Blog

Campus Messages

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

August 20, 2020
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

The UC Office of the President has issued an order requiring every member of the UC community to receive an influenza vaccine this fall. This means that all UCSF community members, across the campus and UCSF Health, will be required to receive a flu shot this year, whether you are working remotely or on site.

UCSF supports this important action as it will help protect our community and reduce the potential of overwhelming hospitals and health systems with both influenza and COVID-19 cases this fall and winter.

At UCSF, we will be implementing our flu shot campaign starting September 1 to help meet UCOP’s vaccination deadline of November 1. This campaign will include 140 flu clinics across UCSF, as well as 170 flu deputies within our health system to provide free vaccines to their colleagues.  In addition, UCSF Health and a number of community partners will be providing flu vaccines to our patients.    

In the coming weeks, we will provide additional details on where and how to receive flu shots through UCSF, as well as other information on exemptions. For now, please visit the flu page on the COVID-19 website to learn more.

Getting your flu vaccination this year is particularly important.  As the world struggles to manage COVID-19, this year’s flu season has the potential to compound the pressure on hospitals and health systems, and cause unnecessary illness and suffering...

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August 20, 2020
People

Dear School of Medicine Community,

As the Chancellor stated in his July 30th campus message, “As a leading university committed to the health sciences, we must confront the way racism perpetuates a system of inequities for people of color. False hierarchies based on race rationalize laws, public policy, and customs that have built bias and discrimination into society’s institutional practices.”

I write today to share updates on initiatives the School of Medicine has undertaken to confront these issues and to reiterate our commitment to the expansive anti-racism work that lies ahead.

These are tumultuous times, as we face two pandemics. The first, COVID-19, has catalyzed biomedical, public health, and social scientists to race for a vaccine and a strategy that will protect our communities and our health care workforce. The second, more insidious pandemic, is the one that has endured since the beginning of American Medicine. It is one that does not attract as much attention, but has been highlighted because of COVID-19 – that of health and health care disparities.

Unlike COVID-19, there is no vaccine being developed to combat healthcare disparities. There is, however, prevention and treatment. For the last five years, a School of Medicine priority has been to make UCSF the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive academic medical system in the country. We have advanced this goal through Differences Matter, a multi-year, multi-faceted School of Medicine initiative, and have been successful in a number of areas, including...

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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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August 14, 2020
People

Dear UCSF Community,

For many members of our community who have children, elderly parents, and other dependents, the pandemic has created a crisis of magnified proportions. Those with caregiving responsibilities at home are making sacrifices in their work and careers, as well as the care they provide to their children and dependents. These challenges are not only personal—they threaten our community’s welfare and our collective ability to serve our mission.

All parents and caregivers have felt this amplified impact of COVID-19, but its effects have been especially pronounced on women who disproportionately hold caregiving responsibilities.

To address this challenge, the UCSF Child and Dependent Care Task Force is implementing strategies as part of its ongoing work to develop solutions for working families. I encourage parents and other caregivers to fill out this brief survey, which the task force will use to refine potential solutions that best serve our community’s diverse needs. The survey will be open through August 25.

The task force, which comprises representatives and subject matter experts from across campus and UCSF Health, has implemented the following actions and is continuing its work on short- and long-term charges:

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August 13, 2020
Administrative
Advocacy
Community
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We would like to invite you to join us at a special town hall on Thursday, August 20, from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., to learn about UCSF’s plans for revitalizing our Parnassus Heights campus. You can register here for the event.

Last October, UCSF unveiled a bold vision, called the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan (CPHP), to re-imagine our oldest and largest campus and build a new hospital with state-of-the-art facilities that will support our incredible research, education, and care delivery mission for decades to come.

At the town hall, Brian Newman, senior associate vice chancellor of UCSF Real Estate and vice president of UCSF Health, and his team will share highlights of the initial-phase projects, including the new hospital, the Research and Academic Building, Aldea housing, and the new campus entry from Irving Street.

As we prepare to seek UC Regental approval in early 2021 to start the next phase of work on the CPHP, we need your help to secure a new future for Parnassus Heights. To rally our UCSF community, Vice Chancellor Francesca Vega will announce the launch of a Community & Government Relations-led advocacy campaign that encourages faculty, staff, and learners to sign up and show support for a renewed Parnassus Heights campus.

We hope you will join us to learn about our collective efforts for transforming our Parnassus Heights campus. Please note that this town hall has been extended a half hour to allow for a...

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August 12, 2020
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Yesterday morning, August 11, a homicide occurred during a physical altercation between two individuals in the lobby of the UCSF Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) at 11 Irving Street on the Parnassus campus. The UCSF PD reported that the victim left the building and collapsed on the sidewalk, where a UCSF nurse arriving for work attempted to revive him with CPR. Sadly, the victim was later pronounced deceased at the UCSF Parnassus Emergency Department.

A police bulletin was issued and the suspect, identified from surveillance camera footage at the ACC, has been arrested. The individuals involved in the incident were not employees, learners, or visitors of UCSF.

We recognize how unsettling this news is. In response, the UCSF PD will now station a security guard at the Irving Street entrance of the ACC during the hours that this entry to the campus is open to the public. We have also increased police monitoring of the campus.

After an incident like this, we review our security and policing system to determine what changes can be made to help ensure the safety of our community of faculty, staff, learners, patients, and visitors. We will continue to take steps to strengthen our security procedures, streamline communication between our UCSF PD and Medical Center security, and implement other safety measures, including increased badge readers at access points. This spring, UCSF Health increased control at entrance points to the Moffitt-Long Hospitals at the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at...

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August 6, 2020
Leadership
People

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

We are proud to announce that after more than 35 years of distinguished service to UCSF, Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, has been selected to serve as the next director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Dr. Criswell will remain with UCSF through early 2021, at which time she will assume her new role as NIAMS director and begin serving the nation as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) leadership team.

Dr. Criswell has been a part of the UCSF community since 1982, and it’s been an honor to work alongside her over the years as she has distinguished herself as one of UCSF’s most admired physicians, scientists, educators, and administrators. Though we are certainly sad to see a close friend and long-time colleague depart, we are delighted that it is because Dr. Criswell is being recognized for her outstanding leadership and contributions to science and medicine.

As vice chancellor of research, Dr. Criswell has helped define the University’s research enterprise over the past three years, and the efforts she has set into motion will continue to shape our research agenda well into the future. Prior to her appointment as vice chancellor, she served as chief of the Division of Rheumatology and the Jean S. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Criswell is renowned for her insightful research into the causes of human autoimmune disorders, and she is much admired for her devotion to the many students, residents, fellows, and faculty she has mentored over the years. We can think of no one who is better prepared to serve as NIAMS director than Dr...

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August 5, 2020
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

In a year of extraordinary challenges, the UCSF community has faced the dual public health crises of COVID-19 and racism. With this in mind, we seek your feedback on how UCSF is doing on these important issues as we serve our research, education, care delivery, and public service mission.

We have been engaged in conversations across the campus and health system as we rally around these challenges. To hear from as many of our UCSF community members as possible, we have partnered with Gallup to collect your response on our online engagement platform. The results will help UCSF leadership make informed decisions as we address the unique challenges before us.

We have developed a quick, anonymous, and voluntary survey to gauge your opinions. As you respond, we ask you to consider your experiences in the context of the past three months, when COVID-19 and the recharged conversation on racism have overlapped.

We encourage you to complete the survey today. It should take approximately 10 minutes. The survey will be available at the link below through Wednesday, August 19, 2020. We will share the results in an upcoming Friday Town Hall.

*Please note that your specific comments in response to the three open-ended questions at the end of the survey will be shared exactly as written with UCSF leadership.

TAKE SURVEY

We thank you for taking part in this important survey and for all that you do for our patients and the communities we serve.

Sincerely,

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

Mark R. Laret
President and Chief...

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July 30, 2020
Administrative
Advocacy
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As a leading university committed to the health sciences, we must confront the way racism perpetuates a system of inequities for people of color. False hierarchies based on race rationalize laws, public policy, and customs that have built bias and discrimination into society’s institutional practices.

Racism expressed through our social systems is often subtle and sometimes unconscious. But its impact is clearly visible across housing, education, employment, criminal justice, and health care. Nowhere are the effects of racism more obvious than in the Black community where it has led to worse health and health care outcomes, causing unnecessary suffering and shortened lives. Anti-Black racism remains the most virulent form of bias and discrimination to be overcome in this country.

In all of its forms, racism is contrary to the core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence that drive UCSF’s mission of health research, education, care delivery, and public service. To achieve a community truly defined by these values, we must take an anti-racist stance challenging systems, practices, and attitudes that maintain structural inequities against all people of color. 

The events of the past few months prompt us, as a community, to act with greater urgency. Over the past weeks, Chancellor Sam Hawgood and senior leaders have listened to faculty, learners, and staff, and have met with the Black Caucus to seek their guidance. The Chancellor’s Cabinet—led by the Chancellor and guided by Vice Chancellor Renee Navarro—has accelerated its work of reexamining UCSF’s own...

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July 20, 2020
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community:

To continue to ensure a safe working environment amid the coronavirus pandemic, this week UCSF will begin an asymptomatic testing program for employees, trainees, and students who work onsite.

This testing is voluntary, and individuals will be selected at random to participate. The screening will add to our ability to quickly detect whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading in our buildings so we can contain it. This new program will supplement the important and effective prevention strategies of mandatory universal surgical masking in our clinical facilities and face coverings on UCSF property, daily health screenings, physical distancing, and increased cleaning of our facilities.

We will begin by identifying a random sample of people who worked for more than 12 hours during the prior week at the Precision Cancer Medicine Building on the Mission Bay campus. We hope to make the program available to those who work at our Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion campuses in a phased rollout by the end of August. Participants will once again be selected for testing at random. This program may be extended to other UCSF sites in the near future.

Those chosen to participate will be asked to self-administer nasal swabs under the guidance of a trained staff member, and they will receive their test results as soon as possible, depending on laboratory testing volumes and capacity. Everyone’s data will be safeguarded, and no individually identifiable data will be shared publicly.

This new random sampling of our UCSF population augments the asymptomatic testing we have already been conducting for new and returning trainees and students,...

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