UC Davis Health: It’s where practice, teaching, and research converge
Depression in mothers of young children is unfortunately both common and undertreated in our society. As many as one in five women will experience a bout with the condition at some point while parenting a child, with most episodes occurring in the first year of a newborn’s life.
Sadly, that suffering doesn’t always end with mom. Studies have found that depression can negatively affect a mother’s parenting, and it is associated with mental, behavioral, and physical health problems in children.
Concerned UC Davis pediatrician and mental health researcher Erik Fernandez y Garcia, M.D., M.P.H. went to work on the problem and found a powerful solution. His novel intervention to screen for depressed mothers at babies’ well-child checkups has led more women to seek support and care and helped nurture their children along the way.
The unique new approach is one of the many advances, innovations, and insights found at UC Davis Health, the region’s only academic health center and a source of nationally recognized specialty care, nursing, health research, and health education.
As one of America’s academic health systems, UC Davis Health’s missions include discovering and sharing new knowledge as well as providing the highest level of clinical care when it’s needed. So while UC Davis physicians, nurses, and scientists collaborate daily to create and refine advances in understanding, they also focus heavily on translating these breakthroughs into new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The approach leads to direct benefits for UC Davis patients and larger advances in health care practices nationwide.
At any one time, nearly 1,000 studies are underway at UC Davis Health, where more than $270 million in external research funding in 2016 helped propel efforts to thwart deadly cancers and infectious diseases, tap into the healing power of regenerative medicine, and more. The research activity converges with clinical practice and teaching at the nationally renowned UC Davis Medical Center, where entire teams work to improve health through innovation.
Fernandez y Garcia’s novel intervention for maternal depression is one of several examples of unique innovation and expertise that UC Davis Health is highlighting this spring. The following are just some of the other innovations underway at UC Davis Health:
- Oma Agbai, M.D., shines a light on skin of color as the founder of the region’s first center for multicultural dermatology, where she’s creating transformative advances in care for pigmentary disorders and other conditions while helping to serve the needs of one of America’s most diverse communities.
- Mark Lee, M.D., pioneers new ways to capture and use a patient’s own stem cells to grow new bone and improve healing. Up to 10 percent of fracture cases can involve delayed or incomplete healing—a problem that’s especially troubling for the elderly due to reduced function, mobility, and quality of life.
- Internationally renowned oncologist David Gandara, M.D., is boosting lung cancer survivability by using biomarkers—clues in our bodies—to determine if and when immunotherapy may work better than chemotherapy for individual patients. His research is helping change the standard for care for one of the world’s most common—and deadliest—cancers.
U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Davis Medical Center among the nation’s best in 10 medical specialties, its children’s hospital among the nation’s best in five specialties, and the #1 hospital in the Sacramento metro area for 2016–17. The medical center also operates the only level I trauma center for adult and pediatric emergencies in inland Northern California and holds the nation’s highest form of nursing recognition, the coveted Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
While UC Davis Health holds a multitude of honors, awards, and recognitions, the health system considers its most noteworthy accomplishment its standout team members, who share a passion for advancing health, identifying and eliminating barriers to quality care, and helping educate the next generation of health innovators. To find out more, visit the Health through Innovation page on the UC Davis Medical Center website.
UC Davis Health accepts most major health plans, provides access to world-class specialists, and offers locations across Northern California.