Changes Coming to UCLA Health Malibu

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Drs. Milica Simpson, Ashley Bateman, Scott Bateman and Andrea Shaw pose in the waiting room of the UCLA Health Malibu office. Ashley Bateman will begin working at the practice in January, after Shaw leaves to begin work at a teaching hospital in South Sudan.

The new year is only a month away, and many Malibuites are considering changes: perhaps a new diet, new gym routine or new budget. But for the doctors at the UCLA Faculty Practice Group in Malibu, changes are going to be a little more substantial than that.

That’s because Dr. Andrea Shaw, a pediatrician and primary care physician who has worked here in Malibu for two-and-a-half years, is heading with her husband, Loyola Marymount University professor Jok Madut Jok, to work at a teaching hospital in South Sudan. 

Coming in to replace her is Dr. Ashley Bateman, a family practice specialist and the daughter of Dr. Scott Bateman, a physician who has practiced medicine in Malibu for decades.

Ashley, who has been working as a physician in Thousand Oaks for the past three years, will join her father and Dr. Milica Simpson, a pediatrician and general practitioner, at the Malibu practice.

“I’m looking forward to working in a community that I’ve grown up in and a practice that I’ve known all my life,” Ashley said. “I grew up right around the corner from the office.”

Ashley’s work in Malibu will begin Jan. 4, and she said she already has a schedule set out, but new patients are welcome.

“I think it will be a great transition,” Ashley said, “It’s pretty cool to work with your dad.

“He must be the happiest person in the world at what he does, and he’s so good at it,” Ashley said of her father. “Just knowing someone who’s that happy and good at what he does, I know that’s something I could do for the rest of my life.”

As for how it will be working with her dad, Ashley said, “It was a big decision but I think it was going to be a really good one.”

Scott Bateman had another perspective.

“I don’t know,” Scott joked. “She’s hard to work with. She’s very opinionated.”

Scott did give Ashley some credit.

“We’ve kind of been working together by phone for the last three years,” Scott said. “We talk about things all the time. It’ll be just fine.”

While Ashley is preparing to move from practicing medicine in Thousand Oaks to practicing in Malibu, Shaw has more distance to cover: settling down in South Sudan with her husband and their young child.

“The little one came and we just sort of looked at our lives and said, ‘You know, we’re at a point in our lives and our careers where we can stay here and spend 30 years in California and be happy, or wonder if we could go to South Sudan and really accomplish something there,’” Shaw said.

Shaw hopes to develop outpatient facilities in South Sudan and establish things such as vaccine campaigns. 

“It’ll be slow. It’s slow to affect change but I think there’s a lot of work to be done,” Shaw said. “It’s bittersweet. It’s hard leaving a primary care practice where I’ve come to know so many people so well. Both my husband and I have been pretty blessed to work in a system where we’ve had a lot of resources. We’re looking forward to using our skills and resources as best we can.”