The Lundquist Institute Receives $1.5 Million Gift from Farima and Joseph Czyzyk to Make Life-Saving Technology Accessible to the Public

The Diagnostic and Wellness Center will be Renamed the Farima Czyzyk Center for Cardiac Research and Wellness

Farima and Josehph

Pictured (left to right): Dr. David Meyer, TLI President, Steve Nissen, TLI Board Member, Dr. Matt Budoff, Farima & Joe Czyzyk (donors), and Philanthropist Richard Lundquist. 

The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center has received a $1.5 million gift from Farima and Joseph Czyzyk to make its life-saving imaging technology, used to find signs of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases in their early stages, more accessible to the general public. In recognition of this generous gift, the Institute’s Diagnostic and Wellness Center will be renamed the Farima Czyzyk Center for Cardiac Research and Wellness. 

The Czyzyks’ gift will be used primarily to support the work of Dr. Matthew Budoff, whose research is devoted to advancing procedures that can help doctors in the early identification of  patients who are at high-risk for cardiac events and the progression of atherosclerosis. 

“As a patient, I have benefited from this screening technology at Harbor-UCLA,” said Farima Czyzyk, adding, “and I am very impressed with Dr. Budoff’s work and mission.”  

Czyzyk also said that those who lack the means too often forego critical preventative care that could ultimately save or extend their lives.

Czyzyk, who was a registered and public health nurse, began her career on the Harbor-UCLA campus as a Nurse Epidemiologist working in the Division of Infectious Diseases at then Harbor General  Hospital. After several years she left the hospital for higher education to further her career in healthcare and hospital administration. 

“I’ve been in healthcare long enough to know that preventative care needs improvement,” she said, adding, “So many lives can be saved if more people can use this technology. Dr. Budoff is a gem. If I can help anyone advance their work, I want it to be him.”

Czyzyk went on to say that Dr. Budoff’s work strikes at the heart of making preventative care a priority. “I have worked in almost every area of healthcare settings, and I believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” she said.“

The endorsement, by the Czyzyks, of the work at the Lundquist Institute, and especially Dr. Budoff’s innovative research, is a validation of the impact that The Lundquist Institute is making in developing cutting-edge programs that improve people’s lives, daily,” according to Dr. David Meyer, PhD, President & CEO of the Lundquist Institute. “We appreciate this vote of confidence through the establishment of The Farima Czyzyk Center for Cardiac Research and Wellness.”

Dr. Budoff’s research at The Lundquist Institute focuses on determining the effect of different therapies on atherosclerosis and determining if heart disease can be reversed. His team has also shown utility of supplementary measurements on cardiac CT can be evaluated for thoracic aortic calcification, aortic valve calcification, mitral annular calcification, pericardial fat, liver fat, myocardial scar, and bone mineral density. 

“I am honored that Farima and Joe have chosen to focus their generosity on my research,” said Dr. Matthew Budoff, who is an Investigator at The Lundquist Institute, a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the Program Director and Director of Cardiac CT, Division of Cardiology, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. “The importance of Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) scoring in predicting the risk of coronary heart disease is undeniable, with a 10-fold higher risk in patients who have a CAC score higher than 300 compared with the risk for those without CAC. So, the more people we can reach, the more lives we can save. I am especially glad that our center will now carry Farima’s name given her ties to Harbor-UCLA and her deep devotion to healthcare.”