Blog

Campus Messages

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

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
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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June 5, 2019
Advocacy

Dear UCSF Community,

UCSF strongly opposes today’s abrupt decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to discontinue intramural fetal tissue research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The efforts by the administration to impede this work will undermine scientific discovery and the ability to find effective treatments for serious and life-threatening disease. Fetal tissue is used in important research aimed at discovering cures for illnesses that affect the lives of millions of Americans, including Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injury, eye disease, and HIV.

At UCSF, today’s action ends a 30-year partnership with the NIH to use specially designed models that could be developed only through the use of fetal tissue to find a cure for HIV. UCSF exercised appropriate oversight and complied with all state and federal laws. We believe this decision to be politically motivated, shortsighted, and not based on sound science.

UCSF will continue to collaborate with the UC Office of the President, as well as with other universities, science associations, and affiliated organizations, to advocate for sustained federal funding of fetal tissue research with Congress and the Administration.

Sincerely,

...

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June 4, 2019
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

This month, members of our community will come together to celebrate Pride Month and mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

UCSF unequivocally reaffirms its support for the LGBTQ community. Our unwavering commitment to protect the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ community is especially crucial today in the wake of several federal actions that would roll back basic human rights, including access to health care and homeless shelters. Among them:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a regulation on May 24 that removes current anti-discrimination protections for transgender Americans from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), asserting that discrimination on the basis of sex should not include gender identity. The proposal essentially says that gender identity is not protected under federal laws that prohibit discrimination in health care.
  • The HHS released a...
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May 29, 2019
Partnerships

Dear UCSF Community:

Partnerships with peer institutions and industry leaders are an important part of our strategy to accelerate our work across all of UCSF’s mission areas. When considering these relationships, we must ensure that potential partners can sufficiently protect and safeguard any sensitive data we share as part of our collaboration.

A task force comprising UCSF leaders in research, technology, and operations has been working to better understand the unique opportunities and challenges confronting UCSF in regard to our collaborations and partnerships with external entities that include sharing sensitive data. Generally, the task force recommended streamlining the process for setting up external collaborations and establishing efficient oversight of certain types of relationships that involve sharing sensitive data.

The work to implement these recommendations is underway. The first step is to activate an interim process to flag high-risk data sharing proposals for review by the UCSF Enterprise Information and Analytics Committee (EIA) led by Dr. Jennifer Grandis. Specifically, prior to executing a contract, our designated contracting teams will forward to the EIA proposed partnership contracts that involve:

  • Sharing any UC-protected health information (PHI) outside of IRB-approved clinical trials
  • Sharing sensitive UCSF data with high-risk countries or companies
    • Identified using Restricted Party Screening software from Visual Compliance® and information from government and law enforcement authorities (e.g., FBI)
  • ...
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May 28, 2019
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues, Friends, Concerned Citizens:

Over the past several weeks, and in particular at the recent meeting of the UC Board of Regents, we have seen and heard hundreds of thoughtful, principled, and impassioned statements about UCSF’s proposal to expand our relationship with Dignity Health’s four Bay Area hospitals.

Many of you have expressed strong concerns about a significantly expanded UCSF relationship with a health care system that has certain limits on women’s reproductive services, LGBTQ care, and end-of-life options. Meanwhile, many of you have been adamant that UCSF must build on its decades-long affiliation with Dignity Health in order to provide critically needed health care services to our Bay Area communities.

We respect and appreciate the diversity of opinions from multiple stakeholders both within UCSF and outside our University, and we have heard you all. In the past several days, we have met internally, with Dignity Health, and with leaders both in the University of California Office of the President and the Regents. Given the concerns, we will not continue to pursue the affiliation as it had been envisioned, which would have created a stronger link between UCSF Health and Dignity Health’s four Bay Area hospitals.

What remains true is that the critical patient needs that have driven our discussions with Dignity Health still exist, and we have a responsibility to meet them. Going forward, we will continue to work to identify a path to help meet those needs and increase access to crucial health services. We will develop solutions that address many of the concerns we have heard. We are particularly sensitive to addressing the unique needs of women,...

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May 17, 2019
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Yesterday, we were challenged with the fifth labor action within the past year. The disruptions caused by these repeated strikes are significant and affect the entire UCSF community – faculty, staff, trainees, students, visitors, and especially our patients.

Once more, UCSF Health rescheduled hundreds of patient appointments. For those patients who remained in our hospitals or received outpatient services, it continues to be disconcerting that they are forced to reschedule appointments or maneuver through picket lines in order to receive the excellent care that our clinicians and staff provide.

As before, we extend our gratitude to each of you who came to work and who planned and helped UCSF through this trying time. We are appreciative of the volunteers and replacement workers who enabled UCSF to continue providing services and the professionalism of those who chose to participate in the labor action.

No matter your opinion about strikes, everyone in the UCSF family is bonded by our UCSF PRIDE Values: professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence and our shared mission of advancing health worldwide. The work involved in ensuring the safety and security of the entire UCSF community, especially over repeated labor actions, can create very real tensions among colleagues. As we come together today and in the future toward fulfilling UCSF's mission, we ask that everyone recommit to these values.

We continue to hope and expect that the UC Office of the President and union leaders are committed to finding a resolution to these labor contract issues soon.

Thank you for all that you do for UCSF and UCSF Health...

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May 13, 2019
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Many of you have heard about our intention to expand our collaboration with Dignity Health. Although a proposal has not yet been finalized, our efforts are being publicly discussed.

We want to be clear as to why we are exploring this collaboration with Dignity and how, together, we can expand patient access to quality health care – care for women, care for the LGBTQ community, and care for all patients. We want to underscore that UCSF’s PRIDE Values will be central to this affiliation and are central to all that we do.

In addition, we want to let you know where you can find information about our plans with Dignity. Information is available on our Dignity Health Affiliation page, including FAQs, a letter from the UCSF Academic Senate, and a faculty opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.

What we are exploring is a broader affiliation between UCSF Health and Dignity Health. The aim is to expand our services at four Dignity hospitals – St. Mary’s Medical Center and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, and Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. This would be an expansion of our current relationship with Dignity, a relationship...

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