Luis R. Castellanos, MD, MPH, Appointed Director of Diversity in Medicine and Faculty Outreach for the Department of Medicine

February 27, 2017

An announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine

Luis Castellanos, MD, MPH

Luis Castellanos, MD, MPH

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Luis R. Castellanos, MD, MPH as Director of Diversity in Medicine and Faculty Outreach for the UCSD Department of Medicine.  Dr. Castellanos is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Cardiology.

In his new role, he will work to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse medical professionals, including internal medicine residents and faculty, from underrepresented in medicine minority (URM) groups within the Department of Medicine.  Dr. Castellanos has demonstrated a sustained commitment to the critical mission of improving diversity and promoting inclusion in the medical field in order to better serve the members of our diverse community.

Dr. Castellanos graduated from UC Davis summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.  He first joined UCSD as an Internal Medicine resident in 2003. He was then completed a prestigious Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University/Commonwealth Fund Program, obtaining a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Castellanos subsequently completed a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis where he was selected as the Chief Research Fellow for his involvement in clinical research that addressed vulnerable populations.  He joined the faculty at UCSD in 2010.

As part of his clinical service, Dr. Castellanos travels to the Imperial Valley to provide cardiac care to underserved populations from El Centro, Brawley and neighboring communities.

Dr. Castellanos’ research focuses on health outcomes and inequities involving racial and ethnic minority groups.  He has co-authored peer-reviewed articles in the American Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Cardiac Failure.  Dr. Castellanos was awarded a research grant from the Clinical and Translation Research Institute to study the effectiveness of a home-based cardiac rehabilitation program in patients with coronary heart disease who live in rural communities.  He has been invited to present his research at national conferences such as the American Heart Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association annual meetings where he has been a strong advocate for improving cardiovascular heath of vulnerable populations.

Dr. Castellanos has been recognized by the UCSD Clinical Advancement and Recognition of Excellence in Service and received the National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine Award in 2013. Most recently, Dr. Castellanos was selected as a UCSD LEAD (Leaders for Equity, Advancement and Diversity) Fellow.

Complex Health Issues of Aging Patients Not Solved in a Senior Moment

Program teaches medical professionals how to address obstacles to care, such as isolation and homelessness —

Reams of medical books and guidelines exist on how to manage a patient’s diabetes, but much of that goes out the window when your patient is a 70-year-old homeless man eating out of a trashcan.

“There’s no point in simply giving this patient insulin and telling him to get on a restricted diet,” said Dr. Diane Chau, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and a physician at Veteran Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. “We need to intervene in a broader, more comprehensive way.” … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


New Video Series Chronicles AIDS Epidemic in Tijuana

“HIV/SIDA: The Epidemic in Tijuana” focuses on UC San Diego researchers’ efforts to track and prevent the spread of HIV among the city’s most at-risk populations —

The new documentary “HIV/SIDA: The Epidemic in Tijuana” offers an unflinching look at the challenges facing researchers from the University of California, San Diego as they attempt to identify and treat people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender women and others who are at high risk for HIV infection in Tijuana. The program, which was shot over two years, premieres Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. on UCSD-TV and can be viewed at www.uctv.tv/hiv-sida. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


The film features the efforts of Dr. Steffanie Strathdee, her Division of Global Public Health colleagues and a multidisciplinary, multinational team of medical professionals to trace and arrest the spread of AIDS in Tijuana.

Dr. Strathdee is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Harold Simon Professor and Chief of the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego.

The four-part documentary, based on the book Tomorrow Is a Long Time by Malcolm Linton and Jon Cohen, premiered on UCSD-TV on October 5. It was supported by funding from the Ford Foundation.

Find more about the documentary here: HIV/SIDA: The Epidemic in Tijuana – UCSD-TV – University of California Television.

Global Public Health Division’s Projects Highlighted During Chancellor’s Visit to Tijuana Clinic

University of California, San Diego, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla’s visit to Tijuana, B.C., on May 3 included a stop at the Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) Clinic, a free clinic where students and faculty from the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health team up with their counterparts from the Universidad Autónomo de Baja California (UABC) to provide health care in one of the poorest parts of Tijuana.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and Jose Luis Burgos.

Dr. Jose Luis Burgos with Chancellor Khosla outside HFiT Clinic. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

In the photo above, Chancellor Khosla speaks with Jose Luis Burgos, MD, MPH, outside the clinic. An assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health, Burgos is a faculty mentor at the clinic and a specialist in global health and development. His current research project: The Role of Economic Evaluation in Translating HIV/AIDS Behavioral Interventions.

At the HFiT Clinic, faculty mentors from both UC San Diego and UABC direct the medical students, fellows and other medical trainees in caring for patients.  The clinic is now a part of MED 239, an elective course for medical students in the UCSD School of Medicine.

The students and faculty working in the clinic also contribute to global public health division projects investigating prevention of HIV and STD, substance abuse, policing practices and sex trafficking.  |  More about current projects

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee at work in the El Cuete program.

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee during a visit to Tijuana for the El Cuete program, a global public health division epidemiology project tracing HIV, tuberculosis and other infections among injection drug users.

During her presentation on the chancellor’s tour, global public health division chief Steffanie Strathdee said, “We align research, training and service. And we, the professors, learn as much from the students as they learn from us.”

Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, is associate dean of global health sciences, Harold Simon Professor and chief of the Division of Global Public Health and director of the Global Health Initiative at UC San Diego.

Strathdee’s current research projects: Impact of Drug Policy Reform on the HIV Risk Environment Among IDUs in Tijuana (El Cuete, Phase IV) and HIV/STI Risks among FSWs and Their Non-Commercial Partners (Proyecto Parejas).

Jay Silverman, PhD

Dr. Jay Silverman. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

At left below, global public health professor Dr. Jay Silverman speaks during a presentation about the division’s work in Tijuana.

Silverman is regarded as the world’s leading public health authority on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.

He is principal investigator of the first R01 research grant the National Institutes of Health has ever issued on sex trafficking. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the four-year project is “Epidemiology of Sex Trafficking, Drug Use and HIV at the U.S.-Mexico Border.”

Drs. Kimberly Brouwer (below) and Victoria Ojeda also presented their projects during the tour.

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer during her presentation in Tijuana. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Brouwer is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Global Public Health. Her work focuses on the spatial and molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases.

She is principal investigator of two R01 research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one investigating factors that influence HIV transmission in the U.S. – Mexico border region: Evolving HIV/STI Risk Environments of FSWS on the Mexico/U.S. Border.

Victoria Ojeda (below) is an assistant professor in the global health division. Her project, “Social Incorporation Following Deportation and Implications for Health Status and Access to Care,” is based at the HFiT Clinic.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda

Dr. Victoria Ojeda.

Funding for the project comes from Ojeda’s 2012-2013 University of California Global Health Institute (GloCal) Health Fellowship, one of only three such fellowships awarded last year.

Below, Ojeda is pictured at the HFiT Clinic.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda.

Dr. Victoria Ojeda at the HFiT Clinic in Tijuana, where her GloCal Fellowship project is based.

 


Global public health division faculty with Pradeep Khosla, UC San Diego chancellor.

Chancellor Khosla with members of the Division of Global Public Health.

Sources

Chancellor Khosla’s visit to Tijuana was covered in Kristin Luciani’s UCSD News story, “Cross-Border Connections: Chancellor Visits Tijuana to Learn about Industry, Healthcare and Education,” released May 9. The photos for that story and the images of Drs. Burgos, Silverman and Brouwer and the group shown here are by Erik Jepsen of UC San Diego Publications.

For more information about the global public health division’s projects in the U.S. – Mexico border area and elsewhere in the world, visit the Division of Global Public Health academic website.

Next Generation: Thomas Ohno-Machado Lobbies for Federal Research Funding

One in a Series of Occasional Stories About Faculty Members’ Children

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado and Thomas Ohno-Machado with Senator Barbara Boxer Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD; her son Thomas and California Senator Barbara Boxer.

Recently, to his mother’s wonderment, 17-year-old Thomas Ohno-Machado revealed that he is interested and quite active in politics.

It seemed to happen overnight, his mother said, and without any particular encouragement from his parents. “It doesn’t run in the family,” she mused.

Thomas, a senior at Torrey Pines High School, is the oldest of Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado’s three sons. Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, is associate dean for informatics for the UCSD School of Medicine and professor and chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics in the Department of Medicine.

Thomas is now the founder and president of the Torrey Pines High School Autism Awareness Club and an advocate for children with disabilities. He and his friends have successfully organized a funding drive and raised money to benefit a local school for children with special needs.

One day out of the blue Thomas asked Dr. Ohno-Machado, “Mom, can we go to Washington, DC?”

It turned out he had written to Senator Barbara Boxer’s office and arranged to visit and express his concerns about federal support for biomedical and behavioral research, particularly for the National Institutes of Health, and for the increasing numbers of children who have special needs.

Dr. Ohno-Machado agreed to go. She arranged for him to add a one-day visit to Washington DC to a trip she had already scheduled. He purchased his first suit, from Macy’s, and carried it on the plane so that it would not wrinkle in flight.

She suggested he prepare for his audience with the senator, and he assured her, “Don’t worry.”

They arrived at Senator Boxer’s office and, with the Archbishop of California and a California judge who had come in with them, waited their turn to speak with one of the senator’s staff members.

The time came. Prepared with statistics to back him up, Thomas Ohno-Machado expressed his concern and asked to know what the senator was going to do about federal medical research funding and the rising numbers of special needs children in the United States.

The senator’s staffer responded by showing Thomas documents detailing how Senator Boxer and another senator are addressing these issues.

Said Dr. Ohno-Machado of the meeting, “I didn’t speak a single word.”

She and Thomas had tried but weren’t able to set up a visit to California Senator Diane Feinstein’s office on the same trip. In a separate solo trip, Thomas visited the governor of Massachusetts and a school for special needs children in the Boston area. Recently, he pressed his causes at the San Diego mayor’s office.

He is headed to UC Santa Cruz this fall. He plans on a political career.

Dr. Ohno-Machado is still marveling at how a strong interest can reveal itself so suddenly in one’s offspring.

“He’s very excited about it,” she said. “He has a bright future.”