James Ausman

Clinical Professor, UCLA

Dr. Ausman was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 10, 1937.  He attended the John Hopkins School of Medicine where he received his degree in medicine finishing in three years. He subsequently obtained a M.A. in Physiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from George Washington University while he worked at the National Institutes of Health in cancer research. He completed his neurosurgery residency at the University of Minnesota in 1972. He began his academic career in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota in 1972. At the age of 40, Dr. Ausman became Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and a Professor in Neurosurgery at the University of Michigan. He took over this department in decline and built it into a nationally and internationally recognized program. He instituted an incentive compensation plan and business plan that was the model for the institution and that increased departmental revenues by 400%. In 1991, he assumed the position as Professor and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at The University of Illinois at Chicago. Within five years he turned the failing money-losing department into a nationally and internationally ranked program making it the most successful department in the medical center and increasing his department’s revenues by 800%. He has built these successful healthcare businesses in multiple challenging markets and is known as a turn-around specialist in healthcare. He is now also Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of California at Los Angeles where he is practicing in addition to pursing other career interests. In his medical practice he has published over 300 articles and book chapters and he has been an invited lecturer at national and international conferences in over 70 countries on all 6 continents. He is known for his innovative solutions to complex problems and has developed creative treatments that are used around the world. He has done surgery in a number of these countries and has been made an honorary member of 12 neurosurgical societies around the world. He has received numerous awards and recognition in countries around the world. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Somanetics Corporation in Michigan since 1993 and was instrumental in the scientific development of its INVOS cerebral oximeter. The now mid-cap company was sold in 2010. His insight into the medical market has been significant in the marketing of this product. He has been a valued advisor to small and large Fortune 500 biotechnology corporations increasing the sales in one by 1000% in one year.In 2002 he became a consultant to The Tiber Group, a healthcare strategic planning and market research company in Chicago, which in 2005 became part of Navigant Consulting, Inc.  In his three years with both companies the Neuroscience Development practice in which he was involved had revenue growth of 300% to become one of the largest segments of the consulting business. He was a consultant in neuroscience to Sg2, Health Care Intelligence Consultants.  He is recognized as a leading authority in neuroscience development. He formed his own company, Future Healthcare Strategies in 2006. He has lectured on and is respected for his futuristic views in healthcare and neuroscience. He is a Futurist conceiving ideas way ahead of his peers and bringing them to fruition.Dr. Ausman was the Editor of SURGICAL NEUROLOGY, an international neurosurgical journal from 1994-2009. He built this journal into one of the top three journals in his specialty. In 2010 he became the Editor of a new Open Access Internet journal SURGICAL NEUROLOGY INTERNATIONAL (SNI). By January 2014, SNI was read in 218 countries and territories, by over 28,000 individual readers a month, becoming the most popular neurosurgical journal in the world in four years. Besides scientific papers, SNI also publishes books, educational material, surgical videos, and other journals in multiple languages. Based on the medical advances in brain research, Dr. Ausman found that the commonly held belief that people were born with a fixed number of brain cells that progressively deteriorated was false. Abundant evidence showed that new brain cells are made every day depending upon one’s physical activity and mental stimulation. After 7 years of research into the challenges of aging and its rapidly growing population, stimulated by his father’s experiences as a geriatrician, Dr. Ausman and his wife, Carolyn, found that people were living 20-40 years longer than their parents, and, as a result, faced many new challenges no other generation had experienced. Yet, most people were not prepared to deal with this extended life and its new generational challenges. The Ausmans recognized that this population, some 140 million people consisting of the Boomers and above, needed guides on “What to do with the rest of their life.” The Ausmans challenged the fundamental concept of retirement that has been accepted world wide by governments, industry, and society as unphysiologic and unhealthy. The Boomers had developed a different life style than their parents, and each subsequent generation had changing values in contrast to the static values of the generations of industrialized, assembly line, mentality of the 20th century. How do you educate the largest, most affluent market in the USA to deal with the real social, work, and economic challenges they face in a changing generation and world? This market and its needs have been largely ignored by the Media and Entertainment industries. The Ausmans’ research showed that this maturing population did not like the name “Seniors”. So, the Ausmans created the positive inspiring term, “The Leading Gen” to capture these new coming generations.  Then with his wife, Carolyn, Dr. Ausman created and produced, a television series for PBS entitled: “The Leading Gen®” –“What will you do with the rest of your life?”, since this demographic obtained most of its information from television. It is a magazine format of interviews with real people sharing their real solutions to life’s real challenges. It is about your neighbor who has triumphed over life’s challenges. The first series of 13 programs developed with KVCR in San Bernardino, CA began in December 2009. A second series was produced independently in 2011. The programs have been described as inspiring, educational, and entertaining. From 3-6 million people have viewed the total of 26 programs, more than 14,000 times across the USA and Canada on 215 public television stations. It has won a number of national and international awards.Dr. Ausman continues to teach and perform neurosurgery and to pursue his innovative ideas into challenging medical problems of the brain and the delivery of healthcare and the world.  Dr. Ausman has been listed as one of the best neurosurgeons in the United States and the world. He and his wife have just spent one year completing a strategic plan for the next 10 years of their life. Dr. Ausman is the medical expert commentator for KMIR-6 TV, the NBC affiliate, in Palm Springs. In a recent UCLA publication Dr. Ausman has been described as a multitasker, who has had success in Medicine, the Business world, and the Entertainment industry. Dr. Ausman and his wife are parents of two adult daughters both of whom hold advanced educational degrees and are independent and multitalented.Dr. Ausman is also President of the Ausman Family Foundation, begun by his father, Donald C. Ausman, MD, which is a charitable organization that supports medical and other activities, helping others. He lives in the Palm Springs area with his wife of 53 years.  

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