Campus Messages

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

November 20, 2019
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Colleagues:

I am writing to share with you a development in an important discussion taking place at the six UC campuses with medical centers and the Office of the President about UC’s affiliations with other health care systems.

After we shared with you last week the progress the University is making on amending our agreements with other health systems, UCSF received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asking UC to terminate its contracts with all Catholic health care organizations, and not enter into any new ones. The ACLU’s request cited the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which prohibit certain types of care—a set of policies that is at odds with UC values.

The unintended consequences of the ACLU’s request

The ACLU has made numerous contributions that have made our communities stronger, for which we should all be very thankful. However, the request to terminate all UC relationships with any Catholic health care organization may have consequences for access the ACLU does not intend. It would also weaken some of the University of California’s educational programs that rely on access to training rotations in a variety of health care settings and geographies across the state.

In straightforward terms, UC’s affiliations with other health systems enable us to train more students, advance our research mission, and serve the health care needs of more patients than we can alone.

Terminating all of our existing affiliations with Dignity Health and other Catholic health...

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November 15, 2019
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

UCSF’s mission to advance health includes a responsibility to address disparities in care, with special attention to underserved populations. Increasing access to comprehensive health care – for groups such as the economically disadvantaged, the LGBTQI community, and women – is and will remain a fundamental part of the work we do.

As you know, across UC Health and at UCSF Health, access to beds and clinic appointments are limited by capacity and geography. Because of this, UC Health entities have been forging relationships with other health systems in our geographies or in more remote locations.

Affiliations with other health systems help UC broaden access to care and leverage our high-quality research-backed care by:

  • Expanding UC health care’s geographic reach through health systems that have facilities where we don’t have a presence, including in many underserved communities
  • Providing UC patients with access to specialized services not available at our own facilities, and in turn providing patients at other systems access to UC services they could not otherwise receive—including women’s reproductive health services, LGBTQI-related care, and end-of-life care
  • Providing access to inpatient services when UC hospitals are full
  • Sharing UC’s expertise to help other organizations improve care and patient outcomes
  • Maintaining training opportunities for the next generation of UC health care professionals

Our goal is to broaden access to UC’s high-quality care services and broaden the influence of UC care standards in other health systems while guiding our work with the values of our...

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November 14, 2019
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Yesterday, we faced the challenge of another labor action. Thanks to the efforts of our planning and care delivery teams, we were able to minimize the disruption for our patients and UCSF community.

UCSF’s exclusive focus on health binds our community with a purpose unlike that of others. It also comes with a privilege and obligation to serve our patients’ care needs as one of our most important priorities.

We extend our gratitude to everyone who helped ensure the needs of our patients were served, and we appreciate the professionalism of those who made the difficult decision to participate in the labor action. Strikes have the potential to create lasting divisions, which is why we are grateful for how our community members treat one another with respect and integrity, especially during times like these.

As we all return to work, we hope that AFSCME and the UC Office of the President will soon reach an agreement at the bargaining table, where we believe the most constructive dialogue occurs.

Please join us in welcoming back our AFSCME-represented colleagues and resuming what we do best: advancing health worldwide and serving our patients.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

Mark R. Laret
President and CEO
UCSF Health

November 6, 2019
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We have received a one-day strike notice from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union for its Service and Patient Care Technical Units (SX and EX). AFSCME’s labor action will begin Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at 12:00 a.m. and end at 11:59 p.m.

As we have stated, we respect our employees’ rights to representation and freedom of speech. At UCSF, we also have a responsibility to serve the health care needs of our patients, as well as the needs of others who rely on us for services supporting our research and education activities.

UCSF is unique because of our single focus on health research, education, and care delivery. Strikes come at a cost for everyone involved, with more missed employee work days, rescheduled appointments, and other interruptions to our ability to provide health care. As part of our mission, we have a critical responsibility to put the needs of our patients first. We must take actions that include recruiting replacement workers to minimize the impact of the strike, which unfairly places our patients in the middle of a labor dispute.

Our colleagues who are represented by AFSCME will be making personal decisions about whether they will report to work on November 13, and it is imperative that we all treat each other with respect and professionalism.

We recognize that strikes create hardships for our union-represented colleagues as well. Our colleagues who are represented by AFSCME are essential to UCSF’s success. They serve in a range of important functions and services, from providing patient care to ensuring efficient operational services across our campus and health system. We ask...

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November 1, 2019
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

The Kincade wildfire, changing air quality, recurring power outages, and school closures have presented significant challenges for many who live in California, including members of our own UCSF community. We are grateful to all of you, who despite these ongoing hardships, continue to fulfill our collective responsibilities to provide care, conduct research, learn, and educate.

We thank our UCSF police officers for providing mutual aid to agency partners, and we thank our health care teams for coordinating multiple patient transfers to our hospital from those in Sonoma and Marin counties that faced closures or power outages. We also thank our emergency management teams who led response efforts across the UCSF enterprise. In each situation, these teams have stepped up to help ensure the safety and security of our community and to make certain that our operations continue without disruption.

As wildfires and the resulting negative impact on air quality become an all-too-common experience of California life, UCSF will continue to monitor, and provide advisories on, hazardous weather conditions to ensure your safety and the continuity of our care delivery and academic mission.

During this challenging time, we are keeping a focus on the welfare of our UCSF community and their families. We realize that ongoing power outages across the region are disrupting routine activities such as cooking meals and securing childcare when schools are...

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