On Monday, July 30, 2018, USC WIM hosted Dr. Jonathan Lucas, LAC Medical Examiner-Coroner, and his assistant, Isidora Centro, at a WIM Luncheon at HSC. It was a fascinating discussion on where and how the DMEC (department of the medical examiner-coroner) fits into the vast and mysterious (to me) LA County system.
As Cynthia Henderson points out:
“Dr. Jonathan Lucas spoke to the living about the dead!
“The most surprising thing for me about Dr. Lucas was how absolutely down to earth (no pun intended), engaging, knowledgeable, and funny he was. And he brought his assistant. (We always invite the assistant, but Dr. Lucas is the first guest to bring the assistant to the luncheon. GM)
“I never thought about how bodies get identified but looking at a picture or asking a relative to do a quick look for identification are not the top ways of doing so. Fingerprints, Dental records, Body X-rays, even DNA are preferred.
“Around 10,000 autopsies a year are performed by a staff of approximately 250. They are especially sensitive to the needs of the family, religious practices, and the dignity and respect of those who no longer can speak for themselves.
“The DMEC’s work can provide a concrete look at what we die from the most, when, where and possibly ways to prevent accidents from happening not yet thought of.”
And Kathleen Warner was glad she was at the luncheon:
“USC’s Women in Management organized a luncheon meeting with Dr. Jonathan Lucas, L.A. County’s Medical Examiner-Coroner, on July 30, 2018 at Norris Medical Library on the Health Science Campus. Dr. Lucas is a board certified forensic pathologist and was appointed to his position by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors in June 2017.
“Dr. Lucas shared with the group the myriad tasks performed by the Medical Examiner’s office from determining cause and manner of death to analyzing DNA samples to help identify who has died. Dr. Lucas stressed the importance of serving the residents of the County of Los Angeles, especially a decedent’s loved ones, in the processing of the cases the office handles. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office is the busiest medical examiner’s office in the country.
“Dr. Lucas assumed management of the County’s Medical Examiner office at a time of concern over case backlog and inadequate staffing. Dr. Lucas described the strides the office has made in addressing these issues and the plans he has for further strengthening office procedures. As busy as the DMEC’s office is, WIM is most appreciative of Dr. Lucas generously sharing his time to speak at its luncheon.”
This was a very relaxed and relaxing luncheon. The conversation, and it really was a conversation, was so congenial and flowing, I even dispensed with the written question demand I usually make. Dr. Lucas even did his own introduction, mentioning that he’s a native Californian, worked for the New York City Medical Examiner until October 1, 2001 (yes, he worked on 911 in the NYC morgue). He moved back to California to be the Assistant ME for San Diego County. Then, as he told us, 1 year and 20 days prior to our luncheon, Dr. Lucas took over as the LA County Chief Medical Examiner. The hour and a half flew by as Dr. Lucas talked about how the addition to our morgue of an in-house DNA lab returns results in 2 weeks, as opposed to the 3 months when they used to send it to another lab. He listed the ways Jane/John Doe bodies are identified, and that a recently purchased CAT scanner has been a valuable tool for this task. He graciously answered questions about how bodies of various religious faiths receive the most sensitive and respectful treatment possible in each case. There was also some discussion on the ages of children who pass through the morgue, and how his department works with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the LAPD in certain cases. And it was all thoughtful and practical information on things I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. (Okay, full disclosure, since I’ve reached the age where I will not live as long as I have already lived, DEATH does cross my mind a little more often, but rarely do I think about the dead.) Yes, rarely do I think about the dead, but I am greatly relieved that if I die in LA County, the DMEC will be there for my remains. And I feel proud that Dr. Lucas is leading that department because he said: “We care for the dead in service of the living.” He went on to explain that his department provides answers on why and how that person died to their family, friends, and community — all the people who will grieve for and remember the deceased. And this is why I hope Dr. Lucas will be LAC Chief Medical Examiner for many years to come, and I’m very glad he made time to talk with us on Monday, July 30, 2018.
Also, I was delighted to meet his assistant, Isidora Centro. She told me she’s been with the County for 30 years, but she’s not going to retire until Dr. Lucas retires, so he must be a great boss.
Many thanks to Cynthia Henderson and Kathleen Warner for sharing their thoughts on the luncheon with me and refreshing my memory. Thank you to Janet Schmidt for the photos.
Also, if you were at the luncheon, and want to share your thoughts, I’ll be happy to post them here if you email them to me. I thought we had comments on WIM blog posts, but it seems not to be. You all know where to find me. GM
USC WIM Board members attended the annual transition lunch held in July to honor outgoing members, to welcome incoming members, and to kick off a new season of empowering the women of USC! This year we ventured to the Artist’s District’s Zinc Café. Board Members Leonette Williams and Bernice Taylor were honored for their service as they step off the board. Leonette Williams has been a part of USC Women in Management since its inception forty years ago. She served various roles over the years and returned to serve the past four years as WIM’s Vice President, ensuring that the HERS Institute scholarship continues well into the future. We welcomed new board members: Dana Coyle, Karen Escobar, Victoria Esquer and Janet Schmidt.
As a group we talked of being grounded and powerful as individuals and coming together as a community of like-minded individuals to continue to provide our members the strength of this organization. We discussed the desire to include more members in the creation of events via subcommittees to brainstorm the upcoming year’s programming. We noted that our mission “to empower the women of USC” remains as it did since the inception of Women in Management in 1979; however, what is our vision? Members agreed it had to do with creating a cohesive leadership program, connecting with senior leadership, developing deeper relations with other organizations doing similar work within our university and throughout higher education. We agreed that getting feedback of members-at-large as how to even better serve us all was critical.
We reiterated the fact that our organization was formed by twenty like-minded women at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1979 who followed the need: to empower the women who work at USC and to have women represented in the leadership positions at the university. From our own About Us page: “The compelling forces driving the formation of Women in Management included the need for increased representation of women in responsible University positions, equal pay for men and women holding similar positions, and the provision of a forum in which women could develop leadership skills.”
The organization was not offered by the institution; it was a community created by like-minded, forward-thinking individuals who felt compelled to come together to make the changes they sought and were needed.
Let us continue to follow the need and to offer a platform that will propel women to the highest levels of responsibility at USC. Let us build a network of like-minded women who will support and empower each other at every level of the institution. Let us all take ownership of the positions we hold and lead at every level.
Your 2018-19 USC WIM President
Dr. Jonathan Lucas Luncheon
July 30, 2018
USC Health Sciences Campus
Norris Medical Library West Conference Room
Noon to 1:30pm
WIM Members $18; non-members $20
What is the role of the Department of the Medicial Examiner-Coroner in LA County?
“The citizens of Los Angeles County expect that their dead will be treated with dignity and respect. The Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner (DMEC) and the Office of Decedent Affairs (ODA) in the Department of Health Services (DHS) provide services to transport, examine, and cremate or bury the county’s dead, depending on the circumstances surrounding a particular death.”
This is from the Grand Jury report “How do we Care for the Dead when the Dead don’t Vote” last year prior to Dr. Jonathan Lucas’ appointment as LA County Coroner. Dr. Lucas became Medical Examiner a year ago when he assumed leadership of an organization that was the subject of a Grand Jury investigation (see below for a link to the report). Join us for lunch on July 30, to learn how his department runs and operates in LA County, LA City and the state of California.
Continue reading Dr. Jonathan Lucas – LA County Medical Examiner
Dr. Barbara Ferrer Luncheon
July 19, 2018
USC Health Sciences Campus
Norris Medical Library West Conference Room
Noon to 1:30pm
$18 WIM Members; $20 non-members
Ever wondered what those billboards and bus ads were about? On July 19, 2018, you can have lunch with the woman at the top of the department powering Health Equity in LA County. Dr. Barbara Ferrer will be speaking at HSC Norris Medical Library West Conference room at noon on July 19. To register for this event, please click here https://uscwim.org/product/dr-barbara-ferrer-director-of-la-county-public-health/ as soon as possible. Registration closes at 6pm on July 16, so please don’t delay.
“The Department of Public Health (DPH) is facilitating Health Agency efforts to establish a Center for Health Equity. The Center’s mission is to ensure all individuals have access to the opportunities and resources needed for optimal health and well-being by advancing racial, social and environmental justice in partnership with committed organizations and residents.
“The guiding principles for the Center include a belief in dismantling a system that assigns human value based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or religious affiliation; using data to drive action amplifying community voices through engagement in planning, implementation, analysis, and reporting; and building multi-sector partnerships that advance health equity.”
Promoting Health Equity in Los Angeles
And Dr. Ferrer’s “Building Health Equity” presentation for the “From Data to Action: Building Health Equity for Women in Los Angeles” conference on January 31, 2018.
Some highlights from her keynote presentation:
We hope you can join us for a fascinating luncheon with Dr. Ferrer.
Summer 2017, Dr. Ferrer was new on the job as Director of LA County Public Health, and lit up the NML West Conference room with her vision of what LA County healthcare could, can, and will be on her watch.
So we are delighted that she returns this year to share her progress over the past year with us.
Here’s what she said in an interview in May:
“Our 35,000-member workforce across the Health Agency are deeply committed and skilled professionals, with a passion for caring for our most vulnerable residents. As we acknowledge our need to focus on preventing disease (and not only healing), we will all need to embark on a learning journey to acquire or strengthen the skills to do health equity work. For example, we all need to build our skills around respecting and honoring diversity, including cultural humility and linguistic competency. We need to know how to confidently speak about racism and its generational impact on health, while simultaneously elevating the voices and experiences of the people we serve. We need to figure out how to defer to and embrace community leadership. People have the inherent capacity to understand themselves, their circumstances, and the solutions to address their challenges and we must be prepared to create spaces for meaningful ongoing interaction and problem solving.
“As our academic and workforce training partners help prepare the next generation of healthcare workers, our hope is that increased opportunities will be available for under-represented youth and residents to participate in health career training and academic programming, so that the health care workforce represents the diversity of the residents we serve. We would ask that an emphasis is placed on creating career paths that honor lived experience and reflect team learning through a culture of continuous improvement.”
Q & A WITH COMMISSIONER FERRER, California Future Health Workforce Commission, May 15, 2018
Places at the luncheon are dwindling, so please don’t delay registering for the July 19, 2018 event at HSC. Registration closes at noon on July 16.
Dr. Barbar Ferrer
Thursday, July 19, 2018, Noon to 1:30, Norris Library West Conference Room.
Click here to Register
July 13, 2018: HSC Mixer at Lincoln Kitchen and Tap.
July 17, 2018: Dean Laura Mosqueda
July 19, 2018: Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of LA County Public Health
July 30, 2018: Dr. Jonathan Lucas, LA County Coroner
And more to come!
Reposted from the USC Employee Gateway: https://employees.usc.edu/provost-svps-discuss-state-of-the-university/
Provost, SVPs discuss State of the University
The Women in Management (WIM) annual “State of the University” luncheon drew attendees from across USC campus locations to the Davidson Continuing Education Center last Thursday for a chance to hear from Provost Michael Quick as well as Senior Vice President of Finance Jim Staten, and University General Counsel Carol Mauch Amir.
Provost Quick recapped the recently updated strategic plan, and discussed USC’s dedication to diversity and inclusion. He also shared USC’s record-breaking number of undergraduate applicants this year – almost 64,000 applied, leading to USC’s most exclusive freshman class incoming this fall.
Carol Mauch Amir discussed her journey at USC, and noted that the number of incredible women in management positions has continued to grow over the years. She celebrated the accomplishment of USC Village opening, and highlighted upcoming projects the university has underway, including the Coliseum remodel, and USC’s involvement in the 2028 Olympics to be hosted in Los Angeles.
Jim Staten reviewing the university’s financial accomplishments over the past year, and shared plans USC intends to implement to face ongoing challenges, like those posed by recent federal and state legislation regarding tax reform.
As in previous years, the leaders addressed the crowd in a brief Q&A that allowed attendees to ask their own questions.
Reposted from METRANS, Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC
Sunday, March 25, 2018 – 9:45pm
By Richard Aviles, USC MSW MPL 2019
On March 6th, 2018, at the USC Doheny Memorial Library, USC Women in Management (WIM) and METRANS hosted USC alum Suzanne Dworak-Peck in a lunch conversation centered around her life and career, her principles, and her advice. Suzanne Dworak-Peck has served as President of the National Association of Social Work, is a member of the USC Board of Trustees, and is a proud social work practitioner, and generously provided the naming gift for the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. We appreciate her sharing her time and thoughts with us, and both WIM and METRANS for making this event possible.
Dworak-Peck stressed to the audience of students, faculty, staff, and practitioners from varied backgrounds know that at the center of her work and career, the values of social work have been at her core. She noted that, as conveyed by the NASW’s Code of Ethics, social workers strive for “competence, dignity and worth of the person, human relationships, and social justice,” and these have been her guiding principles in all aspects of her life.
About the Author: Richard Aviles
Aviles is a dancer, choreographer, and dual degree student. As an artist, Aviles focuses on choreographing queer and feminist theories in American Modern Dance. As a student, Aviles is interested in using his background in choreography to further his interest in spatial analysis and the role of social workers in the development process.
Have lunch with the woman in management who takes care of the health of all 10.4 million of us in LA County.
Luncheon with Dr. Barbara Ferrer
Director of LA County Public Health
When: Friday, July 28, 2017, Noon Where: Norris Medical Library West Conference Room
Luncheon with Dr. Barbara Ferrer
Director of LA County Public Health
When: Friday, July 28, 2017, Noon
Where: Norris Medical Library West Conference Room
As director of public health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer works to further the Los Angeles County Health Agency to further its mission to integrate services and activities that enable the Health Agency to build health equity across the county. The Department of Public Health is one of three agencies that make up the Health Agency. The other two are the Department of Health Services and the Department of Mental Health.
Dr. Ferrer was previously the chief strategy officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she oversaw key program areas, including food, health, and well-being. She has also been a senior leader of public health agencies in Massachusetts, particularly in Boston.
Dr. Ferrer has a doctorate in social welfare from Brandeis University, where she was a Pew Doctoral Fellow. She also holds master’s degrees in public health from Boston University and in education from UMass, Boston. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Cruz.
Reservation and cancellation deadline is July 21, 2017 so we can get the catering worked out. Please email Ginger Mayerson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks must be received by July 17 to Ginger Mayerson (MC 0281) to facilitate check-in. RSVPs will be voided on July 18 if checks are not received to accommodate the waiting list. WIM is responsible for each RSVP, so kindly bear in mind that there is no refund for no-shows. Please call Ginger at 323-384-6049 if you have any questions.
And don’t forget to check our calendar for exciting new events.