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Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

August 6, 2020
Leadership
People

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

We are proud to announce that after more than 35 years of distinguished service to UCSF, Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, has been selected to serve as the next director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Dr. Criswell will remain with UCSF through early 2021, at which time she will assume her new role as NIAMS director and begin serving the nation as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) leadership team.

Dr. Criswell has been a part of the UCSF community since 1982, and it’s been an honor to work alongside her over the years as she has distinguished herself as one of UCSF’s most admired physicians, scientists, educators, and administrators. Though we are certainly sad to see a close friend and long-time colleague depart, we are delighted that it is because Dr. Criswell is being recognized for her outstanding leadership and contributions to science and medicine.

As vice chancellor of research, Dr. Criswell has helped define the University’s research enterprise over the past three years, and the efforts she has set into motion will continue to shape our research agenda well into the future. Prior to her appointment as vice chancellor, she served as chief of the Division of Rheumatology and the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Criswell is renowned for her insightful research into the causes of human autoimmune disorders, and she is much admired for her devotion to the many students, residents, fellows, and faculty she has mentored over the years. We can think of no one who is better prepared to serve as NIAMS director than Dr...

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August 5, 2020
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

In a year of extraordinary challenges, the UCSF community has faced the dual public health crises of COVID-19 and racism. With this in mind, we seek your feedback on how UCSF is doing on these important issues as we serve our research, education, care delivery, and public service mission.

We have been engaged in conversations across the campus and health system as we rally around these challenges. To hear from as many of our UCSF community members as possible, we have partnered with Gallup to collect your response on our online engagement platform. The results will help UCSF leadership make informed decisions as we address the unique challenges before us.

We have developed a quick, anonymous, and voluntary survey to gauge your opinions. As you respond, we ask you to consider your experiences in the context of the past three months, when COVID-19 and the recharged conversation on racism have overlapped.

We encourage you to complete the survey today. It should take approximately 10 minutes. The survey will be available at the link below through Wednesday, August 19, 2020. We will share the results in an upcoming Friday Town Hall.

*Please note that your specific comments in response to the three open-ended questions at the end of the survey will be shared exactly as written with UCSF leadership.

TAKE SURVEY

We thank you for taking part in this important survey and for all that you do for our patients and the communities we serve.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

Mark R. Laret
President and Chief...

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July 30, 2020
Administrative
Advocacy
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As a leading university committed to the health sciences, we must confront the way racism perpetuates a system of inequities for people of color. False hierarchies based on race rationalize laws, public policy, and customs that have built bias and discrimination into society’s institutional practices.

Racism expressed through our social systems is often subtle and sometimes unconscious. But its impact is clearly visible across housing, education, employment, criminal justice, and health care. Nowhere are the effects of racism more obvious than in the Black community where it has led to worse health and health care outcomes, causing unnecessary suffering and shortened lives. Anti-Black racism remains the most virulent form of bias and discrimination to be overcome in this country.

In all of its forms, racism is contrary to the core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence that drive UCSF’s mission of health research, education, care delivery, and public service. To achieve a community truly defined by these values, we must take an anti-racist stance challenging systems, practices, and attitudes that maintain structural inequities against all people of color. 

The events of the past few months prompt us, as a community, to act with greater urgency. Over the past weeks, Chancellor Sam Hawgood and senior leaders have listened to faculty, learners, and staff, and have met with the Black Caucus to seek their guidance. The Chancellor’s Cabinet—led by the Chancellor and guided by Vice Chancellor Renee Navarro—has accelerated its work of reexamining UCSF’s own...

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July 20, 2020
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community:

To continue to ensure a safe working environment amid the coronavirus pandemic, this week UCSF will begin an asymptomatic testing program for employees, trainees, and students who work onsite.

This testing is voluntary, and individuals will be selected at random to participate. The screening will add to our ability to quickly detect whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading in our buildings so we can contain it. This new program will supplement the important and effective prevention strategies of mandatory universal surgical masking in our clinical facilities and face coverings on UCSF property, daily health screenings, physical distancing, and increased cleaning of our facilities.

We will begin by identifying a random sample of people who worked for more than 12 hours during the prior week at the Precision Cancer Medicine Building on the Mission Bay campus. We hope to make the program available to those who work at our Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion campuses in a phased rollout by the end of August. Participants will once again be selected for testing at random. This program may be extended to other UCSF sites in the near future.

Those chosen to participate will be asked to self-administer nasal swabs under the guidance of a trained staff member, and they will receive their test results as soon as possible, depending on laboratory testing volumes and capacity. Everyone’s data will be safeguarded, and no individually identifiable data will be shared publicly.

This new random sampling of our UCSF population augments the asymptomatic testing we have already been conducting for new and returning trainees and students,...

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July 8, 2020
Leadership
UC System

Dear UCSF Community,

Late yesterday, the University of California Board of Regents announced the appointment of Michael V. Drake, MD, as the 21st president of the University of California system.

Dr. Drake takes the helm of the UC system at a pivotal time. I am confident that his leadership will guide us through the challenges facing us.

His appointment is especially meaningful because Dr. Drake is a former UCSF colleague. He received his medical degree from UCSF, did his residency and fellowship in ophthalmology here, and subsequently spent more than two decades on the faculty of the UCSF School of Medicine, including as the Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology. He was also vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, and senior associate dean for admissions and extramural academic programs in the School of Medicine. Pending an academic personnel review, he also will become a tenured professor at UCSF.

As we enthusiastically welcome Dr. Drake back to our community, I want to express my gratitude to UC President Janet Napolitano. I have been honored to serve as Chancellor under her leadership. Among many other actions, President Napolitano’s championing of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program stands as a sterling example of how she led with courage, determination and a dedication to the ideals of equity and inclusion that we hold dear at UCSF. 

Please see below for the announcement on Dr. Drake from the chair of the UC Board of Regents, John A. Pérez.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

 


 

Dear UC Colleagues,

As...

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July 7, 2020
Community
Philanthropy
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We are pleased to share the exciting news that UCSF has selected two highly regarded architectural firms to serve as the design team for the new hospital at Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights.

The firms, Herzog & de Meuron, a Switzerland-based architectural firm known for its innovative design, and HDR, a multidisciplinary, human-centered architecture practice, bring significant expertise in designing health care facilities in urban settings around the world.

The architects will help us realize our vision for the hospital of the future as a holistic health care setting designed around the needs of the patient, connected to the natural environs of Parnassus Heights and the community. The architectural team will work with UCSF, with input from the local community, to design a hospital that is integrated with our world-renowned research and teaching enterprise, and aesthetically complementary with the neighborhood.

Importantly, the new hospital will expand our capacity to serve more patients who are referred to UCSF for the highly specialized care we offer. The number of patients we have had to turn away due to a lack of bed capacity at Parnassus Heights is approaching 3,000 a year. You can read more online about the new hospital and the architects.

The UC Regents recently approved us to start work on our new hospital, a project launched with a generous...

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July 1, 2020
Community
Partnerships

Dear UCSF Community,

For the first time in 30 years, the bi-annual International AIDS Conference, known this year as AIDS 2020, will be held, albeit virtually, in San Francisco and Oakland, July 6-10, 2020.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, medical director of the pioneering Ward 86 at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG), will co-chair the conference with Cynthia Carey-Grant, an advocate for women, communities of color, and justice in Oakland.

AIDS 2020 will feature presentations, including plenary sessions and press conferences, by or including UCSF infectious disease experts, as well as national leaders, including Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx. Information about tuning into AIDS 2020: Virtual is available online.

The final two days of the conference will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic – an area in which many of our HIV researchers are now working – including its impact on HIV/AIDS research and patient care. Dr. Diane Havlir, chief of the UCSF Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at ZSFG, will talk about the dramatic progress against the HIV epidemic and what this means in the age of COVID-19.

For nearly 40 years, UCSF’s scientists and health care providers have worked with the community and public health partners to fight the effects of HIV/AIDS and to discover a cure. This conference serves as a reminder of the seminal role they have played, both at home and abroad –...

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July 1, 2020
Honors and Awards

Dear UCSF Community:

The UCSF Medal, initiated in 1975, replaces the granting of honorary degrees and is our most prestigious university award, celebrating extraordinary individuals for their achievements and contributions. This year, three UCSF Medals will be awarded to remarkable leaders who have advanced diversity and innovation in their fields through mentorship.

The medalists are:

  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, MA, PhD—President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC);
  • Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS, FAAN—Dean Emerita, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Professor Emerita, UCSF; and
  • John A. Watson, PhD—Professor Emeritus, UCSF School of Medicine

I invite you to join me for an inspiring conversation with this year’s Medal recipients, touching on prominent issues of our time. Please RSVP and on Friday, July 10 starting at 12 p.m. tune in online to watch the celebration.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

June 18, 2020
Advocacy
UC System

Dear UCSF Community,

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocking the Trump administration from immediately rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a significant victory, ensuring that some 700,000 young immigrants—including students at UCSF—can retain their legal status in the United States to study and work, without fear of deportation, for now.

The program, established by President Barack Obama in 2012, allows so-called Dreamers, brought to the United States illegally as children, to apply for a temporary status that lasts for two years and is renewable. While the Supreme Court’s ruling today is good news, advocates must work to prevent opponents of the DACA program from seeking a lower court to consider their arguments. The ruling also does not provide a path to citizenship for our DACA community, and we must work to ensure Congress takes up this action.

As we continue seeking equality and equity for all, we must continue to do more, on DACA and other key issues. We are in the midst of a critical conversation about race and discrimination, especially of Black Americans, in our country, and more must be done to advance LGBTQ rights, to name just two important challenges.

In celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on DACA, I express my gratitude for UC President Janet Napolitano’s leadership on this important issue. The University of California has been a key advocate for DACA and was the first university in the nation to file a lawsuit challenging the proposed rescission of the DACA policy. I invite you to read the ...

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June 16, 2020
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In 1619 the first enslaved people of African descent arrived on the shores of what is now Hampton, Virginia. While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863, the orders did not reach all parts of the confederate south until nearly two-and-a-half years later, on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This year, Juneteenth brings great significance as our world continues to confront both overt and systemic anti-Black racism. 

“Of all Emancipation Day observances, Juneteenth falls closest to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the sun, at its zenith, defies the darkness in every state, including those once shadowed by slavery.”
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In observance of this important day and to further our campus commitment in affirming that Black Lives Matter, the Office of Diversity and Outreach is hosting a special event featuring keynote speaker Dante King, who will explore the history of anti-Black racism in the United States from the colonial period to the present. We encourage all members of the UCSF community to attend this event and stay engaged throughout this important moment in time. Our office is working to curate events to facilitate healing and learning, and we encourage people to stay connected by subscribing to our newsletter.

Furthermore, we are working with all to center the voices of our Black community members to develop our plans for transformational change that dismantles anti-Black racism at UCSF.

Anti-Blackness and Its Link to White Racism, Privilege and Power presented by Dante King...

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