UCI Health Nurse Practitioner Jeffrey Vu Honored with Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumnus Award

By Nicholas Schou

Jeffrey Vu & Mark Lazenby 1 - Lauds and Laurels

Jeffrey Vu & Mark Lazenby 1 – Lauds and Laurels

In a prestigious ceremony held on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, Jeffrey Vu, a dedicated Nurse Practitioner with UCI Health and graduate of the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing, was awarded the Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumnus accolade. Bestowed each year upon outstanding UC Irvine alumni, the recogition celebrates Vu’s exceptional contributions to the nursing profession and his unwavering commitment to providing compassionate care to vulnerable populations.

Jeffrey Vu’s clinical interests, spanning adolescent health, family medicine, and gender-affirming care, reflect his passion for addressing the diverse needs of patients. Vu practices in Orange, Irvine, and Santa Ana, reaching out to communities and ensuring access to healthcare services.

In 2021, Vu, who was then an associate program director with UCI Health’s Gender Diversity Program, shared insight into his journey into nursing with the school’s alumni magazine, explaining how the profession resonated with desire to help people.

“Healthcare should be a basic human right,” Vu said. “In my work with adolescent transgender health, I am able to provide care to a marginalized population and their families. It is my honor to care for the vulnerable.”

Indeed, of particular note in Vu’s nursing career is his dedication to improving adolescent transgender health. In his role with UCI Health’s Diversity Program, he has played a pivotal role in ensuring access to primary care and endocrinology services for the LGBTQIA+ community. Vu’s commitment extends beyond clinical practice, as he serves as the Director of the Clinical Services Division of the Orange County Health Care Agency, focusing on health equity in the region.

Candice Whealon, a health sciences assistant clinical professor and advanced practice clinical assistant at the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing, provided a glowing endorsement of Vu’s contributions for the Lauds & Laurels awards committee. In her letter, Whealon highlighted Vu’s transformative leadership, advocacy for vulnerable populations, and his integral role in professional organizations, such as the California Association for Nurse Practitioners.

“As a clinician Dr. Vu is a caring and thoughtful patent advocate who has dedicated his career to vulnerable populations,” Whealon wrote. “Beyond being a transformational leader and nurse in public health, Dr. Vu is a great friend and colleague who acts with integrity and lives in alignment with his values. He has gone above and beyond to support the School of Nursing, not only making meaningful donations, but facilitating student placements within his organizations, guest lecturing, and mentoring the future workforce.”

Dr. Jeffrey Vu’s recognition as a Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumnus underscores not only his exceptional professional accomplishments but also his profound impact on the communities he serves, making him particularly “deserving of recognition for his contributions to our community and beyond,” said Whealon. “He has demonstrated his commitment to the profession, and the vulnerable populations he serves through volunteerism, philanthropy and his work for both UC Irvine and Orange County.”