UCSF School of Medicine has announced the establishment of UCSF Fresno as a "branch campus.” The decision is part of an initiative to bring new doctors into underserved regions and communities like the Central Valley. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz

published on April 2, 2019 - 2:38 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

One local member of congress and multiple experts on health and the environment are slated to speak at a public event put on by UCSF Fresno.

The Department of Internal Medicine for the school will be presenting the fourth annual Air Pollution and Climate Change Symposium from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research in Downtown Fresno. The conference will begin at 8 a.m., with opening remarks by Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) at 8:05 a.m. according to a UCSF Fresno press release.

The Central Valley currently has the worst air quality in the United States, largely in part due to pollution from the San Francisco Bay Area and freeways running through the region.

“One in six children in the Valley has asthma,” said Dr. Jose Joseph Vempilly, a pulmonologist and professor of clinical medicine at UCSF Fresno. “One goal of this conference is to provide clinical updates to health care providers to improve health.”

Efforts to improve local air quality have made news recently, including the launch in Fresno of Unmask My City, a global air pollution initiative, and the implementation of Assembly Bill 617, a new state law that provides grants and enlists community participation aimed at improving air quality in communities such as south-central Fresno.

Speakers for the conference include representatives from the American Lung Association; Central California Asthma Collaborative; faculty from UC Davis, UC Merced, the University of Maryland and UCSF Fresno. This includes Dr. Alexander Sheriffs, a member of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and California Air Resources Board.

BMW Fresno will also be on hand to showcase and offer test drives of four plug-in hybrid models.

Registration for physicians seeking continuing education is $50. For more information, call (559) 499-6446 or cme@fresno.ucsf.edu.

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