West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has appointed Elizabeth Reid to the post of assistant chief nursing officer, the health care center announced Jan. 8. The newly established role is in keeping with a strategic initiative for nursing leadership on the part of the hospital’s parent operator, Hospital Corp. of America. “The assistant chief nursing officer position (provides) mentoring opportunities for future chief nursing officers, ensuring a succession plan over time,” Stephanie Mearns, chief nursing officer at West Hills Hospital, explained. Reid has worked at the health care center since 2016, when she was appointed director of emergency services. The Scotland native attended nursing school in Glasglow, where she worked as an intensive care nurse before moving to the U.S. Her experience includes positions at UCLA, Brotman Medical Center in Culver City and, most recently, Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster. Her work at Antelope Valley Hospital included oversight of the hospital’s critical care, trauma and medical forensics departments, as well as assisting in the expansion of its emergency department. In her new position, Reid will focus primarily on improving patient satisfaction by supporting the medical center’s nurses, she said. “Good patient experience is the end result of an organization that combines a healthy work environment and a relentless focus on caring for our patients,” Reid said. “The ingredients of success include leadership, education and communication within and between health care teams.” West Hills Hospital employs more than 900 staff members, including 450 physicians. Simulations Plus Q1 Simulations Plus Inc. kicked off the fiscal year with a profitable first quarter and record-breaking revenue, the Lancaster software firm reported Jan. 9. In a conference call with investors, Chief Executive Walt Woltosz pegged the quarter’s success to the performance of its Cognigen and Dilisym divisions. Its Cognigen arm, acquired in 2014, provides consulting services to pharmaceutical companies. Dilisym, purchased last summer, builds software to model the liver toxicity of drugs. “If you can model something in software and avoid clinical trials, avoid in vitro work, avoid animal tests or at least guide them to be run more efficiently, the payback is tremendous,” Woltosz told investors. “I expect to see the growth continue as we’ve seen in the past.” First quarter revenue was a record $7.1 million, versus $5.4 million reported last year. “Revenue growth in our core divisions in Lancaster and Buffalo coupled with the new revenues and profits from Dilisym services … (resulted) in a strong start to the new fiscal year,” John Kneisel, chief financial officer of Simulations Plus, said in a statement. Simulations Plus reported adjusted net income of $5.3 million for the quarter ended Nov. 30, a $1.3 million increase over the same period a year earlier. Atara’s FDA Approval A multiple sclerosis treatment by Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. has been approved for clinical trials in U.S. patients by the Food and Drug Administration, the company announced Jan. 10. The drug, ATA188, works by targeting the Epstein-Barr virus, which some scientists believe may play a key role in the development of multiple sclerosis. “We are pleased with FDA’s decision to allow … ATA188 to proceed into clinical development in patients with MS in the U.S.,” Atara Chief Executive Chris Haqq said in a statement. The company began limited studies on the drug in Australian patients late last year and is looking to conduct trials on patients in Europe as well. It expects to see results of the studies by early 2019. Multiple sclerosis affects an estimated 400,000 people in the U.S., primarily women between the ages of 20 and 40. It is believed to be an autoimmune condition that causes brain cells to lose the “insulation” that allows them to send electrical impulses. The resulting symptoms include fatigue, numbness or tingling, difficulty concentrating and other cognitive changes, according to the National MS Society. Atara is headquartered in San Francisco but runs its research and development arm in Westlake Village. Staff reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.