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The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation has selected USC School of Pharmacy associate professor Neeraj Sood as one of five finalists for the 16th annual National Institute for Health Care Management research award.

The award recognizes excellence in published original work and creative research aimed at furthering innovation in health care financing, as well as delivery, organization and implementation of health care policy.

The winner of the award, to be chosen by an independent panel of health care researchers, will receive a $10,000 prize at a dinner in Washington, D.C., in May.

Sood’s article on employer-sponsored insurance and health care costs was published in the Health Services Research Journal. It focuses on estimating the effect of growth in health care costs that outpace gross domestic product.

The study analyzed data from 38 U.S. industries from 1987 to 2005. Sood and his colleagues, Arkadipta Ghosh of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and Jos� Escarce of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, concluded that excess growth in health care costs is adversely affecting the economic performance of U.S. industries.

Spring Benefit Helps Doheny Eye Institute

The 35th annual spring benefit organized by the Luminaires Founder Chapter raised more than $100,000 to assist the Doheny Eye Institute in its mission to restore, preserve and improve human eyesight.

More than 250 guests, including Kathryn Sample and Niki Nikias, attended the event overseen by the institute’s volunteer support group in March at the California Club in Los Angeles.

The Parisian-style fashion show featuring the attire of Los Angeles-based designer Lourdes Chavez was followed by shopping among boutique vendors displaying designer handbags, jewelry, table linens, watercolor paintings and fashion accessories.

Co-chairs Mimi Bell, Ellie Jones and Betsy Ulf planned the event. Barbara Heublein is president of the Luminaires.

In a special drawing, Cece Horne won a 3.5 carat pink amethyst ring donated by Corina Madilian of Single Stone in San Marino.

Patti, Ell Join Social Work Society

USC School of Social Work Dean Emeritus Rino Patti and professor
Kathleen Ell have been named fellows of the newly formed American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare — the first national society honoring excellence in the research and practice of social work.

The two are among 30 nationwide professionals from universities, institutions and practices who were selected to join the academy, which will hold an induction ceremony this spring at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Created in 2009 with the support of professional social work organizations such as the Saint Louis Group and the Council on Social Work Education, the academy recognizes distinguished academics and practitioners for “high-impact work that advances social good.”

The academy aims to have its members delve into national discussions of social policy by serving as experts before Congress and other agencies charged with advancing the public good.

SPPD Student Honored for Science Paper

USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development doctoral student Yiming Wang recently won the Springer Award for outstanding paper in the field of regional science.

Wang, who is working toward a Ph.D. in policy, planning, and development, was presented with the award at the 49th Western Regional Science Association Annual Meeting in Sedona, Ariz.

His paper, which examined segregation and integration patterns among various ethnic groups in Los Angeles, will be published in The Annals of Regional Science, the association’s journal.

Founded in 1961, the association is an international multidisciplinary group of university scholars and government and private-sector practitioners dedicated to the scientific analysis of regions.

First Holder of Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair Named

Jae Jung, professor and chair of the Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, was installed as the first Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology during a reception at the Harlyne J. Norris Research Tower on March 15.

The Fletcher Jones Foundation, a grant-making organization that supports private, higher-educational institutions, created the endowed chair with a gift of $1 million last year.

The foundation was created by the estate of Jones, the co-founder of Computer Sciences Corp., in 1969.

New Name for Personnel Services

Personnel Services will now be known at USC as Human Resources Administration.

The office offers a variety of services, including employment and compensation services for staff members, leave consulting for staff and faculty, and management consulting for staff supervisors.

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