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American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 20th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting: President's Choice Abstract

October 25, 2021

“The Effect of Virtual Reality on Pain and Patient Satisfaction in Adults Receiving Genicular Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation” was selected as a highlighted President’s Choice abstract for this year’s American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 20th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting. The session will be a podium session on Saturday, November 20 at 8:00 a.m.

Congratulations to the the authors and co-authors: Brent Etiz, MS, Hailey Maxwell, BS, Brent Yeung, MD, Shalini Shah, MD, Navid Alem, MD

Dr. Shalini Shah Elected President of the California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

October 14, 2021

Dr. Shalini Shah was officially inducted as the President of California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (CalSIPP) during the CalSIPP Annual Meeting, October 14. She will be joining a group diverse pain medicine specialists who are on the board as of 2022.

CalSIPP has been in existence for over 10 years and is the voice of interventional pain medicine in California. They are dedicated to promoting the practice of safe, accessible, and effective interventional pain management in the diagnosis and treatment of all pain patients.

Dr. Katherine Chiu Appointed Commissioner of the First 5 Orange County Children & Families Commission

July 19, 2021

Dr. Katherine Chiu was appointed by the OC Board of Supervisors to the First 5 Orange County Children & Families Commission. Dr. Chiu is one of nine commissioners that span both public and private sectors in pediatric health and education. Commissioners oversee the allocation of millions in funds to help create programs to promote health and early education for children from prenatal to age five.

The First 5 Orange County, Children & Families Commission is a dynamic, mission-driven public agency, with more than 20-year tradition of investing in the future of Orange County’s children. Their mission is to optimize the health and development of young children by promoting the importance of early childhood, encouraging innovation, and investing in systems of care.

Dr. Ariana Nelson Recipient of the Medical Education Excellence in Teaching Dean’s Scholar Award

July 12, 2021

The 2021 UCI School of Medicine Achievement Awards honors the excellence in teaching among the UCI medical education faculty, residents and staff. This excellence is especially crucial as we educate a new generation of doctors entering the medical profession at such a critical time.

Dr. Ariana Nelson was recognized by the UCI School of Medicine for her outstanding student evaluations and contributions to a course/clerkship.

Dr. Trung Vu Appointed Vice Chair of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine

July 1, 2021

After developing and serving as director of the anesthesiology critical care division for many years, Dr. Trung Vu has been named Vice Chair of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine. In this new role, Dr. Vu will continue to grow the division within UCI Health.

Distinguished Professor Dr. Zeev N. Kain

July 1, 2021

Dr. Zeev Kain is the first faculty of UCI Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care to receive the title of Distinguished Professor. This title is a campus-level distinction and is reserved for Above Scale faculty who have achieved the highest possible levels of scholarship over the course of their careers. Distinguished Professors will have earned national and international level distinctions and honors of the highest level.

Graduation & Celebration of Excellence 2021

June 6, 2021

Congratulations to all of the Residency Class of 2021, Fellowship Graduates and to all award recipients at this year's graduation.

Discover. Teach. Heal

  • Resident Discover Award
    Wei-Chen Lin, MD
  • Resident Teach Award
    Wei-Chen Lin, MD
  • Resident Heal Award
    Morten Neve, MD
  • Resident Medical Student Teaching Award
    Veronika Anufreichik, MD
  • Faculty Discover Award
    Taizoon Dhoon, MD
  • Faculty Teach Award
    Jody Chou, MD and Jay Shen, MD
  • Faculty Heal Award
    Govind Rajan, MD
  • Faculty Exemplar Award
    Kyle Ahn, MD

Marilyn Patterson Champion of Care Award

  • Staff
    Dean Wong
  • Anesthesia Tech
    Kevin Scott
  • CRNA
    Robert Horn, CRNA
  • Resident
    Veronika Anufreichik, MD
  • Fellow
    Fernando Santos, MD
  • Faculty
    Anna L, Harris, MD

Cynthia T. Anderson Award
Nikhil Keny, MD

Halappa N. Konchigeri Exemplar Award
Veronika Anufreichik, MD

2021 UCI Office of Graduate Medical Education Awards

June 4, 2021

Each year, the UCI Office of Graduate Medical Education asks residents, fellows, faculty and staff to nominate their colleagues for the UCI GME Awards, which recognize those who have displayed extraordinary dedication and service to graduate medical education over the past academic year. This year, two members of the UCI Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care were recognized.

Outstanding Fellowship Program Director
Rakhi Dayal, MD

Outstanding Residency Program Director
Rhonda Chu

Recyclablu Turns Upcycled Medical Waste Into PPE

May 19, 2021 - In the Press

About a year after the PPE shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic, a project led by UCI Anesthesiology faculty, Dr. Melissa Chang and UCI Dermatology resident, Dr. Aditi Sharma, to produce a new type of mask from medical waste has recycled 2,200+ pounds of waste into 13,500 reusable face masks for healthcare workers. They formed a non-profit, Recyclablu, which is now working to donate 3,500 face masks to undeserved homeless communities of Skid Row in Los Angeles and will also be addressing the COVID-19 crisis in India.

Their mask has been selected by the World Health Organization for the 2021 Compendium of Innovative Medical Devices for COVID-19.

Additional news coverage by the Forbes and LA Times Daily Pilot.

2021 Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) Annual Meeting Top 10 Best Case Report

May 17, 2021

Congratulations to obstetric anesthesiology fellow, Daniel Kim, MD. He was awarded for the Top 10 Best Case Report at the 2021 SOAP Annual Meeting. Under the mentorship of Kyle Ahn, MD and Dmitry Portnoy, MD, the case report on “Urgent Cesarean Delivery of a COVID-19 Parturient in the Intensive Care Unit” was presented by Dr. Kim during the virtual event with more than 900 attendees.

2021 UCI Health Nurse Excellence Nominees

May 10, 2021

Each year, UCI Health invites all faculty and co-workers to nominate their peers for the annual Nursing Excellence Awards. During Nurses Week 2021, we recognized some of its most talented and committed nurses that provides an invaluable service to patients, colleagues and the community.

Congratulations to our CRNAs who were nominated this year:

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse of the Year
Salvador Tafoya, CRNA

Nurse Educator of the Year
Evan Scheier, CRNA

Rookie of the YearLisa Gonzales, CRNA

Brent Yeung, MD Recipient of the 2021 ICTS Pilot Studies Award

May 5, 2021

Dr. Brent Yeung is a recipient of the UCI Institute for Clinical & Translational Science (ICTS) 2021 Pilot Studies Award for his innovative research project on Cannabis Use's Affect on the Endocannabinoid System and Anesthetic Management in Patients Undergoing Traumatic Orthopedic Surgery. The study will investigate the correlation of cannabis exposure with cardiovascular differences among adult orthopedic trauma patients from the UCI Health Emergency Department. This is a first step in filling research gaps to understand the effects of chronic cannabis use on the endocannabinoid system and anesthetic care.


The ICTS functions as a local centerpiece for the national program and is dedicated to advancing scientific discovery and medical breakthroughs. Collectively, their goal is: to accelerate discoveries from the lab and translate them into life-altering medical care. The ICTS Pilot Studies award are designed to support exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms.

M-POWER Grant Rewarded for Innovative Wellness Project - ExCEL

May 3, 2021

Howard Zee, MD, Staci Becker, MD, and Brent Yeung, MD was rewarded the M-POWER Grant for their innovative wellness project, ExCEL (Excellence through Coaching, Education & Leadership). The wellness initiative, ExCEL, will foster meaningful career-long relationships between attending faculty and trainees and help guide trainees through the complex field of medicine and anesthesiology.

The M-POWER is the UCI Office of Graduate Medical Education committee that support physicians on wellness and professionalism. The committee provides wellness resources to faculty and housestaff, organize educational seminars, coordinate activities to build camaraderie, offer group debriefings to health care teams after stressful patient events, and maintain a formal faculty peer support program.

Ashley Broussard, MD Selected for the UCI School of Medicine Women’s Leadership Academy

April 19, 2021

Ashley Broussard, MD will be a part of the inaugural UCI School of Medicine (SOM) Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA). Dr. Broussard will be joining a select group of early and mid-career women from the various departments in the UCI School of Medicine. This is a unique program for experiential leadership development to help women faculty advance in their careers at UC Irvine. The program will be administered by the UCI School of Medicine Dean’s Office.

MATCH Day 2021

March 19, 2021

The UCI Anesthesiology Residency Program welcomes 12 incoming interns on this MATCH Day.

  • Dominic Carusillo, MD
  • Joseph Choy, MD
  • Clara Chu, MD
  • Stephen Goldberg, MD
  • Isaac Lam, MD
  • Tristan Loesberg, MD
  • Jason Cosman, MD
  • Benjamin Rosellini, MD
  • Saagar Sandhanwalia, MD
  • Darian Parsey, MD*
  • Vishal Vazirani, MD
  • Ashley Wong, MD

*Anesthesiology-Critical Care Track Resident

Chief Residents Selection for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

March 1, 2021

The Chief Resident Selection Committee is pleased to announce Ashvin Mehra, MD and Chan Jung, MD as the Chief Residents for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Chief Residents are a key part of our anesthesia team, providing invaluable leadership, teaching and support for the residents.

UCI Pain Medicine Fellowship Hosts First-Ever Virtual Open House for Interested Applicants

February 17, 2021

The UCI Pain Medicine Fellowship Director, Rakhi Dayal, MD and Vice Chair for Pain Management, Shalini Shah, MD, along with pain medicine faculty, clinical staff and the education team hosted the first Virtual Open House via Zoom. More than 200 participants signed on for an inside look into the Pain Medicine Fellowship Program. Interested candidates met our team of diverse faculty and interacted with current fellows about their fellowship experiences.

Zeev Kain, MD, Executive Section Editor for Anesthesia & Analgesia

January 18, 2021

Zeev Kain, MD has accepted the position of Executive Section Editor for Health Services Research in Anesthesia & Analgesia, the oldest anesthesia journal and the flagship journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society.

Physicians of Excellence 2021

January 5, 2021 - In the Press

The 2021 Physicians of Excellence by the Orange County Medical Association recognized 174 UCI Health doctors, more than any other health system in Orange County. We are proud to have UCI anesthesiologists recognized with the distinguished honor. Physicians were required to demonstrate achievements in at least two of the following criteria: physician leadership; teaching/mentoring; medical research/scientific advances; and humanitarian service.

UCI Health 2021 Physicians of Excellence - Anesthesiology

  • Kyle Ahn, MD
  • Ashley Broussard, MD
  • Scott Engwall, MD, MBA
  • Anna L. Harris, MD
  • Richard Kelly, MD
  • Debra Morrison, MD
  • Ariana Nelson, MD
  • Corey Nelson, MD
  • Kyle Paredes, MD
  • Shermeen Vakharia, MD, MBA
  • William Wilson, MD