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Campus Messages

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

April 1, 2022
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

This month of April is an important month of holy days for Christians, Jews, and Muslims around the world. This evening, April 1, Muslims in the U.S. will honor the start of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. Because this holiday centers around daily fasting, it is important for us at UCSF to be aware of the needs of our patients, colleagues, students, staff, faculty, and community members who observe this holy month by fasting. Fasting includes refraining from consuming any food or drink, including water, during daylight hours.

There are nearly two billion Muslims worldwide, comprising almost a quarter of the world’s population. Nearly 250,000 Muslims live in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 3.5% of the region’s total residents. Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and the month begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon, so the dates of Ramadan’s beginning and ending may vary in different locations. Lasting for 30 days, in the U.S. Ramadan will end on Sunday, May 1, with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr starting on Monday, May 2.

Fasting during Ramadan, as well as increased prayer and acts of charity, are engaged to cultivate kindness, generosity, patience and forgiveness, and invite those observing to increase awareness of God’s presence in their lives.

Ramadan is seen as an opportunity to reflect on one’s actions and to engage in good deeds with family, friends, and communities. Some are exempt from fasting, such as children, those who are ill, travelers, and those who are menstruating, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

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March 31, 2022
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

Beginning today, March 31, UCSF will begin administering second COVID-19 booster shots for people 50 years and older and those who are immunocompromised to protect them against waning immunity following authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday.

UCSF continues to offer the primary COVID-19 vaccination series and first booster shots. Vaccines remain the most effective way to prevent severe disease and death due to coronavirus.  The recent Omicron variant further underscores the importance of vaccinations, boosters and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.

UCSF and Benioff Children’s Hospital employees, learners and patients may drop-in at their convenience to a UCSF COVID-19 vaccine clinic location or schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine (primary series, first and second booster shots) by calling (415) 476-3307. Scheduling is also available through the online patient portal MyChart.

Locations and extended hours of operation at UCSF’s COVID-19 clinics are posted on the vaccination page on the coronavirus website. More information about this new round of booster shots will be provided during the UCSF COVID-19 Response Town Hall this Friday, April 1.

Specifically, here’s what you should know:

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March 9, 2022
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

It is heartbreaking to see the magnitude of the devastation, as the war in Ukraine has lasted almost two weeks. As the humanitarian crisis escalates, I write to update you on actions we are taking at UCSF.

I have activated the UCSF Global Disaster Assistance Committee (GDAC) to support members of the UCSF community who may be interested in volunteering their time with organizations such as Doctors Without Borders to provide care and support outside the war zone. I expect that the global response to medical needs in Ukraine and neighboring countries will be huge, so the exact opportunities for us are not yet certain. Nonetheless, please reach out to GDAC if you have questions by emailing [email protected].

We also are organizing a fundraising drive to raise money to support Ukrainian scholars at risk, like we did for Afghan scholars. Thanks to the contributions of many of you in our UCSF community, we raised about $150,000 in the Afghan scholars initiative. More information on this latest effort focused on Ukraine will be forthcoming.

In addition, we also are looking into ways in which UCSF Health can provide medical equipment and supplies to aid victims while we balance our own supply chain challenges and needs.

Many of you have asked what you can do to support the people of Ukraine. One way is to donate money to help support the more than two million refugees who have reportedly fled the country since Russia’s invasion began on February 24. We urge you to donate to credible non-profit organizations that are assisting the people of Ukraine. They include:

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March 4, 2022
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

We are excited to invite you to the fourth annual UCSF celebration of International Women's Day (March 8) and the start of Women's History Month. This week of events, which takes place March 7 through March 11, is an opportunity for us to join in community to celebrate, recognize, and honor the amazing women at UCSF.

The program for the week — sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women, Office of Diversity and Outreach, Women of UCSF Health, and Women in Tech @ UCSF — features a wide array of programming, including a deep dive into the latest research on the disparities faced by women in medicine; a Fireside Chat with UCSF Presidential Chair Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, on the intersection of race and gender; a discussion with UCSF women leaders about how mentorship has shaped their careers; complimentary headshots; and more. Please visit the event website for the full schedule of events.

This year's International Women's Day campaign theme is #BreaktheBias, a call to action for all of us to challenge, call out, and stop gender stereotypes, discrimination, and bias. Much progress has been made on the path toward gender equity for all, but there is more work to be done. So let us join in the collective effort to break the bias and work toward gender equity within our organization and beyond.

​​We hope that you attend UCSF International Women's Day events. All genders are welcome.

Sincerely,

Renée Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor
Chief...

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March 4, 2022
Leadership
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

On Tuesday, we welcomed Suresh Gunasekaran as President and CEO of UCSF Health.

In the coming days and weeks, he will be deeply immersed in learning about our organization and the people who comprise it. Suresh will be visiting clinical and non-clinical locations to meet as many of our staff and faculty as possible.

Meanwhile, we send this introductory video in which Suresh shares his thoughts on a number of topics, including why he chose UCSF Health, his commitment to patients, the well-being of our workforce, and teamwork.

I encourage you to scroll to the bottom of his bio page, which includes some fun facts that will help us get to know him better.

You also can read more about his background in this UCSF.edu story.

Suresh brings an impressive track record of health care leadership, and I am looking forward to working with him as our nationally recognized health system continues to evolve.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

March 2, 2022
Administrative

Dear UCSF Community,

We are seeing an increase in cyber threats as a result of world events. Our IT teams are working together to bolster our defenses, but keeping UCSF safe requires vigilance from everyone.

Please follow these important recommendations to keep yourself and UCSF safe.

  • If you’re not sure if an email is legitimate, click the Report Phish button in Outlook. See https://it.ucsf.edu/service/phish-alarm for instructions and support.
  • Do not open unexpected or suspicious attachments:
    • Do you know the sender? Look for email tags identifying external or suspicious senders. Look carefully at the email address. It should be spelled correctly and come from a trusted source , e.g., [email protected] instead of [email protected]
    • See https://it.ucsf.edu/how-to/email-tagging for information about email tags.
    • Are you expecting an attachment from this person? If not, contact them to verify.
  • If the email asks you to click a link:
    • Pay attention to what the email is asking you. Attackers try to create feelings of familiarity, fear, or urgency to get you to click without thinking.
    • Do you know the sender? Are you expecting a link from them? If not, contact them to verify.
    • If you’re not sure, don’t click. Delete the email or report it using the Report Phish button.
  • If you use a personal computer for UCSF...
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March 2, 2022
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

I am pleased to invite you to a special exhibit—Experience Parnassus—featuring UCSF’s plans for a re-imagined Parnassus Heights campus. The exhibit provides an overview of our ambitious plans to modernize our historic campus and strengthen our integrated mission of globally recognized education, research, and care delivery.

The Experience Parnassus exhibit includes an immersive 3D virtual reality tour of one of the first projects to be built: the proposed new state-of-the-art hospital at the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights. Designed by award-winning architects, engineers, and builders, the new hospital will create a “healing habitat” for patients. It will include spaces that foster human connection to Mount Sutro’s natural environs and promote collaboration between our educators, learners, researchers, and care providers.

The exhibit also showcases UCSF’s legacy of leadership and partnership with the City that has served San Franciscans through every public health emergency and every year in between for more than a century.

Located at the Faculty-Alumni House, the exhibit runs through the end of March and is open to the UCSF community and the general public. Due to limited capacity in the Faculty-Alumni House, please schedule your visit to the exhibit through Eventbrite.

To learn more about the Future of Parnassus, join me, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dan Lowenstein, and others for a town hall on March 23, from noon to 1 p.m. You may...

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February 24, 2022
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

We denounce the latest attacks on LGBTQ+ rights across multiple states in the United States. Today, the Florida House of Representatives passed the “Don't Say Gay” bill (HB 1557/SB 1834). If signed into law, it would limit classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity and undermine existing protections for LGBTQ+ children in schools. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott released a letter instructing state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for transgender youths as child abuse.

At UCSF, we unequivocally support our LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, trainees, and patients. We reaffirm our commitment to the existence, freedom, and dignity of LGBTQ+ individuals everywhere. We see you, we value you, and we recognize your outstanding contributions to our campus and the world. UCSF stands with you as we continue to fight for equity and justice for all.

For those seeking information, services, and support for the LGBTQ+ community, we encourage you to visit the UCSF LGBT Resource Center and Transgender and Gender Expansive Resources websites.

Sincerely,

Renee Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor
Chief Diversity and Outreach Officer
Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care

Daniel H. Lowenstein, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Dr. Robert B. and Mrs. Ellinor Aird Professor of Neurology

February 24, 2022
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

The news overnight that Russia has invaded Ukraine is very upsetting. Many at UCSF and in the Bay Area community have loved ones who live in Europe, including in the region now marked by violence. Let us all hope for the safety and welfare of those in harm’s way, and provide comfort to anyone who needs it.

Witnessing what is unfolding in Eastern Europe is difficult, especially at a time when communities all over the world have been worn down by the pandemic. If you or someone you know needs support, I encourage you to seek the counseling and assistance of our UCSF resource teams:

In the coming days and weeks, let us pursue peace and look out for one another, with a focus on the most vulnerable among us. As too often happens, it is the disadvantaged who will face the most severe impacts, including economic disruptions that may soon follow. For everyone in our UCSF community, especially those who have family and friends in the region, I want you to know we are here to support you.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

February 2, 2022
Administrative

Dear UCSF Community,

The significant and continuing decline of Omicron cases in the Bay Area and the UCSF community’s high vaccination rates set the stage for us to increase the number of UCSF staff, faculty, and learners working on-site, effective March 1, 2022.

On-site and Telework Policy

With our expanded knowledge of COVID-19, including protocols for keeping patients and our communities safe, I have asked each Cabinet leader to determine the on-site and telework policy for their respective organizations. Their focus will be on developing the best combination of on-site and telework arrangements that will enable their organizations to serve the UCSF mission. Your supervisor will discuss your specific situation with you based on your job responsibilities and establish, as appropriate, new telework agreements that will go into effect on March 1.

Cautious Optimism

As we mark two years since UCSF saw its first COVID-19 patients, there is reason for cautious optimism. We are in a far better situation than we were in August last year when we delayed a return to on-site work due to changing circumstances. Today, 94% of our community has been fully vaccinated with a booster. We expect this number to improve as more people become booster eligible. In addition, the Omicron variant is subsiding quickly in the Bay Area, as it has in other parts of the world.

We have learned a great deal about COVID-19. We have learned new routines for our lives, including ways of serving our public mission while balancing the trade-offs of having some of us work remotely. All the while, others continued to work on site serving our patients and the communities that depend on us...

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