New leaders named to CITRIS healthcare initiative

June 22, 2011


Thomas Nesbitt.

Dr. Thomas S. Nesbitt, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances for the UC Davis School of Medicine and Chief Scientist for CITRIS at UC Davis has been appointed Faculty Director of the CITRIS Health Care Initiative, “Delivering 'Quality Healthcare Everywhere’ for Californians”.   Edmund Seto,  Associate Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley, has been named Associate Director of the Initiative.

The mission of the CITRIS  Health Care Initiative, “Delivering ‘Quality Healthcare Everywhere’ for Californians” is to improve access and reduce disparities in health care by creating a statewide, trusted “medical grade” network for patients, providers, public health officers and educators. 

Dr. Nesbitt is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine who specializes in rural health and the use of advanced telecommunications technologies to improve access to medical education and care. He has been a driving force behind the development of a variety of innovative programs that address the unique health care and educational needs of diverse populations of patients and physicians, particularly in rural Northern California.   As director of the Center for Health and Technology, Dr. Nesbitt oversees UC Davis’ telemedicine, distance learning, and medical informatics programs. Dr. Nesbitt also serves as Executive Director of Telehealth Services for the California Center for Connected Health, where he is a leader in developing statewide policy for the evolution of telehealth in California.   He also played a key role in developing the Community Hospital Network, a consortium of 15 hospitals and health systems in the Northern California region that work together to effectively deliver services to local residents.

Dr. Nesbitt is a frequent speaker at national and international professional events and the principal investigator on numerous grants.  He has been honored for his work in many venues, including the Leadership Award for the Advancement of Telemedicine from the American Telemedicine Association (2010) and the Transformational Leadership Award from the UC Davis, School of Medicine (2009).  The latter award acknowledges professional achievements and contributions that have enhanced the medical profession, improved the public welfare, provided for personal distinction and brought honor to UC Davis.  Dr. Nesbitt earned his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine degrees at the University of California Davis, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. In addition, he served as a Faculty Scholar in Academic Leadership Development under the auspices of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

Dr. Seto is Associate Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley.  He has a background in Computer Science, and worked on mobile technologies before joining the division of Environmental Health Sciences at Berkeley.  Dr. Seto directs the Public Health Assisting Smart Technologies group, which conducts interdisciplinary research using personal monitors and environmental sensors to understand the interactions between people and their environment, and how these interactions affect health and wellness.  His current studies explore the use of mobile phone technology for remote monitoring of physical activity, personal behaviors, and exposures to environmental pollution.  He co-directs the CDC-funded UC Berkeley Health Impact Group, which conducts research into the health equity and implications of new policies, plans, and programs.  As Associate Director for the CITRIS Health Care Initiative, he will work with Dr. Nesbitt to identify new opportunities for health researchers, educators, and practitioners to leverage California’s Telehealth Network to provide innovative solutions to costly health problems and health inequities in California.