News Nuggets


County ends health emergency for Hepatitis A outbreak

After four weeks with no new local Hepatitis A cases reported, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday, Jan. 23 ending the local public health emergency. The emergency was declared on Sept. 1 by the County to raise awareness of the outbreak.

The action does not mean the outbreak is over, and health officials will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the California Department of Public Health in continuing the efforts that were taken to control the outbreak.

Civil rights leader John Lewis is UCSD commencement speaker

Georgia Congress member John Lewis will address 15,000 UC San Diego graduates and their families at the June 16 invitation-only event. Along with Hosea Williams, Lewis led more than 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabma to demonstrate for voting rights in the state. The senseless violence they endured helped hasten the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Republican women will host Congressional hopeful at luncheon

James Veltmeyer, M.D. Chief of Family Medicine at Sharp Healthcare/Grossmont, is running for Congress (52nd District) and will speak at 11:30 a.m. at the La Jolla chapter of the Republican Federated Women luncheon meeting and annual membership drive, Thursday, Jan. 25. The cost is $35. The location in La Jolla will be given upon RSVP to Betty Wood at (858) 459-7249,

New members will enjoy a complimentary lunch. For membership information, call Jeral Fontaine at (858) 337-1349.

Alice through the cooking class

The Village Garden Club of La Jolla presents Alice Waters in a “Meet the Masters” lunch, lecture and book signing, noon, Monday, Feb. 26 at The Prado in Balboa Park. Waters — who founded Chez Panisse Restaurant and Café in Berkeley, California — has a new memoir called “Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.”

The cost of the luncheon is $150 for Village Garden Club of La Jolla members, $175 for non-members. Tickets include a signed copy of the book, valet parking and lunch. For more information, e-mail or visit

Attend and feel gut as new!

Gut microbes might be the key to disease prevention and emotional well-being, and you can hear the latest insights at “The Gut-Brain Connection,” a public event slated for 7:30-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa, 1404 Vacation Road in Mission Bay. It’s part of the 15th annual Natural Supplements Conference sponsored by Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. Admission is $20 per person, $30 for two people. For information, visit, call (858) 678-6400 or e-mail

Dr. Biffl to lead Scripps’ trauma medicine

Walter Biffl, M.D., a noted Scripps Clinic trauma surgeon and researcher, has been named trauma medical director at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Biffl leads an interdisciplinary team of nine surgeons, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who provide care to patients who arrive through the Barbey Family Emergency & Trauma Center.

Biffl came to Scripps from Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where he was medical director of acute care surgery. Before that, he was associate director of surgery, assistant director of patient safety and quality, and director of trauma/surgical outreach at Denver Health Medical Center; and chief of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Duke University and his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine.

MCASD art auction slated for March 28

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will host the 11th biennial Art Auction at its downtown location, 1100 Kettner Blvd., 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. The highly anticipated event will feature live and silent auctions of approximately 100 works by early career and internationally recognized artists, including John Baldessari, Liza Lou, Wangechi Mutu and Ed Ruscha.

The biennial event is the Museum’s largest fundraiser, providing support for educational programs, exhibitions and art acquisitions. This year’s auction will offer a range of works, from paintings and sculpture, to works on paper, all donated from artists and galleries both locally and internationally. Artworks will be on display in the galleries at MCASD Downtown March 10-28, the night of the auction.

There will be a hosted bar and food stations as guests enter their silent auction bids. Christie’s is the official auction house partner, and Lydia Fenet will be auctioneer. Tickets and details at

Gold Circle ticket holders will receive a special-edition paddle designed by artist Mara De Luca (limited quantity), and will have preferred seating at the live auction, complimentary valet parking the night of the auction.