#FrenchFriesforLauren2019, #CancerSucks

“French fries for Lauren” — this year from Folsom

A classmate of mine at Medill – Northwestern University graduate school, class of ’82, has come up with a remarkable way to remember her younger sister, Lauren, who died of cancer in 2010 in Corona del Mar at age 49, and we were glad to participate again this year:

“Leave it to my little sister Lauren to come up with a last request that has become an international event,” Karen has written on Facebook. “Many of you know the story. When Lauren knew she was about to leave us after a 13-year battle with cancer, she wanted to make us smile. So she suggested we eat french fries on her birthday. It was our ‘go-to’ comfort food, and she figured it would make a sad day a bit sweeter. Since that day in 2010 — thanks to her friends and family, and the power of social media — people have been eating French Fries for Lauren on February 20 in every one of the 50 states and in countries all around the world.

“All we ask is that you eat french fries on the 20th wherever you are and post the photo or video here, along with your city/state/country. My mom, sister Susan and I spend the day watching all of your wonderful photos come in from across the U.S. and around the globe. We view and respond to every single one, and it truly turns a sad day into a celebration for us.”

The posts come from all over the world, not just the United States. So far, this year’s contributions  — hundreds of them — have come from London, Berlin, Bucharest, Ukraine, Bosnia, Winnipeg, Jamaica, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Elkhorn, NE, among other places. One example: “Honouring Lauren in London with this ‘balanced’ 😂dinner, the best bit was the fries, obviously! Thinking of you Karen Heller and all those close to Lauren from across the pond. xx”

This year we opted for fries at Bacchus House Wine Bar & Bistro in Folsom during lunch. Karen wrote on Facebook: “Thank you Jeff and Shannon!! thank you for eating #FrenchFriesForLauren in Folsom!”

Kaiser Permanente’s new medical school in Pasadena will waive tuition for its first 5 classes

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine announced today that it has received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and will begin accepting applications from prospective students in June 2019 for admission to the school’s first class in the summer of 2020. In addition, the school announced that it will waive all tuition for the full four years of school for its first five classes.

“We’ve had the opportunity to build a medical school from the ground up and have drawn from evidence-based educational approaches to develop a state-of-the-art school on the forefront of medical education, committed to preparing students to provide outstanding patient care in our nation’s complex and evolving health care system,” said Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, founding dean and CEO of the school. “Our students will learn to critically examine factors that influence their patients’ health in their homes, workplaces, schools, and communities – and become effective health advocates for their patients. They will graduate with the knowledge and skills to become visionary leaders in medicine and take on some of the most challenging health issues of our time.”

The school will provide its students with longitudinal clinical experiences starting at the beginning of their first year in Kaiser Permanente’s groundbreaking integrated health care system, one of the nation’s highest-performing health care organizations that excels in patient-centered care and population health. The school will use a small-group, case-based medical curriculum in a learning environment that embraces all dimensions of diversity and values students’ well-being. The school aims to prepare future physicians to become collaborative, transformative leaders committed to prevention, fluent in data-driven care, and adept at addressing the needs of underserved patients and communities.

“Kaiser Permanente is driving to transform health and health care in America, and the School of Medicine will play an important role in this transformation. The school will help shape the future of medical education and train physicians for medical excellence and the total health of their patients,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will also reflect our long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion by training diverse physicians to serve the needs of society.”

The school will be based in Pasadena with clinical education taking place primarily in the greater Los Angeles area in Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics and in partnered community health centers. Students will gain access to the physicians, clinical teams, data, and technology of Kaiser Permanente, which is known for its integration of comprehensive health services, quality of care, and excellence in diversity and inclusion.

The school has recruited an outstanding, multidisciplinary, and exceptionally diverse group of senior leaders who represent decades of academic and health care experience. Together, they have built a curriculum that fully integrates the school’s three academic pillars: Foundational Science, Clinical Science, and Health Systems Science, an emerging discipline that studies care delivery from structural, organizational and interpersonal perspectives, and includes topics such as population health, social inequality, and quality improvement. The core of the curriculum consists of case-based learning, in which students in faculty-facilitated small groups combine knowledge from each of the three pillars and apply it to promoting health, understanding illness, and providing care.

Another feature of the school is its focus on the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship model of clinical education. First-year students will work with primary care preceptors all year, giving them the opportunity to form relationships with patients and clinical mentors over time. Second-year students will continue in their primary care LICs and will also participate in LICs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Third- and fourth-year clinical education is dedicated to the students’ exploration of potential specialties and other areas of interest. The school expects that graduates will enter residency programs in a range of specialties at institutions across the nation.

The school’s state-of-the-art Medical Education Building, scheduled for completion later this year, has been designed to support the collaborative curriculum and the school’s commitment to student well-being. The building will house immersive learning tools such as augmented and virtual reality and ultrasound simulation for studying anatomy in lieu of traditional cadavers, and will have an open rooftop with facilities dedicated to student wellness, including a student lounge, meditation area, and fitness space.

—Kaiser Permanente

The Union columnist George Boardman owes his readers another correction

“THINGS MUST be slow in Auburn: The police announced they have rounded up $3,500 worth of abandoned shopping carts,” The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman writes in his column this week.

$3,500? According to the Auburn Journal, it’s $3,200, not $3,500. “Auburn Police are reporting about $3,200 worth of shopping carts were rounded up and returned to stores this week,” the newspaper reported.

To be sure, I checked with the Auburn Police Department, which directed me to their Facebook page. And sure enough, the Auburn Journal got it right — and Boardman got it wrong (again). See the last sentence below on the Auburn P.D.’s Facebook page.

Estonian Paavo Jarvi with Japan’s NHK Symphony (in Hong Kong)

(Credit: Aqua Luna Hong Kong)

Shannon and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary early this year — 29 years in May — by sneaking over to Hong Kong for a short week in March.

We’re going to fly Cathay Pacific Airline’s “premium economy” class on a new Airbus (“all jet, no lag”) A-350. (The tickets were deeply discounted at the recent CyberMonday sale).

We’re going to stay at the historic Peninsula Hotel (“Enjoy a complimentary fourth night,” thanks to AMEX’s “Fine Hotels & Resorts” program). Ha!

It’s a short walk to the Hong Kong Cultural Center, where I bought tickets today to see Paavo Järvi conduct the NHK Symphony Orchestra.

“Distinguished Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi returns to Hong Kong for the first time in two decades, this time as Chief Conductor for Japan’s leading NHK Symphony Orchestra.

“The contrasting programme opens with a shimmering sonic landscape by Takemitsu, followed by Ravel’s exhilarating, jazz-infused Piano Concerto with acclaimed soloist Zee Zee (Zhang Zuo) and Prokofiev’s heartrending Symphony No 6, rarely performed in Hong Kong.”

The classical music concert is occurring during the 47th annual Hong Kong Arts Festival.

We’ll also ride the Star Ferry; travel to Victoria Peak, Nan Lian Garden and other sites; and sample the street food and go to some popular restaurants.

Here’s “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Hong Kong.” It’s a spellbinding episode (RIP, Anthony):

Giants’ Bochy retiring at end of the season

“San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy announced on Twitter Monday that he will be retiring at the end of the season. He told his players earlier in Scottsdale, Arizona,” according to KTVU.

“On Twitter, he received a lot of love, with many saying he was the best manager ever and future Hall of Famer. “Thank you Skipper,” many wrote.

“Bochy was named the 38th manager in Giants franchise history, and 16th in San Francisco annals on Oct. 27, 2006.”

The rest of the article is here.

The rebirth of South L.A., including U.S.C.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — “Disneyland meets Hogwarts at $700-million USC Village,” reads the Los Angeles Times headline describing one of the biggest developments in the history of South Los Angeles.

“Along with residential suites for more than 2,500 students — a nearly 25% expansion of campus housing for undergraduates — its six, five-story buildings hold a fitness center, classrooms, a dining hall and ground-floor retail spaces, open to the public, that include a Target and Trader Joe’s,” as the Times observes.

We toured USC Village and the campus this weekend with our son, and I found the new project covering 1.25-million square feet on a 15-acre site impressive, filling a needed gap. A USC report examining the coalitions that are “leading social, economic and political improvements in the area” is here.

1932 Olympic Games at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum (Credit: KCET.org)

I am familiar with this area, having visited it since childhood. It is undergoing a rebirth — preparing for the 2028 Olympic Games, the third time the city has hosted the event. USC has grown in stature too, with its well-regarded film, journalism, law and engineering schools, among others, and its new “village.”

“The Summer Games of the Tenth Olympiad were held in Los Angeles from July 30 through Aug. 14, 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression,” as KCET.org observes. “In 1932, as it did in the 1984, Los Angeles relied mostly on pre-existing facilities to house the various sporting events.”

When I was growing up in L.A. in the ’60s, we were regulars at the adjacent Memorial Coliseum for UCLA football games. We often would grab dinner at an Italian restaurant called Little Joe’s in downtown L.A. before heading out to the game. It was a favorite hangout of Hollywood stars.

When I worked at the L.A. bureau of Time magazine in ’81, in between graduating from Cal and going to graduate school at Northwestern, I visited USC to interview the famous USC song girls for a lifestyle article on college cheerleading in America. Their coach was Lindley Bothwell ’23, a founding USC Yell Leader. I thanked the bureau chief, Bill Rademaekers, for that assignment!

Santa Barbara Ave., circa 1910 (Credit: USC)

My mom’s grandfather lived in a bungalow on Santa Barbara Avenue (now Martin Luther King Blvd.) west of campus before he relocated to Balboa. Multiple streetcar and bus lines ran by the Coliseum, including Los Angeles Railway electric streetcar lines on Vermont and Santa Barbara.

Mom watched the ceremonies of the 1932 Olympic Games from the front porch of the home on Santa Barbara near the L.A. Coliseum.

The 2028 Olympic Games are ten years away, but Los Angeles is already gearing up to serve as host city for the third time since 1932. USC’s baseball stadium will be transformed into a temporary swimming and diving facility for the games. The arena that houses USC’s basketball and volleyball teams will be used for badminton competition. The USC Village is where members of the media will stay during the games.