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Medicine in Our Backyard

The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation in collaboration with UCI Health is pleased to present the 2019 - 2020 season of Medicine in Our Backyard featuring an extraordinary group of renowned doctors and researchers on a wide range of topics from treating back pain to health equity to aging gracefully. The UCI doctors present the latest studies and newest technologies in an engaging public forum. Come learn with us!

2019 – 2020 Lecture Series

Lecture Details:

  • Once a month on Monday Evenings between September to May
  • Doors open at 6:30pm and program is 7:00pm - 8:30pm lecture with Q&A
  • Friends Room, Central Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • FREE Admission (a suggested donation of $10.00 is always appreciated)
  • No Reservations required
  • FREE parking in lot and in structure

September 23, 2019
The Use of Cannabis for Pain—Fact, Fiction, and Everything in Between
Brent G. Yeung, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCI Health Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care

Cannabis is being touted as a panacea for just about anything that ails you. Claims have been made that it lowers blood sugar, slows Alzheimer’s disease, and alleviates a wide range of psychological problems—from anxiety and depression, to PTSD and psychosis. But few studies have been done on cannabis. At this lecture, Dr. Brent G. Yeung will discuss the facts and fiction of the use of cannabis for pain. Yeung is a UCI Health anesthesiologist who specializes in the management and treatment of pain. His clinical interests include interventional procedures for chronic pain management and the use of cannabis for pain.


October 28, 2019
Health Equity: Why the U.S. is Lagging Behind Other Countries
Cynthia Haq, MD, Clinical Professor and Chair, UCI Health Department of Family Medicine

Dr. Cindy Haq is a champion for primary health care, health equity and preparing health professionals to serve disadvantaged patients and communities. She has launched programs in Pakistan, Uganda, Ethiopia, with the World Health Organization, and with governmental and non-governmental organizations. Her illuminating lecture will touch on the importance of health equity, why the U.S. life expectancy is declining, and what you can do to promote health equity in Orange County and in the United States.


November 18, 2019
Is Depression in Older Adults a Normal Part of Getting Older?
Robert Bota, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, UCI Health Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior

Depression is common in older adults, but is it normal? Dr. Robert Bota will share why many physical illnesses can significantly increase the risk of depression, and how implementing stress reduction techniques can improve the quality of life in older adults. He will also discuss Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS—a new approach to treating depression. Bota is passionate about combining the latest medical treatments with innovative clinical trials. Since 2017, Bota has been named a Physician of Excellence by the Orange County Medical Association.


January 27, 2020
The Secret Power of Music for Dementia
Joshua Grill, Ph.D., Director, UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND)

In the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, Joshua Grill invokes a deceased jazz singer, iPods and a 35,000-year-old vulture bone that cavemen fashioned into a flute. Grill is a neuroscientist whose research interests focus on clinical trials in neurodegenerative disease. He will explain how music is a powerful force and that can tap into the deepest recesses of the mind, stir emotions and conjure memories, and why music memory is one of the last things affected by Alzheimer’s disease.


February 24, 2020
Healthy Heart for Life
Michael Rochon-Duck, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Cardiology, UCI Health Department of Medicine
More than 85 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. It remains the leading cause of U.S. deaths, claiming about 800,000 lives annually. Dr. Michael Rochon-Duck will discuss what you can do to maintain heart health as you age, and how new technologies for monitoring heart health can help forestall serious heart disease. Rochon-Duck is a cardiologist at UCI Health who is dedicated to the diagnosis, management and prevention of cardiovascular disease.


March 23, 2020
How to Keep Eye Problems at Arms-length As You Age
Ken Y. Lin, MD , Assistant Clinical Professor, UCI Health Department of Ophthalmology, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
Lilangi Ediriwickrema, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCI Health Department of Ophthalmology, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

What happens to our eyes as we age, and what can we do to improve our vision? At this lecture, Drs. Ken Lin and Lilangi Ediriwickrema will present on common age-related vision changes—from droopy eyelids, volume loss and wrinkles, to cataracts and glaucoma—and will discuss approaches to optimize your vision, while promoting a more youthful look. Dr. Ken Lin is a cataract and glaucoma surgeon whose research focuses on using endoscopic laser imaging and artificial intelligence to improve patient outcomes after glaucoma surgery. Dr. Lilangi Ediriwickrema specializes in oculofacial, orbital, and reconstructive surgery as well as neuro-ophthalmology.


April 27, 2020

HPV-related Throat Cancer: An Emerging Epidemic and Public Health Crisis
Allen M. Chen, MD, Chair and Professor, UCI Health Department of Radiation Oncology
Tjoson Tjoa, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCI Health Department Otolaryngology

Scientists have known since the 1990s that virtually all cases of cervical cancer can be linked to HPV infections. Now, an increasing number of throat cancers may be due to HPV infection. Drs. Allen Chen and Tjoson Tjoa will discuss the latest research and why HPV-related throat cancers are now considered an epidemic. Dr. Allen Chen is renowned for his research in head and neck cancers and has been named among Best Doctors in America® 10 years in a row. Dr. Tjoson Tjoa specializes in the surgical treatment of head and neck cancer, major reconstructive surgery, microvascular techniques, thyroid surgery, salivary gland surgery, and skull base surgery.


May 18, 2020
Improving and Preventing Hearing Loss in Older Adults
Hamid R. Djalilian, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCI Health Department of Head & Neck Surgery Director, UCI Health Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery Services

Hearing loss is considered a normal part of aging. But 200 years ago, there were no jet planes, no motorcycles, no lawnmowers, no rock concerts and no MP3 players to plug directly into our ears. Today, the assault on our ears comes from all directions and it is affecting our hearing. Dr. Hamid Djalilian will discuss ways to protect your hearing, how to recognize when are losing your hearing and what options are available if you are experiencing hearing loss. Djalilian is an expert in all conditions of the ear, including complex ear surgery, hearing loss and balance disorders.


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