Blog

Campus Messages

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

October 22, 2020
Leadership
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that after a national search, Matthew Cook will be joining UCSF Health as president of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, and senior vice president of Children’s Services, effective December 31.

Matt will be responsible for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, a $1.4 billion pediatric enterprise. He will oversee strategic direction, operations and clinical services for all pediatric services and will partner with academic programs. Matt will report directly to me and the Board of Directors of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. He will be a core member of the UCSF Health leadership team, and member of the UCSF Health Leadership Council, which shapes our strategic direction.

His appointment was enthusiastically recommended by the Board of Directors of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, and on Tuesday, we received approval for his appointment from the UC Board of Regents.

Matt is a seasoned health care leader, with experience in operations and strategy and a history of working effectively with boards. Since 2016, he has been president of Riley Children’s Health and also chief strategy officer of Indiana University Health (IU Health) in Indianapolis, the largest health system in Indiana with over $7 billion in revenue, 17 hospitals and 40,000 employees.

At Riley Children’s Health, he has provided strategic direction and leadership for pediatric services throughout IU Health, as well as the maternity program based in downtown Indianapolis. He has direct leadership of the 314-bed Riley Hospital for Children and the 101-bed maternal and newborn health program at IU Methodist Hospital, along with the 39-bed pediatric program at IU...

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September 1, 2020
Advocacy
Community
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pleased to announce that for the 13th consecutive year, UCSF Health has been named an “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.

UCSF Medical Center was the first major hospital in the nation to participate in HRC’s annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) and is the only hospital that has done so every year since the HEI’s inception. Well before other health systems and the HEI, UCSF Health extended foundational discrimination protections to LGBTQ individuals, providing nation-leading training in LGBTQ health needs and developing policies and practices to optimize care for LGBTQ people. You can read more about the HEI, UCSF Health’s LGBTQ-centered medical services, and the new UCSF Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health here.

High-quality care is built on trust between a provider and patient in a safe, welcoming environment, and I am immensely proud of our track record. I also know that we must continuously do better, which is why last year I asked consultant Shane Snowdon, who from 1999 to 2012 was the first full-time director of the UCSF LGBT Resource Center, to initiate a comprehensive review of how UCSF Health...

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August 20, 2020
People
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

Chancellor Sam Hawgood and his Cabinet recently announced an Anti-racism Initiative aimed at dismantling structural racism across UCSF. I want to reiterate my personal commitment, and that of UCSF Health, to this important work. I also want to share additional ways UCSF Health is addressing racism - in particular health care disparities - and how you can help.

It is well documented that health care disparities are rooted in factors such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, among others.  The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color here and across the country is yet one more example. 

Health care disparities also are preventable. Identifying and eliminating disparities is an essential part of health care quality, critical to our mission and a reflection of our PRIDE values.  There have been solid efforts underway, some of which are listed below, but there is much more work to be done. We acknowledge, and are addressing, for example, the fact that race is a social and political construct that is problematic in how it is used in our medical algorithms, decision-making tools, and patient care communications. For all of these reasons, health equity is an integral theme across Vision 2025, our strategic plan.

UCSF Health Equity Council (HEC)

The HEC was established, stimulated in part by the School of Medicine’s Differences Matter initiative, with the understanding that to make meaningful changes throughout our organization, health equity must be an operational and strategic priority - central to all of our work. The Council focuses...

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June 5, 2020
Community
People
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

The past weeks have exposed, in undeniable ways, a problem that has been festering in this country – the unjust treatment of people of color.

We are all feeling pain and anger in different ways. Some of you have spent a lifetime taking daily precautions in order to safely navigate society in ways a white person never has to consider.

For others, who don’t ever worry about getting pulled over by police when simply out driving – and how to respond - or ways to shop without aggravating suspicions of a store manager, the recent deaths of black people jogging outside, sleeping in their homes, and now, under a policeman’s knee, are exposing horrendous gaps in how people of color are treated in our country.

Racism and injustice are pervasive problems that require societal solutions that start with each of us. At UCSF Health, we must accelerate our work to reduce health disparities, and the inequities in our own culture that have been brought to light in recent engagement surveys.

There are actions we can take that are in our immediate control. As a start, I ask everyone at UCSF Health to join me in doing three things: listen, learn and lead.

I have been reaching out to colleagues to ask them how they are doing. Please respect that everyone may be processing events differently. Use your best judgement to let colleagues and teams know you are there for conversation and support. Race and ethnicity can be difficult topics to discuss, and it may be uncomfortable, which is precisely the reason it is so important for us to do. We may use the wrong words at times. But if the outreach comes from a place of genuine compassion and concern, we can listen to...

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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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June 18, 2019
Honors and Awards
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

We are proud to announce that UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals have again ranked among the nation’s preeminent children’s hospitals in all 10 pediatric specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report, which released the results of its annual Best Children’s Hospitals survey today.

Together, our two hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco ranked fifth nationwide and best in the West in neonatology, and were recognized as the best in Northern California in pediatric cancer care; cardiology & heart surgery; gastroenterology & GI surgery; and neurology & neurosurgery. We also scored highly in five other specialties surveyed: diabetes & endocrinology; nephrology; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology. More information, including our complete rankings, is available in the press release.

We are especially excited to see significant improvement in many of this year’s standings compared to last year’s survey results. Of particular note, our 2019-2020 rankings increased in seven specialties from the prior year, with a leap of six places in neurology & neurosurgery, and more than 15 places in cardiology & heart surgery, and orthopedics.

The importance of these results is twofold. First, the rankings continue to reflect the high-quality care we provide to our patients and their families. And second, our improvement across so many fields in one year’s time indicates the marked progress BCH has made in coming together as a unified children’s health enterprise.

...

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June 3, 2019
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that we will welcome our first patients at the new UCSF Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building (PCMB) at Mission Bay on June 24.

The PCMB embodies the most advanced and compassionate model of translational medicine available and represents UCSF’s commitment to patient-centered care. By bringing together researchers, clinicians and staff to provide supportive care in a building where we will offer immunotherapy, molecular profiling, and genetic counseling, we are setting a new standard for personalized cancer care and research in the Bay Area.

The six-story, 170,000-square-foot facility will serve as the heart of outpatient solid tumor care at UCSF. Designed with the help of our patients and clinical teams around the patient experience, the PCMB will be home to clinical experts and support providers, including dieticians, social workers, psycho-oncologists, genetic counselors, and symptom management and integrative medicine. On September 9, we also will open a new Cancer Acute Care Center dedicated to reducing visits to the emergency department and readmissions due to treatment side effects.

The PCMB places patients and families at the center of a new generation of precision medicine, which tailors care based on each individual’s biology and life circumstances. The building is situated within steps of the UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital and the Mission Bay research building for the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, which will enhance collaborations between researchers and clinicians to accelerate new treatments and speed them to patients.

UCSF is a world leader in precision medicine, which aims to yield new...

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December 10, 2018
Leadership
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

David Odato, senior vice president, human resources, at UCSF Health and associate vice chancellor, human resources, for UCSF, has announced his decision to retire in June 2019.

David has worked at UCSF for more than 29 years, providing leadership for key UCSF-wide initiatives and multi-campus efforts for the University of California. He also has developed strategies and implemented programs to improve the experience for UC staff.

In his current role, he is responsible for human resources at UCSF, and leads strategic initiatives to ensure UCSF attracts, develops and retains diverse, top-tier talent. Odato also oversees human resources' strategic and operational activities as well as occupational health and learning and organizational development.

During his career, which started at Mount Zion in 1985, David has many accomplishments to celebrate. He has been instrumental in UCSF’s years-long transition journey to UC Path, the UC wide common system to support HR, payroll and benefits activities. His leadership was invaluable during times of significant change at UCSF and UCSF Health, particularly the merger and demerger with Stanford, and most recently our growth from a hospital to a health system with affiliations across the Bay Area. He has been very involved at the UC system level, including significant work on pension reform. David has led numerous improvement initiatives to enable HR to better support the expanding HR needs of a growing enterprise, work that will continue in his remaining time at UCSF and into the future.

David will assist in the transition as we recruit a new leader. We thank him for his extraordinary service and contributions...

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June 12, 2018
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pleased to announce two new options for adult and pediatric care in the East Bay, for you and other UCSF Health patients. This is especially important at a time when more people are looking for convenient, outpatient locations to receive their health care.

Berkeley Outpatient Center
Yesterday was the opening of the Berkeley Outpatient Center, our first jointly operated and staffed facility with John Muir Health. The center is located near the UC Berkeley campus and offers adult specialty and primary care, urgent care, and lab and imaging services. Specialties available now are dermatology, neurosurgery, neurology, ophthalmology (including the UC Berkeley Optometry and Optical Shop), orthopedics, gastrointestinal, rheumatology, and urology. Additional specialties will be added in the coming months.

We’ve had a long-standing partnership with John Muir Health, and the facility enables both organizations’ clinicians to work together to provide high-quality care under one roof in an easily accessible location for patients in the East Bay.

The center also expands opportunities for care within the Canopy Health network, which already has more than 5,000 doctors, dozens of care centers and numerous hospitals across seven Bay Area counties. You can read more about the Berkeley Outpatient Center in this press release and at its website.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland Outpatient...

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August 7, 2017
Honors and Awards
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

This morning, U.S. News & World Report released its annual rankings of best hospitals in the United States. I am very pleased to share the results: UCSF Medical Center is the fifth best hospital in the nation, the best hospital in California and the best hospital in the West.

Further, of the 16 specialties that U.S. News evaluates, UCSF ranks in the top 25 for 15 specialties and in the top ten for 13. The entire rankings can be viewed here.

While we acknowledge that all ranking systems are imperfect and can change from year to year, I truly believe that these scores accurately reflect the intense work that has taken place at UCSF over the past several years. That work includes an unrelenting focus on quality and safety, increasing access, investing in our people, lowering costs and improving our patients’ experience.

But more than anything else, these scores placing UCSF Medical Center among the top handful of hospitals in the United States reflect the quality of our faculty physicians. Their scientific innovation and creativity coupled with the exceptional care they provide to every patient, 24/7, drive our national and international standing.

Credit for the quality of UCSF’s faculty is shared by many, but it starts at the top, with Chancellor (and former School of Medicine Dean) Sam Hawgood and current Dean Talmadge King. They have jointly recruited and supported a stellar group of clinical and basic science department chairs, each of whom has recruited division chiefs and faculty whose impact advances these rankings directly or indirectly. Please take time to acknowledge our...

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