Medicine in our Backyard 2022-2023

The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation in collaboration with UCI Health is pleased to present the 2022-2023 season of Medicine in Our Backyard featuring an extraordinary group of renowned doctors and researchers speaking on a wide range of topics. The UCI doctors present the latest studies and newest technologies in an engaging online forum. This series is funded in part by the generosity of long time Newport Beach Public Library Foundation members Mike and Polly Smith.

Brian Hitt

Living with Alzheimer’s: What’s New in Treatment and Care

Brian Hitt, MD
Behavioral Neurologist
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, UCI Health

Monday, January 23, 2023, 7:00pm || Doors open at 6:30pm

More than six million people in the US live with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. What can we do to mitigate this type of dementia in our family members and ourselves? Dr. Brian Hitt, board-certified behavioral neurologist with UCI Health, will help us better understand this disease by explaining how it is diagnosed, how treatment is evolving, and will discuss science-based modifiable risk factors.

Dawn Lombardo

Is My Heart Failing? How Do I Know?

Dawn M. Lombardo, DO
Medical Director, UCI Health Heart Failure Program
Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Vice Chair of Graduate Medical Education, Department of Medicine
UCI School of Medicine

Monday, February 27, 2023, 7:00pm || Doors open at 6:30pm

The Heart Failure Society of America estimates that nearly 6.5 million Americans over the age of 20 have heart failure. Yet it is also estimated that 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable. How is that possible? Dr. Dawn Lombardo, director of the heart failure program at UCI Health, will discuss how lifestyle plays an important, if not the most important role in preventing heart disease, along with tips on how we can all make a positive impact on our own health and wellbeing.

Nimisha Parekh
Steven Mills

Getting a Grip on Crohn’s Disease

Nimisha K. Parekh, MD, MPH
Medical Director, UCI Health Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program
Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine
Associate Dean, Faculty Development
UCI School of Medicine

Steven D. Mills, MD
Surgical Director, UCI Health Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program
Professor, Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery
Director, Colon & Rectal Surgery Fellowship Program
UCI School of Medicine

Monday, March 27, 2023, 7:00pm || Doors open at 6:30pm

What is Crohn’s disease and who does it affect? Is it the same as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation estimates that IBD affects close to 3 million Americans, yet many people don’t understand what it means. Dr. Nimisha Parekh, gastroenterologist, and director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Digestive Health Institute at UCI Health, will help us to better understand this disease, including available medical therapies and new treatments on the horizon, while Dr. Steven Mills, surgeon and program director for Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship at UCI, will discuss the latest updates and options for surgery for Crohn’s disease.

Sohaib Hashmi

Understanding Aging and Your Spine

Sohaib Z. Hashmi, MD
Director, UCI Health Spine Trauma Program
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
UCI School of Medicine

Monday, April 24, 2023, 7:00pm || Doors open at 6:30pm

Oh, those aches and pains. Whether in your shoulders or the small of your back, back pain can really affect your everyday life. Join Dr. Sohaib Hashmi, Director of Spine Trauma for the UCI Health Department of Orthopedic Surgery, as he demonstrates why it is important to ask the right questions about your back pain and what you can do to manage your treatment in partnership with your doctor.

Janellen Smith
Jessica Shiu

Summer Is Around the Corner – Is Your Skin Ready?

Janellen Smith, MD
Dermatologist and skin cancer specialist, UCI Health
Professor, Department Dermatology
Co-director, Pigmented Lesion Program Department of Dermatology
UCI School of Medicine

Jessica Shiu, MD, PhD
Dermatologist, UCI Health
Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology
UCI School of Medicine

Monday, May 22, 2023, 7:00pm || Doors open at 6:30pm

Those of us who live in Southern California know that the sun can be our foe as well as our friend. Getting that beautiful SoCal tan can come at a price. The good news, however, is that most skin cancers are treatable if caught early. So, get out of the sun and come listen to what Dr. Janellen Smith and Dr. Jessica Shiu, board-certified dermatologists for UCI Health, can tell us about taking better care of our skin and getting proper treatment.

Program Details

  • Doors open at 6:30pm
  • Held in Friends Room at Central Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • Free parking on the ground level and in the parking structure
  • Limited Seating
  • Free event

Mask are recommended for all attendees for indoor events
Newport Beach Public Library Foundation follows the State of California guidelines for indoor gatherings, and we are staying informed on all the latest requirements. We will email all attendees if there are any changes to the guidelines one week before the event.


NBPLF is able to offer this program to the community because of the generosity of our sponsors Mike and Polly Smith and UCI Health

Video Archive

Click here to watch videos from past lectures


Contact Director of Programs Kunga Wangmo at 949-717-3818 or