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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.

November 18, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

I write to convey two important updates. First, all UCSF employees and learners are eligible and strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Second, beginning today, the UCSF daily health screener is being updated to better enforce the use of this important tool.

Booster Shots

As the winter holidays approach and we gather with family and friends indoors, I highly recommend you get a COVID-19 booster shot. This is in line with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which this week broadened eligibility for boosters to all adults over 18 years.

At UCSF, we are currently seeing higher rates of COVID-19 infection among employees and learners with more than six months since their second vaccine dose. Boosters can reduce the effects of waning immunity by up to 90 percent. Due to the urgency for delivering boosters in time to reduce a possible second winter COVID-19 surge, please get your booster as soon as possible.

To get a booster, you must have received your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago. If you received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, you should get a booster at least two months after your shot. You can mix and match whatever brand of vaccine you prefer for your booster shot.

Pfizer and Moderna booster shots are widely available through vaccination clinics, health care providers, and neighborhood pharmacies. Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine clinic. If you get a booster shot at a location outside UCSF, please upload a copy of that...

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November 15, 2021
Leadership

Dear UCSF Community,

I am pleased to announce that Erin Gore will join us early next year as our new senior vice chancellor of Finance and Administration.

Erin is a seasoned financial executive who joins us from Wells Fargo, where she is executive vice president of Growth Initiatives, Strategy & Communication, and previously led the Higher Education and Not for Profit division.

Previously, she served as UC Berkeley’s associate vice chancellor of Planning and Budget and chief financial officer from 2009-2014. During her tenure there, she created UC Berkeley’s first campuswide budget plan and oversaw major building projects, as well as new efforts to simplify financial aid processes, create data systems, and increase aid for first-generation students. She received a BA in political science from UCLA and an MPA in economic policy from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

In her new role, Erin will join my executive team and cabinet, and will provide strategic leadership and guidance to the UCSF enterprise across many areas that directly affect our performance. She will be responsible for UCSF’s operating budget of approximately $8 billion and for leading a service organization with an annual budget of $435 million and 1,800 full time employees.

Throughout her career, Erin has guided large-scale changes in administration, technology, finance, and staffing for a range of employers, including the City of New York. You can...

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November 4, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Beginning tomorrow, Nov. 5, 2021, UCSF, including Benioff Children’s Hospitals, will begin offering Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11, after receiving approval and guidance from federal and state public health authorities. You can find information about how to get vaccines for children here. https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/covid-19-vaccine

The expansion of vaccination against COVID-19 to children is a major step forward in the fight against this pandemic. I know that parents and caregivers have been waiting for this moment and understandably have questions about the vaccines.

The data about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years were presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the past week and look promising.

Similar to study findings in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5 to 11 years, even during a period of Delta variant circulation. The vaccine was well tolerated and there were no safety signals identified among the more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine. The FDA decided that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine met safety and efficacy standards for emergency use authorization.

The CDC now recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared...

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October 20, 2021
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I write to remind you that UCSF strongly encourages and expects everyone to get vaccinated against influenza to protect the health of our patients and communities.

Both the San Francisco and Alameda Departments of Public Health require all health care workers to receive the annual influenza vaccine by Oct. 31, 2021.

In addition, the University of California’s 2021-2022 flu vaccination executive order issued on October 8, 2021, requires all covered students, faculty, other academic appointees and staff to get a flu shot or opt out by completing a form after getting information about flu vaccine no later than Nov. 19, 2021.

Now is the time to get your flu vaccine at UCSF, at a local pharmacy or by your health care provider. Beginning Oct. 25, 2021, UCSF Occupational Health Services (OHS) is extending its drop-in flu shot clinics at Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay campuses. At UCSF Fresno, free flu shots are available at the COVID-19 Equity Project at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. Faculty and trainees at UCSF Fresno who work at Community Medical Centers (CMC) may also get flu shots at CMC’s vaccine clinics. More options for getting a flu shot through...

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October 6, 2021
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

One of our goals at UCSF is to ensure that people in our university community feel empowered and valued in an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Chancellor’s leadership team continues to work on multiple fronts to create a culture in which faculty, staff, and learners from all backgrounds feel welcomed, supported, and respected.

To better understand how we are doing in this regard, we invite you to share your perspectives and experiences about the environment in which you work and learn through the UCSF Climate Survey. On October 11, you will receive an email with a unique link to the confidential survey, which closes November 30.

Please complete this survey to help us build upon and enrich our diverse culture. Your feedback will help us develop action plans to strengthen our community. Your opinions matter and have already led to changes that have improved UCSF. You can read more about the survey in this campus news story.

We appreciate your contributions to the UCSF community and look forward to your thoughts on how we can continue to improve our campus climate.

Sincerely,

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

J. Renee Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor – Office of Diversity and Outreach
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care

October 4, 2021
Honors and Awards
People

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to share the news that UCSF Professor David Julius, PhD, has been named to receive the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He shares the prize with Ardem Patapoutian, PhD, at Scripps.

David, who chairs 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 channel receptors known as TRP (“trip”) receptors.

In that work, David has used distinctive molecules from the natural world – tarantula toxins and the capsaicin molecule that produces the “heat” in chili peppers, 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 him 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 offers a perfect example of the importance of basic research in understanding both health and disease. More details on his work can be found on our website.

Please make time to join me for a virtual celebration at noon today to celebrate...

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September 30, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Next week, UCSF will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with support from the California Department of Public Health.

These booster shots provide extended protection against COVID-19, especially among those at increased risk for hospitalization and severe disease, including those over age 65, those with compromised immune systems, and those who work in health care settings.

We continue to urge everyone 12 years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19, since unvaccinated persons remain at much higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.

Currently, the federal authorization for a booster dose is limited to use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that a single Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose be given at least 6 months after a person received their second Pfizer dose. The CDC does not recommend giving Pfizer vaccine booster shots to those who have received Janssen or Moderna vaccines.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, we will provide Pfizer booster doses to persons who received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in March 2021 or earlier who are:

  • Age 65 years and older or residing in a long-term care facility, or;
  • Age 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities;
  • Age 18 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, or at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, including those who work in health care settings...
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September 29, 2021
Administrative

Dear UCSF Community,

Today, we are sharing reports from a comprehensive seismic safety review of UCSF’s owned buildings that found most are seismically resilient.

Prepared by our independent team of leading structural and geotechnical engineers, these reports are posted on the UCSF Real Estate website.

The vast majority of our buildings are safe, comply with the University of California’s strict seismic policy and require no further action. Other buildings will require further analysis and action, including securing funding to pay for improvements.

This voluntary seismic evaluation is part of a UC systemwide effort to ensure buildings will perform well during a large earthquake. You can read more about this effort in this campus news story.

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all who live, work and learn in or visit UCSF’s buildings. Our teams continually work to seismically retrofit, renovate and modernize our facilities to better enable us to fulfill our advancing health worldwide mission.

Questions about our ongoing seismic safety efforts can be emailed to [email protected].

Sincerely,

Brian Newman
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, UCSF Real Estate
Vice President, UCSF Health

September 28, 2021
Leadership

Dear UCSF Community,

I am writing to share the news that Jennifer Arnett, vice chancellor for University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), has been named chief development officer at Mayo Clinic and will be leaving UCSF on October 22, 2021.

In her new role, Jennifer will be responsible for leading Mayo Clinic’s philanthropic strategies in support of the organization’s mission to transform health through integrated clinical practice, education, and research.

Jennifer’s 12-year tenure at UCSF has been marked by increasing responsibilities and contributions to our mission. She first joined us in 2010 as senior director of corporate and foundation relations, and assumed the role of vice chancellor in 2018. Under her leadership, UDAR completed the most successful fundraising campaign in UCSF’s history. Known as “UCSF: The Campaign,” this ambitious effort raised $6.2 billion over a seven-year period, closing early and exceeding its original goal of $5 billion.

The driving force behind Jennifer’s success has been her commitment to creating a collaborative fundraising culture at UDAR. Jennifer and her team have focused on building relationships with donors that connect their interests with UCSF’s research, education, and care delivery priorities. By anchoring this shared interest in our core mission, she has helped to strengthen and broaden the foundation for UCSF’s work for decades to come.

Jennifer has been a key member of the Chancellor’s Executive Team and Chancellor’s Cabinet, and I will miss working with her and receiving her reliable counsel.

We will soon start the process to fill Jennifer’s role. During this recruitment period, I have asked Erin...

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September 21, 2021
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we head into influenza season, I am writing to emphasize that it is critically important to get a flu vaccine to avoid the risk of contracting the influenza virus.

We encourage everyone to be vaccinated to protect not only yourself and your family, but also our colleagues, our patients, and our neighboring communities. Please also remember to wear masks while indoors and when in crowded places outdoors, as well as to clean your hands regularly.

A normal flu season combined with a surge of COVID-19 could have an overwhelming impact on our health system, especially as we are experiencing a staffing shortage. We ask for your support by getting a flu vaccine to help keep our frontline care providers and all other faculty, staff, learners, and patients healthy this fall.

As a reminder, the San Francisco and Alameda Departments of Public Health require all health care workers to receive the annual influenza vaccine or to sign a form if they choose to decline vaccination.

You have a variety of options and locations available to get your vaccine, including on-site flu clinics, Occupational Health clinics, your primary care provider, and most pharmacies. Please visit the Occupational Health Services website for a full list of on-site clinic locations and dates, as well as additional free options for members of UC health plans. Please note that at this time, we...

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