to Merging

Pediatric Services

Big changes lie ahead for UCSD.

The UC Board of Regents recently approved a new school of pharmacy and the building of a cancer center at UCSD.

UCSD officials are hopeful a proposed plan to merge children’s services between UCSD Medical Center and Children’s Hospital will be approved next.

On July 20, at a meeting in San Francisco, the UC Regents gave the green light to implement a second UC school of pharmacy.

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Academic degree programs include a doctor of pharmacy; a seven-year joint bachelor’s of science and doctoral degree program in conjunction with UCSD’s department of chemistry and biochemistry; and a doctoral education and research training program in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

Interim vice chancellor for health sciences Dr. David N. Bailey said the school of pharmacy will eventually meet the shortage of pharmacists in local hospitals, clinics and retail sites.

It will also benefit the local biotech industry, which is the third largest in the country.

“The biotechnology industry is in many regards interested in the development of new drugs,” Bailey said. “In order to develop them and get them to the market, they need pharmacists.”

Bailey said pharmacists will also enter pharmacogenomics, a hot research area aiming to produce tailored drugs to fit patients’ individual genetic profile.

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Cancer Center: The UC Regents also approved the building of a new $87 million cancer center.

Construction should begin during the first half of 2001, Bailey said. He expects the center will open by fall 2003.

The facility will be located near UCSD’s Thornton Hospital in La Jolla and is planned to include clinical space, research laboratories, and community education, among others.

It is designed to provide underground parking for 130 vehicles. In May, UCSD said it raised $50 million in private philanthropy.

New Pediatric Center: Administrators at UCSD and Children’s Hospital have been working on a plan to merge some pediatric services since last fall.

“I believe the outlook is very good,” Bailey said following the recent UC Regents meeting.

Under the proposed plan, UCSD Medical Center would transfer its research, teaching and inpatient care programs to Children’s Hospital.

In order for the plan to materialize, it must be approved by both boards, the UC Regents and board of trustees at Children’s Hospital and Health Center.

At the next UC Regents meeting Sept. 13, UCSD will ask permission to proceed with the plan.

Bailey said it’s too early to predict when the plan will be approved. He added both boards have been supportive of the plan so far.

“Each of us brings something to the table,” Bailey added. “Children’s has clinical research and we bring education.”

UCSD and Children’s are optimistic about the potential of a university-affiliated children’s medical center to attract top-notch pediatricians and pediatric researchers.

Such a center would also lead to expanded community-based programming and outreach, Sadler and Dynes said.

Other programs, such as the neonatal intensive care and pediatric burn units, the newborn nursery, and some outpatient services will remain at the Hillcrest-based facility.

Bailey expects no jobs, departments or services would be eliminated as a result of the consolidation.

He declined to comment on consolidation costs or speculate on savings.

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Appointment: The UCSD Board of Regents named Dr. Edward C. Holmes the new vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the school of medicine at UCSD.

Holmes, 59, was previously vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the school of medicine at Duke University.

At UCSD, Holmes will be in charge of academic, research and clinical programs of the school of medicine and UCSD Healthcare.

Holmes will begin his new duties Sept. 18.

Bailey, who served as interim vice chancellor since last August, will return to his previous post as chair of pathology.

Send items for inclusion in the health care column to mwebb@sdbj.com

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