Like many of you, I was greatly saddened to hear the news of the earthquake that struck Japan’s coast, triggering a tsunami that devastated northern parts of the country and put a related warning in effect for much of the Pacific. The subsequent nuclear power plant explosions have compounded this crisis, making it the worst natural disaster the country has seen in its recorded history.
We care deeply about the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff and are grateful that we have no negative news to report at this time. We are in close contact with the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP) and will continue to monitor the status of UCSF members who are known or believed to be in Japan. If you know of any UCSF members currently traveling in Japan, please notify the campus police so that they can work with the Red Cross and the US Department of State on behalf of those colleagues should emergency assistance be required.
Across the UC system, UCOP has identified approximately 112 faculty, staff and researchers affiliated with UC campuses that may have been in Japan. In addition, approximately 80 students are registered in the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). At this time, there are no reports of injuries to any UC employees or students.
For us here at home, remember there are free, confidential resources that are available to help you cope during this time. Student counseling services are available through the Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) at (415) 476-8736. Faculty and staff should contact the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at (415) 476-8279.
Finally, UCSF is rallying to help those who need our support the most, both locally and overseas. In partnership with Causes.com (http://Causes.com <http://Causes.com>), we have created a simple pathway for donations to the relief efforts in Japan: http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/03/9538/ucsf-partners-causescom-charities-... http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/03/9538/ucsf-partners-causescom-charities-help-japan
At UCSF, we are inspired and driven by the desire to help others. I trust the same spirit and commitment will guide us through this challenging time. Again, our thoughts go out to those who have been personally affected by this tragedy.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor