Physicians Hooshang Meshkinpour, left, and Farzan Naeim, center, wanted to make a meaningful impact at UCI. They chose to support digestive disease care at the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center.

Supporting the Community in More Ways
than One

Supporting the Community
in More Ways than One

UCI gastroenterologist Hooshang Meshkinpour, M.D., still recalls his first meeting with Dr. Kenneth Chang.

“He came in to interview for a gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship,” says Meshkinpour. “It was 1987. We met in Building 53, in the second floor office.” Chang was awarded the UCI School of Medicine fellowship. Today, he serves as chief of the UCI Division of Gastroenterology where he trained. Meshkinpour, at age 78, is an emeritus professor who continues to provide expert care to UCI Health patients. He and his wife, retired UCI associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Farzan Naeim, find rich sources of fulfillment outside the clinical environment.

Meshkinpour and Naeim launched their philanthropic endeavors in the summer of 2018 with a gift, the largest made by a faculty member, to the UCI Department of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology and the UCI Health H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center.

“We live in Irvine; we love the Irvine community, we are using UCI services, so we should help,” says Naeim. “Moreover, we have a long and prosperous connection to UCI. We thought we should start here.”

"We live in Irvine; we love the Irvine community, we are using UCI services, so we should help."

– Dr. Farzan Naeim

Already, their gift is having an impact on digestive disease care. It has allowed the CDDC to acquire an advanced imaging system that adds another dimension to the center’s capability to diagnose certain conditions that affect the upper digestive track.

“Our division and center take pride in being able to deliver world-class care to the families of Orange County and beyond,” says Chang, who also serves as executive director of the CDDC. “This gift is especially meaningful, not only in providing us with the newest technology, but also because it is in the subspecialty area of esophageal motility — an area in which Dr. Meshkinpour is a recognized expert.”

Meshkinpour and Naeim considered many ways they could support UCI. Ultimately, their confidence in Chang and his vision for the CDDC tipped the scale.

Meshkinpour and Naeim’s confidence in Chang and his vision for the UCI Health H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center sealed their decision to make a gift.

“Credit goes to him for being very visionary,” says Meshkinpour. “He changed the relationship between gastroenterologists and surgeons at UCI. It is unique in that surgeons and gastroenterologists, despite their differences, are cooperating now. That vision is his. It wouldn’t have happened without him.”

Meshkinpour and Naeim envision their gift as supporting advances in gastroenterology under Chang’s leadership, primarily through research, education and new scientific equipment. At the same time, it also is an expression of gratitude.

In recognition of the couple’s contribution to the future of digestive health, the CDDC is now home of the Hooshang Meshkinpour and Farzan Naeim Reception Area.