The UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Cancer Diseases has been nationally acknowledged as a Clinical and Academic Center of Excellence by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF). This esteemed designation is awarded to premier healthcare facilities that focus on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreas disease, with specific attention to providing the best possible outcomes and improved quality of life for patients.
Dr. Timothy Donahue, member of our Scientific Advisory Board, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology, and Vice Chair for Cancer Surgery in the Department of Surgery at UCLA, along with Dr. V. Raman Muthusamy, Medical Director of Endoscopy at UCLA Health and Professor of Clinical Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, spearheaded the efforts and extensive auditing process. An approved NPF Center of Excellence for Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer must meet the criteria developed by a task force made up of invited subject matter experts and patient advocates. The criteria includes having the required expert physician specialties such as gastroenterologists, medical and radiation oncologists, pancreas surgeons, and interventional radiologists, along with more patient-focused programs such as a pain management service, nutrition, and psychosocial support.
“It is an honor to have the Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases designated as an NPF Center of Excellence for pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Timothy Donahue. “We are focused on providing innovative, whole-body care for our patients and the NPF Center designation will help further distinguish us as a location dedicated to the needs of those impacted by pancreas disease.”
Dr. Muthusamy added, “This designation not only identifies us as a leader in pancreatic cancer, but in all pancreatic diseases. The more we are able to deepen our understanding of the pancreas, the better equipped we are to provide care and treatment at the earliest stages, leading to better patient outcomes.”
The National Pancreas Foundation Center Program helps patients with pancreas disease find a vetted specialist at an institution that will provide a high-quality, multidisciplinary approach to their care. The over 140 Centers of Excellence also benefit from a partnership with the NPF. Founded in 1997, the National Pancreas Foundation provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer through funding cutting-edge research, advocating for new and better therapies and providing support and education for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.
“We are thrilled to expand our NPF Centers of Excellence Program to better serve the needs of patients suffering from pancreas disease,” said David Bakelman, CEO of the National Pancreas Foundation. “The NPF Centers of Excellence Program is one of the pillars of NPF, and we are looking forward to working with our current and new Centers.”
“This award is a true achievement for our entire team, it represents the exceptional patient care we are delivering across the board,” said Dr. O. Joe Hines, Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery, UCLA Health Surgical Director for Perioperative Services, and Director of the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Disease.
The Hirshberg Foundation is honored to receive this designation. One of the pillars of our mission is to “create a premier Pancreatic Cancer Center where all needs of pancreatic cancer patients can be met in one location with the most advanced treatment options.” Being recognized as an NPF Center of Excellence helps us achieve that goal and advances our quest towards a cure.