Blog

Campus Messages

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

February 24, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we continue to roll out our vaccination efforts, I want to acknowledge the grim milestone that we have just passed as a nation. On Monday, the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, including the nearly 1,500 people who lost their lives that day alone. We mourn the lives lost and send our heartfelt condolences to their families and friends.

The effort to vaccinate all of our communities remains one of the highest priorities across the country. To date, UCSF Health has provided more than 75,000 vaccine doses to our employees, learners, patients and community members. Now we are entering a new phase of the vaccine rollout, in alignment with the City of San Francisco, based on the state eligibility guidelines for educational institutions.

As of today, we will begin vaccinating our remaining employees and learners, as well as our patients in the new categories, following the updated California Department of Public Health guidelines. This also includes UCSF employees who are working remotely. Vaccinations for faculty, trainees and staff at UCSF Fresno are being administered locally in Fresno.

The new directive is broad and aims to enable daycare, schools, colleges and other educational institutions – including our own – to reopen safely. The new categories also include our patients who work in childcare, teaching, as first responders, or in food and agriculture.

While this is good news, it is important to understand how limited vaccine supplies remain. As vaccine production, distribution capacity...

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February 12, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

There has been an alarming increase in assaults against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and we strongly condemn these racially motivated attacks.

Anti-Asian sentiment spiked across the country at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, spurred by those who promote conspiracy theories and xenophobia, and we are now seeing a disturbing resurgence. Racial violence and harassment targeting this community has skyrocketed in recent weeks, striking some of the most vulnerable among us—seniors in the Bay Area. Tragically, an 84-year-old Thai man was fatally attacked in San Francisco and a 91-year-old man sustained grave injuries from an attack in Oakland’s Chinatown.

UCSF’s commitment to anti-racism in all its forms demands that we stand up for all members of our broader community. We stand in solidarity with the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and support their lead in calling out these injustices and protecting one another.

Recently, President Biden signed an executive order calling for greater protections for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and condemning the wave of racism and xenophobia that accompanied the pandemic. We applaud his leadership and will continue our aligned work through the UCSF Anti-Racism Initiative.

The spate of racist violence in our community in recent weeks has been unsettling. For those who may benefit from counseling and support, please seek out these UCSF resources:

...
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February 5, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We have reached a new milestone in our COVID-19 vaccination efforts, having provided more than 50,000 doses of vaccine to our employees, city health care workers, and patients. This is a phenomenal effort and I am proud of the many teams across UCSF that continue to drive this critical public health goal.

As a result of additional Pfizer vaccine supply made available this week, we have been able to move more quickly than I described in my February 1 message.

As of Monday, February 8, we will begin vaccinating all employees and learners whose work has required them to be on site at least once per week for the past three months. You will be required to attest to your eligibility when you schedule your appointment.

While this is good news, it is important to understand how limited vaccine supplies remain. As demand continues to outpace supply, we and other health care providers face the real possibility of running out of vaccines each week. I am grateful that our vaccine leadership team is working continuously to avoid this possibility. In addition, we are continuing to expand our capacity to provide vaccinations, so that we are prepared to vaccinate greater numbers of people as the vaccine supply and distribution increase.

Given the vaccine shortage, the University of California Office of the President has asked us to prioritize patients to employees at a 2:1 ratio for our remaining rollout. We will be able to vaccinate about 200 employees and learners per day for first doses in the coming weeks. UCSF ID badge swipe data indicate that approximately...

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February 1, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we make steady progress in vaccinating our highest-risk employees, learners and patients, I would like to make you aware of three new policies that will affect when and how some members of our community receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Note that these will depend on our vaccine supply, which we expect to remain limited for the next few weeks.

UCOP Establishes Vaccine Timeline for All UC Campuses

The UC Office of the President has developed a simplified framework that is aligned with state guidelines and will be used at all UC campuses during the next phase of the rollout, to help determine when patients and employees become eligible to receive the vaccine.

During the first three weeks of February, a new group will be able to start scheduling their vaccination appointments each week through MyChart.

  • Week 1 (Feb. 1): Patients and employees (on-site and remote) age 65 or older.
  • Week 2 (Feb. 8): On-site food service, childcare, veterinary/animal care, and emergency services workers who have not yet been vaccinated.
  • Week 3 (Feb. 15): All other workers who are required to be on-site at least once a week.
Self-Scheduling Your Vaccination

Last week, we launched a new MyChart system to enable our patients to self-schedule their vaccines as soon as they become eligible, based on vaccine availability. Starting next week, UCSF employees who have not been vaccinated will be able to self-schedule their vaccine through MyChart. When scheduling your appointment, you will be asked to attest that you meet the eligibility criteria. Over the next three weeks, the priority groups will be...

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January 25, 2021
Leadership
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

After more than four decades of exceptional leadership locally, statewide, and nationally, Mark Laret has informed me of his intention to retire from the University of California at the end of this calendar year.

Mark’s decision caps an incredible tenure at UC, and at UCSF. In 1980, he began his UC career at the UCLA Medical Center where he built the external relations and managed care functions, led the acquisition of Santa Monica Hospital, and positioned UCLA as a leading regional provider of care. In 1995, Mark was appointed CEO at UC Irvine Medical Center in the wake of significant challenges at their fertility center. In that role, he strengthened the management team and built an enduring values-based culture focused on always doing the right thing for patients and the community.

In 2000, we recruited Mark to become CEO of UCSF Medical Center. He joined us as a three-year merger with Stanford Hospital was ending, leaving UCSF in difficult financial and operational circumstances with a depleted management team.

Mark recruited a new leadership team and developed the medical center’s mission, vision, and PRIDE (Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence) values system, all of which endure to this day. With the support of then Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, and in partnership with then School of Medicine Dean Haile Debas and the clinical department chairs, Mark and the team developed and executed a strategic plan to make UCSF larger, stronger, and better able to serve our diverse community.

The fundamentals — quality of patient care, safety, positive patient experiences, health equity, employee engagement, and operational...

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January 21, 2021
Community
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We are pleased to announce that this afternoon the UC Board of Regents unanimously approved key provisions that clear the way for us to modernize our historic Parnassus Heights campus.

The Regents vote today caps a years-long effort by hundreds of stakeholders both inside and outside UCSF who provided their input and support to develop the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan. This milestone marks the beginning of a bold 30-year vision to transform our oldest and largest campus into a welcoming destination for our patients and employees, and improve the daily experience of living in the neighborhood.

The Parnassus Heights plan expands the possibilities for our interconnected research, educational, and clinical enterprise. New facilities designed to 21st century standards will allow us to continue attracting the best and brightest learners, researchers, physician-scientists, and clinicians. In so doing, we will ensure UCSF’s ability to drive the innovations that have improved lives for decades and have established our place among the world’s leading academic medical centers.

Among the first projects to start will be the cornerstone of the plan, a new state-of-the-art hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center that will help us meet the current and growing demand for complex health care. Additional projects that will begin in the first ten years include the new Research and Academic Building, new affordable housing at Aldea for employees and trainees, and a renewed arrival experience on Irving Street. We invite you to...

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January 21, 2021
Community
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I am writing to provide you with an update on our COVID-19 vaccine rollout and address some questions on the unpredictability of vaccine availability.

Vaccine Rollout Status Update

Our vaccinations have continued at a rapid pace. In the past month, we have provided more than 23,600 vaccines, and more than 80 percent of our frontline employees and learners have scheduled or received their inoculations. As we continue to schedule vaccinations for the remainder of our patient-facing workforce, we have begun inviting additional employees and our patients, by age groups, in alignment with state guidance.

Vaccine Doses Remain in Short Supply

Federal guidance states that those aged 65 and above are eligible to receive the vaccine, but unpredictable vaccine availability nationwide has hampered the distribution of vaccine doses to such a large group.

Like other health care institutions, UCSF is receiving limited vaccine shipments. The timeline below is based on current assumptions about vaccine availability and may shift as supplies change.

Vaccinating now:

  • Health care workers at highest risk of exposure through their work
  • Patients and employees aged 75 and older

Within the next few weeks:

  • Patients and employees aged 65 and over
  • Employees and learners whose work has required them to be on site at least once a week over the past three months

Expected later next month:

  • Patients, employees and learners in lower age tiers.

We expect to roll out a new scheduling platform for employees and patients in the coming weeks, to make this process...

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January 21, 2021
Administrative
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As a community of over 30,000 students, trainees, faculty, and staff, we come from many different backgrounds, we present different points of view, and we offer unique contributions. Embracing these differences and fostering an inclusive and equitable culture is essential to our individual and collective success. To help us reach our full potential, we will launch the Foundations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Training module to all UCSF members on January 25, 2021.

The DEI training is an important step we are taking together as an institution to cement our commitment to anti-racism, dismantling systems of inequities, and living the full meaning of our Principles of Community and PRIDE Values.

Developed by the Office of Diversity and Outreach and the UCSF Education Task Force, the training will provide the foundational knowledge and common language to better understand why diversity is core to our work. It will help us identify the actions we can take to promote a diverse, equitable, welcoming, and safe environment at UCSF—for ourselves and, importantly, for all of the patients and communities we serve. All current members of the UCSF enterprise will be expected to complete the training within the next 90 days.

Watch for an email from [email protected] on January 25 to access the training and please visit the...

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January 8, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I am pleased to share with you that UCSF is making steady progress in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

As quickly as vaccine availability allows, our goal is to restore all of the critical parts of the UCSF mission by offering vaccinations to all members of our UCSF community—including research, education, and operational/administrative areas—and to begin the important task of offering vaccinations to our patients. We know all of you share this goal and we ask for your continued patience as we systematically roll out our vaccination program.

Once we finish vaccinating employees and learners whose on-site responsibilities involve high-risk exposure to COVID-19, we expect to continue vaccinating the UCSF community in the following order later this month based on our current assumptions about vaccine availability:

  1. UCSF employees and learners whose responsibilities have required them to work on site regularly, including those in research, education, and operational/administrative areas.
  2. UCSF employees who are currently working remotely, beginning with those aged 75 years and older. We are developing our approach for all remote workers and will be sharing more information.

Importantly, as we take the steps above to strengthen UCSF’s full capabilities in service of our public mission, we will begin offering vaccinations to our patients, prioritizing by age, as guided by public health agencies. Patients will be contacted directly when vaccines become available, and they do not need to contact their care provider’s office.

You will soon receive more information on the logistics for the expanded vaccination roll out at UCSF,...

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January 7, 2021
Advocacy
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

The attack on the U.S. Capitol Building yesterday was in plain terms an attack on democracy itself—on the will of the people. I am deeply disturbed at what unfolded in our nation’s capital. But I am also resolute in our responsibility to strongly condemn this act and the actions of those who seek to further divide the country.

Despite the angry mob’s attempt to overturn the lawful results of the presidential election, our democratic institutions and process were not deterred, and the will of the people prevailed. The peaceful transition of power was only temporarily disrupted. Congress confirmed the election of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the early hours of January 7.

As President-elect Biden reminded us yesterday, democracy is fragile.

This is why we must speak up—to protect and tend to our democracy, for everyone. In this, UCSF has a unique privilege and obligation. We are an institution that exists to serve the public, empowered by the will of the people of California to serve all without bias.

As we have throughout the past year, I encourage you to look after yourselves and one another. If you need support, please make use of the health and well-being resources available to the UCSF community. Also, make time to connect with each other, something especially important as we all continue to manage the challenges of physical distance and isolation.

With the new year come hopeful signs of change. The vaccine rollout will accelerate as supplies and distribution increase, and the incoming White...

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