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Advocate for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Joins UC Irvine Health

Jennifer Roh, MD
Jennifer Roh, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, UCI School of Medicine

We are excited to have Dr. Jennifer Roh join our UC Irvine faculty as the Associate Medical Director of the Emergency Department. Dr. Roh obtained a degree in Biology from Westmont College and her medical degree from Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, where she also was the chief resident during her fourth year. Furthermore, she went on to complete an Administration fellowship at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In her free time, Dr. Roh enjoys traveling with her husband and also plays piano, guitar, and sings.

As an Orange County native, Dr. Roh is passionate about serving our local community, but she also strives to apply her skillset abroad. Dr. Roh comes from a family dedicated to improving healthcare in global communities. Her mother, a pediatrician, and her father, a nephrologist, have dedicated a considerable amount of time working internationally. Dr. Roh has been to a number of countries to not only work with underserved patient populations, but also to educate local health care providers and empower them to better serve their communities. Some of the countries Dr. Roh has worked in include Vietnam, India, Uganda, China, and even North Korea. Through her work in these various countries, she has learned of numerous systemic issues that have made it difficult for physicians to provide the best care for their patients. She completed her Administration Fellowship at UCLA in the hopes that she could contribute meaningfully to a solution to various systemic issues, both locally and globally.

During her fellowship training at UCLA, Dr. Roh worked on a number of projects which included joining a Sepsis Committee in order to identify systemic issues and to discuss how to prevent them, joining a medical-legal committee offering practical advice to physicians facing lawsuits, and working to advocate for women in the field of emergency medicine and administration. To highlight one of Dr. Roh’s accomplishments since joining UCI, she has revamped our health system’s internal quality review process by making the format to submit incident reports simpler and more user friendly. Since her revisions, our health system has seen a dramatic increase in the number of incident reports, and a number of changes have been discussed to improve patient care and prevent systemic failures. Furthermore, Dr. Roh oversees a number of resident run quality improvement projects as she hopes to not only improve the flow of UC Irvine’s Emergency Department, but also to educate future physicians on being advocates for the quality of care and safety of their patients. Dr. Roh has also received grant funding to study the use of prescribing buprenorphine for patients with opiate use disorder, that it may safely bridge them to successful outpatient followup and care.

As Associate Medical Director, she develops the process in which our health team can more effectively learn from safety events in a safe environment, and to discuss methods in which we can improve our system for the betterment of patient care and safety. Dr. Roh also takes her invaluable skill set to work with international health systems, healthcare providers, and patients. We are eager to see how Dr. Roh’s passions will impact the patients of UC Irvine Health as well as other global health systems.

Thank you for the special assistance of Jon B. Lee, MS4 in preparation of this report.