Blog

Campus Messages

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

September 5, 2019
Honors and Awards

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

We are delighted to share the news that David Julius, PhD, has received a 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. This award recognizes him for “discovering molecules, cells, and mechanisms underlying pain sensation.”

David, professor and chair of the Department of Physiology, was honored for his groundbreaking work in understanding the molecular basis of pain. Through his years at UCSF, David has spearheaded some of the major advances in the field through his identification and characterization of a unique class of nerve-cell ion channels known as TRP (“trip”) receptors.

In that work, David has used distinctive molecules from the natural world – tarantula and scorpion toxins, and the compounds that produce the heat in chili peppers and the zing of wasabi, for instance – to gain an understanding of how signals responsible for temperature and pain sensation are transmitted by neural circuits to the brain. This work has stimulated significant research among scientists who aim to better understand and treat chronic pain, placing David among the world’s most-cited scientists.

David’s work was driven from the start by the great need for effective pain medications without the side effects and addictive potential of opioid drugs. His research has led to significant interest in TRP channels as potential targets for new painkillers. As such, he personifies the importance of basic research in understanding both health and disease. More details on his work can be found at UCSF.edu....

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September 3, 2019
Advocacy
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

As you likely have heard, the government recently issued a change to a federal immigration policy that puts in jeopardy the life of one our patients at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and other patients across the United States. The outcry from the public, media, elected officials, and health care community has prompted the federal administration to delay action on this policy.

Yesterday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would postpone immediate elimination of the “humanitarian medical deferred action” program and reopen patient cases that were shut on August 7. This program has allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while they or their families receive medical treatment not available in their own countries. The decision refers only to those cases that were pending on August 7 and does not address long-term implications for our patient, Isabel Bueso, and others. We are continuing to monitor this issue closely, working with Isabel and her family.

In the meantime if you would like to learn more about Isabel and express your concern, visit the Change.org webpage that her family has established to advocate on her behalf.

Isabel, who has been treated by our physicians at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland for more than 16 years, with weekly, six-hour infusions, was ordered by USCIS to leave the country in 33 days or be deported without an opportunity to appeal the decision.

Isabel came to the U.S. from Guatemala at...

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August 21, 2019
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues:

We are requesting your cooperation to be mindful of your actions in our community as UCSF continues to receive complaints from our neighbors about litter left in front of their houses.

While our neighbors’ concerns likely are the actions of a few people, they cast a negative image of our organization to our surrounding community. Our neighbors’ specific complaints primarily are about discarded cigarettes, gloves, food wrappers, and medical garbage.

Maintaining positive relationships with our immediate neighbors is very important to UCSF. We work with our neighbors on shared activities to improve the safety of areas in which UCSF employees and students live and travel to work and study. They are critical partners in our planning to construct new buildings or create new programs for patients and families. But even more important, being a good neighbor is simply the right thing to do.

We have policies in effect that we expect everyone to follow, and we request that you treat our neighboring community as if it is your own. Please note the following information:

  • Remove all gloves, masks, and hairnets and place them, as well as all medical garbage, in trash receptacles inside of our buildings. It is not appropriate to discard any of these materials in outside receptacles.
  • UCSF is a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus, which includes our neighboring communities. This policy is in effect for all University of California...
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August 13, 2019
Advocacy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized a new rule that would change “public charge” policies, expanding the conditions under which DHS could reject green cards for those who are deemed likely to become dependent on government aid, including public health and nutritional benefits. This move is antithetical to UCSF’s values of health equality and dignity of all people.

University of California President Janet Napolitano issued a statement yesterday, saying this new rule “sends a detrimental message internationally — that the United States does not want other countries to send their best and brightest here to study and add to the intellectual exchange at our universities, to conduct important research, and to contribute substantially to our economy, among other things.” Read her full statement.

On behalf of the leadership at UCSF, I want to echo President Napolitano’s concerns about the chilling...

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August 5, 2019
Community
Emergency

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Just one week ago, we expressed our heartfelt condolences to the victims of the Gilroy shooting and their families. We now convey our deepest sympathies to the families and communities whose lives and sense of security have been forever shattered by two more mass shootings within less than 24 hours this past weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

We are dismayed that gun violence has escalated as a public health epidemic and has sadly become an all-too-frequent reality. We will not become ambivalent or complacent to this senseless loss of life.

We may feel helpless, but we should not be hopeless or voiceless. Please remember that UCSF offers support services during these troubled times:

In addition, the...

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July 16, 2019
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointments of two key leadership positions: Won Ha as vice chancellor for Communications and Francesca Vega as vice chancellor for Community and Government Relations.

Won and Francesca will lead teams that formerly made up the Office of University Relations. As I previously announced, the accelerated growth of the University and its associated community impact highlighted a need to create two robust units – the Office of Communications and the Office of Community and Government Relations. Staff in these two offices will continue to work closely together to strengthen our relationships and to raise the visibility of UCSF’s excellence across our enterprise.

Won Ha joins UCSF from the Energy Foundation, where he is currently vice president of Strategic Communications, setting the strategic vision and communications objectives for policy and public engagement regarding the foundation’s climate change advocacy programs. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Won is deeply rooted in the health care industry, having previously worked at Kaiser Permanente for many years. At Kaiser, he successfully led national issues and brand management for the integrated health care system – hospitals, health plans, and physician groups – in eight states and the District of Columbia. He also advised leadership amid evolving competitive and legislative changes during health care reform and the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Won’s broad experience building and leading strategic communications and managing complex issues in large, decentralized organizations like UCSF positions him well to serve as vice chancellor for Communications. ...

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July 12, 2019
Advocacy
Community
Emergency

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are deeply concerned about the impact of current immigration policies on our institution, our city, and our nation.

Like many of you, we are heartbroken by the unprecedented humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border. As we first stated a year ago, we are extremely troubled by the separation of children from families, and we denounce any mistreatment of migrants in detention centers.

We are also very concerned by media reports that suggest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials plan to initiate nationwide raids targeting undocumented migrant families.

We condemn these policies that discriminate against and dehumanize immigrants and undocumented people in our country. Research from our own faculty shows that people, especially children, suffer devastating and chronic consequences to their health due to both short and long-term exposure to traumatic experiences.

As a public university, UCSF is committed to improving health for all people, and we will continue to provide care without regard to ethnicity or citizenship status. We are working with community-based partners to advance local initiatives, such as the UCSF Center for Immigrant and Family Health to provide high-level leadership, advocacy, research, and training focused on the immigrant patients we serve. We also will continue to provide a safe and supportive environment for our immigrant learners, faculty, and staff.

We urge everyone to unite around our shared PRIDE Values and to stay...

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July 3, 2019
Advocacy
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

The Trump Administration has announced plans to increase enforcement actions against undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after the July 4th holiday. Media reports name San Francisco as one of the target cities.

I want to be clear: UCSF Health cares for all patients, regardless of immigration status, and we will continue to do everything possible to make every patient and family feel safe and welcome in our organization. I also want you to know how you should respond if ICE officers enter our facilities and request information about patients and families.

We have a public mission to deliver safe, quality and equitable health care, without regard to a person’s ethnicity or citizenship. We can only do so if patients are able to seek our care without fear and have trust in our providers.

We do not collect information about immigration status or report undocumented individuals, and we never release patient information without authorization by the patient or without being required to do so by law.

If a federal immigration officer requests information or records about our patients, or gives you a warrant or subpoena seeking records or information, you should take the following steps:

  • Ask the officer's name, identification number and agency affiliation;

  • Ask for a copy of any warrant or subpoena presented;

  • Inform the officer that you are not obstructing the process but need to contact UCSF Health Legal Counsel at 415-476-5003 for assistance.

    ...
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July 3, 2019
Administrative

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are writing to share a brief summary of results of the 2019 UCSF Staff Engagement Survey conducted in May. Thank you to all of the staff who voiced your opinions. This survey is important because it helps us understand your experiences at work and our progress toward our shared goal of making UCSF a great place to work.

We achieved 72% participation across the UCSF campus and UCSF Health West Bay, an overall increase of 2% compared to last year. We also continue to have a very slight improvement in staff engagement. Our grand mean score, on a five-point scale, increased by .02 to 3.96 in 2019, compared to the .01 increase between the 2017 and 2018 surveys. While these are improvements, we remain far from our goal to be among the best organizations in the country.

The 2019 results also show where we must continue to focus efforts. The gap between populations of employees who are more and less engaged remains significant, although our latest results show it has narrowed slightly.

The positive news is that staff remain steadfast in their strong connection to the UCSF mission and their dedication to quality work. Additionally, teams who engaged in action planning and made meaningful progress on those plans showed higher overall engagement again this year.

Highly engaged staff correlate to positive improvements in all areas of an organization. We are making progress and know there are two key ways that everyone at UCSF can contribute:

  • First, we encourage managers to communicate your results with your teams, set goals, and implement action plans throughout the year. You can find resources on the...
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June 20, 2019
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you about several upcoming changes to the Office of Strategic Communications and University Relations.

Vice Chancellor Barbara J. French will retire from UCSF on June 27, after 14 years of exemplary service. As head of Strategic Communications and University Relations, Barbara has provided invaluable counsel to me and my leadership team as well as former chancellors on issues related to communications, media relations, brand stewardship, government affairs, and community relations. She has led an award-winning team in elevating how we tell the UCSF story to our communities and to the world during a critical period in the growth of our enterprise.

Under Barbara’s leadership, University Relations has played a crucial role in advancing UCSF’s strategic priorities, including fostering constructive relationships with Mission Bay and Dogpatch residents to inform and support the expansion of UCSF programs; partnering with Parnassus Heights neighbors to create and adopt a 20-year Mount Sutro Reserve Management Plan and lay the groundwork for engaging the community in the re-envisioning of our historic Parnassus Heights campus; engaging communities in Oakland and Alameda County in support of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals; revitalizing and strengthening the UCSF brand identity system; developing UCSF’s presence across a broad and rapidly changing digital landscape; collaborating to create opportunities for San Francisco residents to relaunch...

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