La Jolla news and community briefs
Published - 08/24/18 - 11:07 AM | 39989 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beachgoers escape the heat during a hot day at La Jolla Shores. PHOTO BY DON BALCH
Beachgoers escape the heat during a hot day at La Jolla Shores. PHOTO BY DON BALCH
U.S. News & World Report ranks UC San Diego Health nationally

UC San Diego Health and its medical and surgical specialties have again been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19. Each year, U.S. News & World Report analyzes and reviews hospitals performance in clinical specialties, procedures and conditions for its “Best Hospital” rankings. These rankings distinguish hospitals that provide excellent treatment for health conditions that require the most comprehensive care.

“UC San Diego Health is the only academic medical center in the region, and with our focus on recruiting world-class physician-scientists and accelerating bench-to-bedside treatments, we continue to receive patients from all over the region who are highly complex, acute and in many cases facing mortality,” said Patty Maysent, chief executive officer, UC San Diego Health. “We are proud of the high quality care we provide to the sickest and most complex patients in our region and beyond, and we continue to focus on serving our community by creating more access for patients to our sub-specialized physicians and ground-breaking treatments.”

For 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked 4,500 hospitals. Among these UC San Diego Health ranked in six specialties:

• Cancer (No. 45) – Anchored by Moores Cancer Center, UC San Diego Health is home to the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region. Moores Cancer Center is at the forefront in developing promising new therapies and bench-to-bedside innovation and offers the latest surgical technologies, plus more than 300 leading-edge precision and immune therapy trials.

• Cardiology and heart surgery (No. 40) – The region’s first cardiovascular institute, the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center was opened at UC San Diego Health in 2011. So far this year, Sulpizio physicians and staff have performed 48 ventricular assist device procedures, 54 heart transplants, 900 cardiac surgery cases, 3,700 cardiac catheterization procedures; and handled more than 34,000 outpatient clinic visits across the San Diego region.

• Geriatrics (No. 36) – A pioneer in the field, UC San Diego Health will open a state-of-the-art physical space dedicated to treating seniors requiring emergency health care. The new space will be located in the Gary and Mary West Emergency Department at UC San Diego Health in La Jolla and will open in 2019. In May, the Gary and Mary West Emergency Department was accredited as California’s first geriatric emergency department by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

• Neurology and neurosurgery (No. 46) – This year, UC San Diego Health added a second Joint Commission-designated Comprehensive Stroke Center, making it the only health care provider in the region with two such centers. Additionally, this specialty is home to a Level 4 epilepsy center; a Lewy Body dementia research center of excellence; two intra-operative imaging suites; and a world-class skull base tumor program.   

· Orthopedics (No. 49) – UC San Diego Health is the official health care provider of the San Diego Padres, with a medical team led by orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists, who also care for Olympic athletes and several local sports teams, including the San Diego Sea Lions, San Diego Sockers and UC San Diego Tritons.

· Pulmonology (No. 17) – For the past decade, UC San Diego Health has been consistently ranked in the top 20 for this medical specialty and pioneered the development of pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) and balloon pulmonary angioplasty, procedures for treating chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Our pulmonologists are experts in the latest diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for all forms of pulmonary disease and are very active in advancing the scientific frontiers of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

Surfing named ‘official sport of California’

On Aug. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1782, which officially declares surfing as the “official sport of California.”

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, is co-authored by Majority Leader Ian Calderon.

“I am stoked that surfing is now California’s official sport,” said Muratsuchi, apparently an avid surfer, to multiple press outlets. “No other sport represents the California Dream better than surfing, riding the waves of opportunity and living in harmony with nature.”

Not only is the state home to more than 1,100 miles of coastline, which boasts some of the world’s best/most iconic waves, but the surf industry has maintained an economic boon. Lest one forget that the Beach Boys, whose hometown is represented by Muratsuchi himself, hail from the Golden State as well. Despite their questionable surf abilities, the group nonetheless championed the sport’s popularity.

Whale watching lecture to be held at Scripps

On Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m., at Sumner Auditorium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the San Diego Chapter of the American Cetacean Society is pleased to present a free lecture.  Erin Gless, lead naturalist at Island Adventures Whale Watching will present: "From San Diego to the Salish Sea:  A Whale Watching Comparison."

 Erin has worked for successful whale watch companies in both locations and will highlight the differences in operating procedures, viewing regulations, and wildlife sightings between the two areas. Learn about the "Humpback Comeback," what a "Sounder" is, get an update on the endangered Southern Resident killer whales and more. Erin currently serves as a lead naturalist for Island Adventures Whale Watching in Anacortes, Wash.

La Jolla YMCA announces new board chair

Susan Botticelli has been named the new board of advisors chair of the La Jolla YMCA. The La Jolla YMCA features two branch locations – the Dan McKinney Family YMCA and the Shepherd YMCA Firehouse.

Botticelli began her volunteer career with the YMCA back in 2005, serving as a board member in the East County at the McGrath Family YMCA. Since 2015, she has served on the La Jolla Y’s board as a member, helping guide the branch through its grand re-opening, leading the Board Development Committee, and serving as chair for the branch’s major gifts campaign.

“Susan’s dedication and passion for the YMCA is second to none,” said Sue Ball, district executive director for the YMCA of San Diego County. “She’s a vibrant and dedicated community leader and we’re incredibly lucky to have her. We’re thrilled to see where she helps guide us during her tenure as board chair, and how the community will benefit.”

By day, Botticelli is a real estate broker and owner of San Diego Properties Group, serving California since 1995. She has two children, Stefani and Andrew, and credits a nurturing environment where compassion, education and desire to become her personal best was cultivated by her parents and grandparents.

She holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology from San Diego State University, and it was likely then that her passion for healthy living began. She previously worked for the Jenny Craig Corporation as the company’s exercise physiologist where she developed exercise classes, video and audio marketing materials. Botticelli received her undergraduate degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Botticelli has been an active member of the La Jolla Y since 2012 and will continue to serve as a board member, as her passion for the Y stems from three generations of YMCA members, donors and participants.

“It’s Annie’s dream to make the YMCA a part of every family’s active daily life,” said Ball. “During her tenure as board chair we were able to create an amazing facility to help achieve just that. We thank Annie wholeheartedly for her service and personal investment, and for what she’ll continue to do for the community as a ‘Y-Lifer.’”

Del Mar to host2021 Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred horse racing’s most prestigious international events, today announced Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar as the host site for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6. This will be the second time that Del Mar - where the Turf meets the Surf - will serve as the event’s host site.

A formal announcement took place in the Del Mar paddock, and will also be streamed live on and the Breeders’ Cup Facebook page.

Breeders’ Cup also announced that the event will return to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Nov. 1–2 in 2019 and to Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. on Nov. 6–7 in 2020. The three-year announcement reflects Breeders’ Cup’s forward-thinking growth strategy to showcase the best tracks across the country and allow for ample lead time to engage local communities ahead of each event.

Breeders’ Cup’s decision to return to Keeneland and Del Mar is a testament to the brand’s effort to offer a more elevated and enhanced fan experience by bringing the event to more intimate venues. With a renewed focus on patron experience and event logistics, the 2015 and 2017 renewals of the World Championships produced record-breaking ticket sales revenue and on-track wagering revenues, respectively. Fans are encouraged to visit to sign up for ticket information.

“The Breeders’ Cup World Championships had an incredibly successful debut last year at Del Mar and surpassed every expectation for both Breeders’ Cup and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club,” said Breeders’ Cup president and CEO Craig Fravel. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Del Mar, Solana Beach and San Diego communities to once again create a world-class horse racing and entertainment experience at this remarkable location.”

Known for its scenic locale on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and prestigious summer meets, Del Mar underwent an extensive development process to expand its luxury seating options and infield experiences for its first Breeders’ Cup in 2017. The Breeders’ Cup debut at Del Mar resulted in a record-breaking, two-day on-track wagering mark, while also generating an estimated $96.8 million in economic benefits for San Diego County.

“Del Mar is delighted to again be hosting our sport’s championship days,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s chief executive officer Joe Harper. “We know we put on a good show here in 2017 and we look forward to presenting an even better one in 2021.”

Promises2Kids expands Guardian Scholars program

On July 26, Promises2Kids, San Diego’s leading nonprofit with a focus on foster care, honored the 2018 Guardian Scholars graduates and welcomed a new class of students at the La Jolla home of Ramin Pourteymour. More than 250 youth and community members gathered on this special occasion to honor and celebrate the 24 Guardian Scholars graduates and welcome the new class of nearly 175 youth into the Guardian Scholars program.

Promises2Kids' Guardian Scholars encourages foster youth to pursue higher education through community college, trade school or a university degree.

This highly successful resource provides former foster youth with a partial financial scholarship along with mentoring support to assist them in adapting to and excelling in a higher education setting.

Of the 55 percent of former foster youth that attends college, only 8 percent will graduate nationally compared to the 80 percent of Promises2Kids Guardian Scholars.

The incoming class of Guardian Scholars will include 13 alumni from Promises2Kids’ Junior Guardian Scholars. This unique component to Guardian Scholars reaches foster youth while they are in high school – intervening at a critical time in their lives – preparing them for graduation, a higher education, and beyond. Junior Guardian Scholars provides multifaceted support through mentoring, SAT preparation, college planning, financial aid, college tours and college application workshops.

With the community’s generosity and support, Promises2Kids has been able to grow its capacity and was able to welcome the largest class to date with up to 175 students.

Promises2Kids is seeking 50 community volunteers to serve as mentors for its Guardian Scholars. To support this program, visit, call 858-751-6617or e-mail [email protected]
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