International and Domestic Health Equity and Leadership (IDHEAL) UCLA Emergency Medicine

Section Chair:
Breena Taira, MD, MPH, CPH, FACEP
Health Sciences Assistant Professor
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director of Research, Dept of Emergency Medicine
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center
U.S. Director, Project SEMILLA

Dr. Taira is a Health Sciences Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Director of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Olive View- UCLA Medical Center. Her research domestically focuses on language access for limited English proficiency patients and interventions to improve care for limited health literacy patients as a means to eliminate health disparities. Globally, Dr. Taira’s work has helped to quantify emergency and surgical capacity in limited resource settings as a member of the WHO’s Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIEESC). She is the U.S. Director of Project SEMILLA, a collaboration of U.S. and Nicaraguan health care professionals aimed at improving emergency health care capacity in Latin America. The group has developed and implemented multiple open-access, language and resource appropriate curricula for Central American health care providers and given free trainings to over 500 Nicaraguan health care professionals. Dr. Taira serves as the Lead Ambassador to Nicaragua for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and was named an honorary professor of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), León.

Research Interests: Language access, health literacy, Emergency Care in Latin America, Emergency Systems Development


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Dennis Hsieh, MD, JD
Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Medicine
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Dennis Hsieh is an attending physician in the emergency department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA and a recent graduate of the emergency medicine training program at Highland General Hospital – Alameda Health System, in Oakland, CA. A 2012 graduate of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Dennis earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University.
While at Harvard, Dennis worked extensively with the Phillips Brooks House Association for Public Service and co-directed its English as Second Language Program in Boston’s Chinatown, taught for its Chinatown Citizenship Program and volunteered with its Homeless Shelter Program. Through these experiences, he witnessed the connection between poverty, policy, and well-being.
During his first two years of medical school, Dennis was inspired by his preceptorship at San Francisco General Hospital and his work with the UCSF Homeless Clinics to learn more about how to directly address the social and economic determinants of health. Dennis took a leave of absence from medical school to pursue a J.D. from Yale Law School. During this time, Dennis focused on issues around legislative advocacy and the social determinants of health. Dennis co-directed the Legislative Advocacy Clinic at Yale and helped found the first medical legal partnership in New Haven. Through this work, Dennis worked on Medicaid expansion in Connecticut and addressing the social determinants of health around access to benefits and housing.
Following his time at Yale, Dennis pursued a two year Equal Justice Works Fellowship in Los Angeles, CA with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. There he co-founded a medical legal partnership with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in South Los Angeles and Compton. In addition to advocating for issues around housing, immigration, and public benefits, Dennis also worked on improving access to care in South Los Angeles after the closure of M.L.K. Hospital in Compton.
After returning the to Bay Area to complete medical school and start residency, Dennis co-founded the Health Advocates of Alameda Health System, a program that brings together volunteers and lawyers to create a continuum of care for addressing the social determinants of health for patients. The Health Advocates program now has over one hundred volunteers and runs five days a week serving Highland patients. Through the Health Advocates Program, Dennis found that access to food and housing were the patients’ top needs. Dennis thus partnered with Alameda Health System and Mandela Marketplace to secure a $425,000 grant from the USDA to incentivize Highland patients to purchase fresh produce. He has also begun working with the Everyone Home and Home Stretch Initiatives in Alameda County to explore a Housing First Approach to Health.
Upon finishing residency, Dennis joined the faculty at Harbor UCLA and is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services on access to care and addressing the social determinants of health for patients of Los Angeles with a focus on re-entry from the county jail system.

Research Interests: Social determinants of health, housing, food, income, public benefits, medical legal community partnership, patient navigation, re-entry
Ross I. Donaldson, MD, MPH, CTropMed, FACEP
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology
UCLA-Fielding School of Public Health

Director of Global Health Program
Department of Emergency Medicine
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Professor of Featured on CNN, BBC, NPR, and other media outlets, Dr. Donaldson has worked around the globe, frequently in areas of conflict and recent disaster, and has been the lead architect of national emergency care plans in several countries. Board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services, he is the Director of the Emergency Medicine Global Health Program at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Associate Professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology respectively in the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Donaldson is also the critically acclaimed author of The Lassa Ward, a memoir about international humanitarian work, and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikEM, the world’s largest emergency medicine open-access reference resource. Dr. Donaldson has been the principal investigator on approximately $20 million dollars worth of grants and is a recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the California chapter of American College of Emergency Physicians.

Research Interests: Global health; emergency medicine; disaster care; technology development

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Aristides Orue, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Assistant Clinical Professor
UCLA School of Nursing
Director of Telephone Follow Up
Department of Emergency Medicine
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center
Associate Director Project SEMILLA

Aristides is a lead nurse practitioner working in the emergency department at Olive View UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, California and directs the telephone follow up program for the department. He also serves as the Director of Nursing and Critical Care Transport for AmeriCare ambulance service. He is Associate Director of Project SEMILLA and Co-Director of the Resuscitation Course for Project SEMILLA, which is a group of health care providers that are working in building emergency capacity in Nicaragua. As a member of Project SEMILLA he has lectured internationally, conducted research, written chapters in the resuscitation and trauma manuals for Project SEMILLA, assisted in the planning and development of Project SEMILLA courses and has mentored visiting physicians. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at San Diego State University in San Diego, California and then earned his Master of Science degree in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner at California State University Dominguez Hills, in Carson, California. He holds national certification with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a Certified Emergency Nurse.

Research Interests: Resuscitation, trauma, EMS

Mohsen Saidinejad, MD, MBA, FAAP, FACEP
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director of Patient Experience
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Department of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Saidinejad is an attending physician at Harbor UCLA Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Department and holds an appointment as Associate Professor at UCLA School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He completed his pediatric residency training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City and Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship training at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He also trained in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program in Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Michigan. He also holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the George Washington School of Business, where he received a for Leadership and Service award.

Prior to joining the UCLA faculty, he spent 9 years as emergency medicine attending physician at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC and as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. His area of research is emergency department aftercare and the use of mobile and connected health technology to track health behavior, improve discharge instructions, and optimize treatment adherence. He currently has an active research collaboration with UCLA Computer science department and as well as USC Institute for Health promotion and Disease Prevention Research. He is a member of the research committee and patient experience committee at Harbor UCLA.

As director of patient experience, he is constantly exploring innovative strategies to improve communication and as well as anticipating and managing patient expectations during an ED visit. Nationally, he serves on the technical planning committee for the NIH Wireless Health and has been involved with the NIH mobile health (mHealth) training institute. He is a member of the pediatric committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and a section leader in the ACEP pediatric section. He is a co-founder and partner in healthEworks, an a startup Internet company, which was funded by the NIH and other agencies to develop video education and hospital discharge instructions.

Research interests: Emergency department throughput, patient experience, health literacy, and mHealth tools to track and improve patient health behavior

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Luis M. Lovato, MD, FACEP
Health Sciences Professor, UCLA School of Medicine
Professor UCLA School of Nursing
Director of Clinical Informatics, Department of Emergency Medicine
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center

Dr. Lovato is a founding member of Project SEMILLA (Strengthening Emergency Medicine Investing in Learners in Latin America), a non-profit with a mission to improve emergency health care capacity in Latin America through education, system organization, and improved access to technology. The initial focus of Project SEMILLA has been on Nicaragua, the second poorest county in the Western Hemisphere. In partnership with the National University of Nicaragua, Project SEMILLA has developed free, resource appropriate training programs for health care providers in cardiac resuscitation, bedside ultrasound, and trauma, and have trained Nicaraguan physicians to independently organize and teach these courses.

Dr. Lovato became a nationally recognized educator as an editor for Emergency Medicine News with monthly columns entitled
Living with the LLSA and Journal Scan. He has lectured nationally on the topic of Emergency Medicine Board Review since 2004 and speaks on the topic regularly at the ACEP Scientific Assembly. He also serves as chair of the Audio Digest Emergency Medicine Board Review course and is releasing a second edition in early 2017.

Dr. Lovato trained at UCLA in emergency medicine and internal medicine and recently became board certified in clinical informatics. He presently serves as the physician lead for the order sets team on the DHS installation of Cerner with the goal of standardizing and optimizing care delivered to all DHS patients. Additionally, he is on the team implementing DHS’s upcoming population health solution (Cerner HealtheIntent) which will provide physicians with real-time scorecards to measure their empaneled patient's overall health and provide suggestions on how to most efficiently improve it. This solution will also provide data on key health measures required by California’s Public Hospital Redesign & Incentives in MediCal (PRIME) program. He has an interest in using technology and informatics to improve health disparity in disenfranchised populations.

Research interests: immigrant health, health literacy, technology development

Kabir Yadav, MDCM, MS, MSHS, FACEP
Associate Professor, UCLA School of Medicine
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Kabir is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He completed emergency medicine residency at Kings County Hospital Center/ SUNY Downstate Medical Center, followed by a clinical research fellowship at Jacobi Medical Center with a Masters in Clinical Research Methods. After completing a NIH KL2 Career Development Award and a Masters in Translational Science at GW, he became one of the first board-certified clinical informaticists in the country. He is core faculty at the UCLA CTSI for both the Community Engaged Research Program, and Biomedical Informatics. He has been funded through PCORI, NIH, CDC and foundations to leverage technology and implementation science to perform health services research focused on improving patient and provider decision making, and partners with community to do mutually meaningful research.
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Other Faculty:
Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, MSHS (MLK/UCLA Ronald Reagan)
Richelle Cooper, MD, MPH (UCLA Ronald Reagan)
Jerome Hoffman, MD (UCLA)
Tom Lee, MD (Antelope Valley/UCLA Ronald Reagan)
Adedamola Ogunniyi, MD (Harbor UCLA)
Carmen Partida, MD (Olive View-UCLA)
Larry Stock, MD (Antelope Valley)
Scott Votey, MD (UCLA Ronald Reagan)