Joslin Diabetes Center adds first affiliate in California at Irvine Medical Center


BOSTON Joslin Diabetes Center, the world leader in diabetes research and care, announced today its affiliation with University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Located at Gottschalk Medical Plaza on the UC Irvine campus, Joslin Diabetes Center at University of California, Irvine will offer the latest advances for treating diabetes and its complications, as well as patient education and research. The venture represents the first time Joslin has affiliated with an institution in California.

More than 18 million Americans have diabetes, which is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes can lead to many medical complications, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure and poor circulation.

"There is an epidemic of diabetes in Orange County and throughout the nation," said Dr. Ralph W. Cygan, UCI Medical Center's chief executive officer. "By teaming up the expertise of Joslin Diabetes Center with UCI Medical Center physicians, researchers and staff, we are now well on our way to developing a world-class diabetes center in Southern California."

Joslin Diabetes Center at UCI, supported in part by a $210,000 donation from the Pediatric Adolescent Diabetes Research Education Foundation, offers easy access to a wide range of specialists for adults and children. Among them are endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, nephrologists, cardiovascular specialists, neurologists and certified diabetes educators. The treatment team is further complemented by dietitians and mental-health practitioners. Additionally, UCI Medical Center offers access to specialized services of interest to people with diabetes, such as pancreas and kidney transplantation and orthopedic foot surgery.

"We aspire to bring the best care to our patients and establish a high-quality infrastructure for our researchers," said Dr. Ping Wang, UCI endocrinologist and director of Joslin Diabetes Center at UCI. "Joslin Diabetes Center at UCI will become the focal point in California for developing innovative approaches to the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications."

For instance, UCI researchers are helping to solve the burgeoning public-health problem of the increase of children with type 2 diabetes. Previously considered a disease of middle aged and older adults, type 2 diabetes is associated with overeating and inactivity. In an effort to decrease the incidence of the disease, they're investigating innovative ways to increase physical activity and optimize nutrition education programs in schools.

Additionally, Wang and his colleagues discovered a hormone similar to insulin that prevents heart muscle from dying. The findings suggest that gene therapy might help treat a variety of heart diseases, as well as stave off heart damage that is common among diabetes patients.

"Over 1.5 million people in California have diabetes, and statistically, a third of them don't know they have the disease," said Dr. John W. Hare, director of Joslin's Affiliated Centers Program. "We look forward to working with the professionals at the UCI Medical Center to reach people in California with a proactive approach to diabetes prevention and treatment."

A grand-opening event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center at 100 Academy Drive on the UCI campus. Tours of Joslin Diabetes Center at UCI will follow a luncheon program featuring speakers from UCI and Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass. Diabetes patient Sean Busby, 19, of Mission Viejo, will give a keynote address about his challenge of training for the Olympic snowboarding team while managing diabetes.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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