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Around Town: UCI Health names new CEO at ‘pivotal time for healthcare’ due to coronavirus

Chad Lefteris is the new chief executive of UCI Health.
(Courtesy of UC Irvine)

The UC Irvine health system has named Chad Lefteris as its new chief executive.

Lefteris will oversee the overall UCI Health operation, which includes UCI Medical Center in Orange and more than a dozen outpatient research and specialty care centers throughout Orange County and parts of Riverside County.

He has been UCI Health’s chief operating officer since December 2018.

His appointment as CEO comes amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which as of Wednesday has resulted in 606 cases in Orange County, with 10 deaths. UCI announced last week that it is participating in a clinical trial to test the antiviral drug remdesivir as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

“After a nationwide search, the search committee identified the ideal candidate within our own ranks,” Dr. Steve Goldstein, UC Irvine vice chancellor for health affairs, said in a statement. “Chad brings years of experience and a natural ability to build relationships. I have all the faith and confidence that Chad will lead UCI Health through this COVID-19 crisis. He’s the right person to ensure that our front-line caregivers have the tools and resources they need to continue providing care for our community during these trying times.”

Lefteris said in a statement that “it’s a privilege to work with all of the outstanding physicians, nurses and staff at UCI Health — they are truly heroes.”

“With the vast spread of COVID-19, this is a pivotal time for healthcare in our state and nation,” he said. “I will prioritize the health of our community and the safety and well-being of our physicians, nurses and staff as we work together to get through this pandemic.”

Before joining UCI Health, Lefteris was vice president of operations at UNC REX Healthcare, a private, not-for-profit system that is a component of UNC Health, based in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Fountain Valley hospital gets donation of 1,000 N95 masks

The nonprofit Operation Be Kind delivered about 1,000 N95 masks to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center on Wednesday.
(Courtesy of Tenet Health)

Operation Be Kind delivered about 1,000 N95 masks to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center on Wednesday.

The masks are protective devices designed to provide a close facial fit and highly efficient filtration of airborne particles. They are much in demand by medical professionals who may need to treat coronavirus patients.

Operation Be Kind is a nonprofit that is conducting a fundraising campaign to buy surgical and N95 masks to donate to medical workers and senior citizens in Orange and Los Angeles counties during the coronavirus pandemic.

OCMA offers streaming of independent films

The Orange County Museum of Art, which has postponed its new season of exhibitions at its OCMAExpand location in Santa Ana as a measure to prevent spread of the coronavirus, is offering original virtual programming every Thursday.

OCMA, in partnership with the Newport Beach Film Festival, is streaming independent films into the homes of people who visit ocmaexpand.org/programs to RSVP.

Thursday’s film, “Ursula Von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own,” will be available between 5 and 11 p.m.

The documentary explores the life and work of von Rydingsvard, a German-born artist whose family was detained for five years in a post-World War II refugee camp before moving to America.

OCMA closed its former location in Newport Beach in 2018 and opened OCMAExpand — Santa Ana at South Coast Plaza Village for temporary exhibitions as it awaits a new building at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The new three-story, nearly 52,000-square-foot location is slated for completion in 2021.

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