36 Se­nior as­so­ciate dean, Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at River­side School of Medicine CEO, UCR Health

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - —El­iz­a­beth Whit­man

AT FIRST GLANCE, a slew of achieve­ments in health­care and a pas­sion for “Star Wars” ap­pear pretty dis­parate. But lis­ten to Dr. Michael Nduati and the con­nec­tions be­gin to emerge. He’s the newly named CEO of UCR Health, the clin­i­cal en­ter­prise of the School of Medicine at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at River­side, where he was pro­moted in Au­gust to se­nior as­so­ciate dean of clin­i­cal af­fairs.

“I’m fas­ci­nated by the fu­tur­ist po­ten­tial of how the world could look,” Nduati said in ex­plain­ing his love of sci­ence fic­tion. He brings the same sense of pos­si­bil­ity to bear in his work as a health­care leader. “There’s so much that our health­care sys­tem needs to change,” said Nduati, who also has an MBA and a master’s de­gree in public health. “We could be much more suc­cess­ful than we are.”

Nduati’s achieve­ments re­flect not just his ideas, but also his abil­ity to bring them to fruition by in­te­grat­ing med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion with the health­care sys­tem at large and ex­pand­ing ac­cess to care in places that need it most.

It was Nduati, who from 2012 un­til July was the as­so­ciate dean for clin­i­cal af­fairs, who “played a vi­tal role” in the cre­ation of UCR’s med­i­cal school, which opened in 2013 with the mis­sion of ex­pand­ing med­i­cal care in un­der­served ar­eas, wrote Dr. Deb­o­rah Deas, the dean of UC River­side’s School of Medicine, in nom­i­nat­ing him. And it was Nduati who was cru­cial in im­ple­ment­ing a three-year con­ti­nu­ity-of-care cur­ricu­lum at the med school—the Lon­gi­tu­di­nal Am­bu­la­tory Care Ex­pe­ri­ence, or LACE—to im­merse stu­dents in real-world clin­i­cal set­tings.

“We need a model of health in our health­care sys­tem, in­stead of a model of sick­ness,” Nduati said. Most providers, for in­stance, are not paid to make sure pa­tients are eat­ing well. “Those kind of sim­ple things are what keep peo­ple healthy, but that’s not what’s re­im­bursed.”

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