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Propelling a culture shift in medicine



UCLA CTSI News Archive

Dr. Helena Hansen and Dr. Rochelle Dicker lead the Health Equity Translational Social Science research theme at UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Historically, health systems have been financially incentivized to treat sick people, as opposed to keeping people healthy, says Helena Hansen, MD, PhD. Financial incentives prioritized volume, not quality.

“It has been a good business model in terms of generating income,” Dr. Hansen says, “but the population served (at UCLA Health) doesn’t reflect Los Angeles and we really need to work on that.”

The United States spends the most per capita on health care, but has worse outcomes than other industrialized nations. Dr. Hansen says this is because the U.S. lags behind peer countries in integrating research and interventions around the social determinants of health.

The Health Equity Translational Social Science Research Theme (HETSS) has made significant strides in studying and promoting equitable health care since its launch in November 2020 by the UCLA Health System and David Geffen School of Medicine.

In the last 15 months, HETSS leaders Dr. Hansen and Rochelle Dicker, MD, have developed a mission statement, expanded the team, created a multidisciplinary advisory board, launched a webinar series and newsletter and continue to find and share funding opportunities to expand health equity research.

See the full UCLA press release.

As leaders of the David Geffen School of Medicine Health Equity Theme, Dr. Helena Hansen and Dr. Rochelle Dicker are collaborating partners with the CTSI and the Distinguished Speaker Series.