Torrance, Calif., Oct. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center received a $1.5 million donation from Farima and Joseph Czyzyk to manufacture its life-saving imaging technology, used to find signs of heart disease, cancer and other diseases in their earliest stages, more accessible to the general public. In recognition of this generous donation, the Institute’s Diagnostic and Wellness Center will be renamed the Farima Czyzyk Center for Cardiac Research and Wellness.
The Czyzyks’ donation will be used primarily to support the work of Dr. Matthew Budoff, whose research is dedicated to advancing procedures that can help clinicians identify patients who are at high risk for cardiac events early and the progression of atherosclerosis.
“As a patient, I have benefited from this screening technology at Harbor-UCLA,” said Farima Czyzyk, adding, “and I am very impressed with Dr. Budoff’s work and mission.”
Czyzyk also said that those who lack the means often forego critical preventive care that could ultimately save or extend their lives.
A public health and registered nurse, Czyzyk began her career on the Harbor-UCLA campus as a nurse epidemiologist working in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harbor General Hospital. After several years, she left the hospital to pursue higher education and further her career in health care and hospital administration.
“I’ve been in health care long enough to know that preventive care needs improvement,” he said, adding, “Many lives can be saved if more people can use this technology. Dr. Budoff is a gem. If I can help someone advance his work, I want it to be him.”
Czyzyk went on to say that Dr. Budoff’s work strikes at the heart of making preventive care a priority. “I have worked in almost every area of health care settings and believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he said.
“The Czyzyks’ endorsement of the work of the Lundquist Institute, and especially Dr. Budoff’s groundbreaking research, is validation of the impact the Lundquist Institute is having in developing cutting-edge programs that improve the lives of people, every day.” according to Dr. David Meyer, PhD, president and CEO of the Lundquist Institute. “We appreciate this vote of confidence through the establishment of the Farima Czyzyk Center for Cardiac Research and Wellness.”
Dr. Budoff’s research at the Lundquist Institute focuses on determining the effect of different therapies on atherosclerosis and determining whether heart disease can be reversed. His team has also demonstrated the utility of complementary measurements on cardiac CT that can be assessed for thoracic aortic calcification, aortic valve calcification, mitral annulus calcification, pericardial fat, liver fat, scarring of the myocardium and bone mineral density.
“I am honored that Farima and Joe have chosen to focus their generosity on my research,” said Dr. Matthew Budoff, an investigator at the Lundquist Institute, professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Program Director. and Director of Cardiac CT, Division of Cardiology, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. “The importance of the coronary artery calcium (CAC) score in predicting coronary heart disease risk is undeniable, with a 10-fold increased risk in patients who have a CAC score greater than 300 compared to the risk in those without CAC. Therefore, the more people we can reach, the more lives we can save. I am especially pleased that our center is now named after Farima because of her ties to Harbor-UCLA and her deep devotion to health care.”