Dear Colleagues:

As we approach the holidays, I have been reflecting upon this past year and all that we have accomplished together at UCSF. There are far too many achievements to list but I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few:

Under our clinical care mission, in March we launched our automated pharmacy in the UCSF Medical Center, using robotic technology to prepare and track medications to improve patient safety. We also achieved a major milestone with the launch of APEX, our new electronic medical records system that will significantly enhance our efficiency and ability to serve our patients. And, we celebrated an important milestone in the construction of our new hospital at Mission Bay: the “topping off” of the building this fall.

In our research efforts, our outstanding faculty were recognized in numerous ways in 2011 for their groundbreaking work. UCSF’s Clinical & Translational Science Institute, a key group that supports our research mission, received a $112 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand its efforts over the next five years. We also opened the stunning Ray and Dagmar Dolby Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research in February.

Turning to our education mission, our new high-tech Teaching and Learning Center opened to our students and trainees in January. Shortly thereafter, we received our reaccreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for a full ten years. Finally, this fall, UCSF led the successful Bay Area Science Festival, a series of events that showcased the Bay Area’s critical role in advancing scientific knowledge. Our rankings continue to confirm that we educate some of the finest professional and graduate students in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy.

This is just a small sample of our many achievements. I also realize that 2011 was a difficult year for the national and state economies and, as a result, for many of us at UCSF; however I firmly believe that we are moving in the right direction and have a bright future ahead of us. I am deeply appreciative of all of your hard work that has contributed to our many successes. Thank you for all of your efforts.

I also am pleased to share with you that we are now taking the final step in developing our 3-Year Plan. The goals and strategies—which I presented at our October 4 all-hands meeting—are available on this website:

Our leadership team has begun to develop the tactics, the final—and most important and tangible—piece of our Plan. These tactics are high-impact, enterprise-wide initiatives with specific deliverables that will bring us closer to achieving our goals and realizing our vision of becoming the world's preeminent health sciences innovator.

We need the combined effort of our entire organization to achieve our vision and goals. Therefore, my leadership team and I welcome any ideas you have for a project or initiative; these can be submitted through the website above.

Long-term planning is critical to UCSF’s continued success as it provides a clear roadmap for the entire organization for where we are going and how we will get there. Together, with our accomplishments of this past year and our plans for the future, we are making a difference in the lives of our patients and our community and that is something for which we can all be very proud.

I wish you all a safe and joyful holiday season.




Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor