Daily Business Report-Feb. 1, 2016
UC San Diego Health orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Sonya Ahmed. (Courtesy UC San Diego)
UC San Diego Surgeon Named Chief
Medical Officer for Winter Youth Olympics
In two weeks, UC San Diego Health orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Sonya Ahmed will head to Lillehammer, Norway for the 2016 Winter Olympic Games.
Ahmed is a former elite athlete herself — competing internationally in gymnastics and in collegiate pole vaulting. But this time she’s heading to the world stage not as an athlete, but as a doctor.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Ahmed for the role of chief medical officer for the Lillehammer 2016 Games, which take place Feb. 12-21.
“I’m so appreciative of this opportunity and honor — I hope to bring my personal experience as an athlete to it, as well as the best care they have ever seen,” said Ahmed, who is also chief of the Foot and Ankle Division in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgeryat UC San Diego Health and a foot and ankle consultant to the San Diego Chargers.
The Youth Olympic Games bring together talented young athletes ages 15 to 18 from around the world.
Like the Olympic Games, the youth event occurs every four years. At the Lillehammer 2016 Games, more than 1,100 young athletes will compete in 70 medal events within 15 winter sport disciplines. In addition, the Winter Youth Olympic Games also include a few unique experiences, such as an ice hockey skills challenge and mixed gender and mixed nationality events. Off the field, workshops, team-building exercises and a Learn & Share Program provide the young athletes with opportunities to learn about Olympic values, explore other cultures and develop the skills to become true ambassadors of their sports.
The USOC appoints physicians and surgeons to support the Games based on proven clinical skills, sports medicine expertise and overall professionalism.
“Dr. Ahmed has gone above and beyond to provide exceptional athlete care, communicating with providers and athletic trainers from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the National Governing Bodies for various sports,” said Bill Moreau, USOC managing director of sports medicine. “She has a competitive athletic background, which allows her to understand the pressures and challenges of training and competing. Her passion for sports combined with her excellence as a physician-surgeon give her Team USA athletes and coaches a lot of confidence in the care she provides.”
— UC San Diego News Center
Civic San Diego Approves Design
For 126-Suite Moxy Hotel Downtown
Civic San Diego approved the design and related permits for J Street Development, Inc.’s proposed eight-story hotel development on the east side of Sixth Avenue between E and F Street just outside the boundaries of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Designed by Delawie, the project — the Moxy hotel — will contain 126 suites and 38 parking spaces that can be accessed through a valet-only car lift.
The project will pay approximately $451,605 in Development Impact Fees to fund new parks, fire stations and traffic circulation improvements in the Downtown Community Plan area, according to Civic San Diego.
The agency estimates that the project will generate approximately 103 construction jobs and 63 permanent jobs.
The project is located at 831 Sixth Ave.
Atkins Introduces 2 Bills to Fight
Human Trafficking in California
Times of San Diego
Citing a growing need to address human trafficking in California, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on Friday introduced legislation to provide housing for sexually exploited children and ensure state agencies collaborate to stop the crime.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery and, unfortunately, this crime is growing rapidly in our state,” said Atkins, who represents coastal San Diego County. “According to the FBI, the San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas comprise three of the nation’s 13 areas of ‘high intensity’ child sex trafficking exploitation in the country. Victims of human trafficking are some of our most vulnerable members of society, and we cannot allow this injustice to continue.”
The first of the two bills would create a pilot program that would provide commercially sexually exploited children a safe place to stay with trauma-informed, mental health services that can help them recover and thrive. Right now, many child victims have only two options: juvenile detention or foster care.
Her second bill would establish a statewide, inter-agency task force made up of law enforcement, social services, child welfare, public health and the court system to address the trafficking problem.
On Monday, the Legislature passed a resolution declaring January to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month to encourage more people to learn how to identify and report a victim to the authorities.
Anthony Rendon to Succeed Toni Atkins
As Speaker of the California Assembly
Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) will be sworn in on March 7 as the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly, succeeding Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) whose term expires this year.
Rendon was tapped by Atkins to lead the powerful Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce, where he has dealt with utility companies seeking to shape Senate Bill 350’s mandate that half of California’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
Rendon was instrumental last session in crafting a $7.5 billion water bond that ultimately won voter approval.
Under new term limits rules, he is eligible to serve until 2024. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, “Once Rendon takes command, both the Assembly and the Senate in the nation’s largest state will be led by Latinos for the first time, with Rendon joining Senate pro Tempore Kevin de León, a fellow Democrat from Los Angeles.”
Illumina Signs Multiple Biobank Deals
Illumina Inc. of San Diego announced it has signed four separate biobanking deals with Vanderbilt University, University of Colorado at Denver, Partners HealthCare, and Montreal Heart Institute to advance personalized medicine and improve health care.
Under the agreements, the large sample collections housed at each institution will be genotyped using Illumina technologies. By combining genomic information with electronic medical records and clinical information, the institutions hope to accelerate discoveries that will improve human health.
The Infinium Expanded Multi-Ethnic Genotyping Array, Infinium HumanMethylation 450K Array and Illumina sequencing systems will be used to analyze an initial 200,000 samples and gain insight into the underlying genetic factors that may contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, and Crohn’s disease, among many other complex diseases.
“These four personalized medicine programs represent progressive examples of how characterizing the genome using multiple genetic analysis solutions is significantly advancing the understanding of human biology. These programs are at the forefront of translational research and the clinical application of genomic data,” said Illumina Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Christian Henry.