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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.

May 17, 2022
Honors and Awards
People

Dear UCSF Community,

To commemorate Founders Day, an annual tradition when we celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of members of our UCSF community, I am pleased to honor 13 individuals with the 2022 UCSF Founders Day Awards.

I was delighted to recognize the recipients, listed below, for their remarkable work in service of our university and its mission at a reception last Friday.

Please join me in congratulating these faculty, staff, students, and trainees who have committed themselves to public and university service, innovative research, and patient-centered care. I invite you to learn about them and their remarkable efforts by watching these short videos.

Chancellor Award for Public Service

  • Faculty: Daniel Grossman, MD
  • Staff: Hoa Su, MPH
  • Learner: Taia Sean Wu
  • Thomas N. Burbridge Public Service Award: Shira Shavit, MD
  • Edison T. Uno Public Service Award: Roberto Efraín Díaz

Chancellor Award for Exceptional Management

  • Molly Frances Battistelli, MPH
  • Michael L. Helle, MBA, MHA, FP-C, NRP/CCP
  • Janelle Smith Hernandez, MHA
  • Tristin Penland, MS, RN, CCRN

Chancellor Award for Exceptional Service

  • Sue Forstat 
  • Diane B. Ngo, MPA
  • Morgan Vaisset-Fauvel, BEPA...
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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 9, 2021
Advocacy
Community
Partnerships
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, UCSF is working to bring Afghan scholars to our campus to support their education in the health sciences. I am pleased to share with you that we have identified two scholars and are now coordinating with other groups to secure their safe passage out of Afghanistan. 

Two Afghan Scholars Admitted to UCSF Programs

The first scholar is a physician with a master’s degree in public health who has earned one of the competitive slots in the PhD program in Global Health Sciences. Their research interests involve strengthening health systems and improving health for women and minority populations. The second scholar has been admitted to the master’s degree program in Global Health Sciences. This scholar graduated from a medical university in Afghanistan and has a research focus on reproductive health for women in Afghanistan.

We are hopeful that we will be successful in helping these scholars safely leave Afghanistan and arrive at UCSF. As we launch this program, we are coordinating with the national Scholars at Risk Network, including the UC-wide chapter, to identify other Afghan scholars whose skills and academic interests may be served by UCSF’s unique focus on the health sciences.

How to Support the Afghan Scholars Program

I am proud of the efforts of so many at UCSF working to bring over Afghan scholars at risk. The UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences and the UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative have made preparations to accommodate Afghan scholars at UCSF, train them, and support their time with us. UCSF also is working with local and legal organizations to provide additional...

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September 8, 2021
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

In recognition of the need to brighten our spirits and encourage wellness as we continue to face myriad challenges, I am delighted to announce that we are offering grants for projects that aim to promote the wellbeing of our UCSF community.

From September 13 to September 30, 2021, UCSF academic and staff employees and learners, based at campus or affiliate locations, may apply for funds for events or initiatives that aim to support our wellbeing in one or more of our pillars of wellness: emotional, physical, social, financial, professional, environmental, and spiritual.

This program is being led by a recently formed UCSF Wellbeing Committee, which includes faculty and staff representatives from across the campus and UCSF Health. The committee, guided by staff in Wellness and Community, a division of Campus Life Services, will review the proposals and base its funding decisions on the proposed impact of the projects.

For information on how to apply for these wellbeing grants, please see the Wellness and Community web page. Read more about this opportunity online. Questions about the grants may be emailed to [email protected].

As the executive sponsor of this program, I hope that it will have a positive effect on our lives during a time when we could all benefit from a boost in morale. Please think creatively on ways you can...

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September 2, 2021
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

Please join us in expressing gratitude to our veterans who served in Afghanistan and the Middle East for their courage and sacrifices that spanned four U.S. presidents over 20 years.

The departure of the last U.S. plane from Afghanistan on Monday marked the coda to a very long war. However, it may take more time before many people find closure. In the midst of the U.S. transition, we recognize that complicated feelings and questions have been raised about American involvement in Afghanistan. For those who have family or friends still in the country, the events of the past few weeks, including a bombing that took the lives of civilians and U.S. troops, are even more difficult to bear.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood recently shared resources for those who want to support the humanitarian relief effort in Afghanistan. In addition, Student Veteran and Military Support Services has compiled a list of resources for veterans who may need support at this challenging time. We provide both sets of resources below and encourage everyone to review and make use of them.

As we make sense of what comes next in Afghanistan, we want our veterans to know that UCSF is here to support you. We are proud of you and your family members who have been there in support of your service to our country. You are all an important part of the diversity that strengthens our UCSF community.

Sincerely,

Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MAS
Chief of Staff, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System
Associate Dean, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

...

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June 4, 2021
Community
People
UC System

Dear Colleagues,

The UC Office of the President has issued a draft Presidential Campus Safety Plan for transforming UC’s culture, policies, and practices so that all members of the UC community feel equally welcomed, respected, and protected from harm. UC President Michael V. Drake has asked each campus to collect and share feedback, which he will consider before issuing a UC-wide plan this summer.

We invite you to review the draft plan (see attached pdf) and provide comments via the following survey link, which will be available until June 30:  https://ucsf.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d6YPSi3v1dDnlZk.

As background, the UC Office of the President developed the draft plan with extensive input from diverse groups of UC stakeholders, including Campus Safety Task Force members, participants in the campus safety symposia held earlier this spring, and numerous conversations with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

You may recall that Chancellor Sam Hawgood appointed our own UCSF Safety Task Force last year to develop recommendations for refining UCSF’s practices around community safety. To read the Task Force’s initial report, click on the Chancellor’s message from November 13, 2020:  https://chancellor.ucsf.edu...

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May 5, 2021
Administrative
People
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As more people get vaccinated and the overall level of new COVID-19 cases declines across the country, we are easing out of the worst public health crisis in a generation. We have come a long way in just over a year, developing new ways of working while serving our mission in education, research, and care delivery. One important lesson we have learned is that those whose responsibilities allow them to work remotely can do so effectively.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to announce that UCSF will incorporate a combination of telework and on-site work in our staffing plans for those job duties that can be performed remotely without compromising our mission. We will approach this new venture in the spirit of continuous process improvement, adapting as we learn from our experience.

Telework Guiding Principles

My Cabinet supports telework as part of our vision for the future, and we have agreed upon principles that will guide us in making decisions about telework. One of these principles is to prioritize equity, consistency, and accessibility to ensure that campus control points and UCSF Health leaders make decisions based on business needs. To support this goal, we have developed a standard tool to evaluate and identify positions for telework. In the weeks ahead, we will communicate these details and provide managers with resource materials.

As I mentioned at this past Friday’s town hall, I am extending the work-from-home guidance to October 1, 2021. This extension gives employees currently working remotely more time to plan for child and elder care, provides managers more time to...

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January 21, 2021
Administrative
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As a community of over 30,000 students, trainees, faculty, and staff, we come from many different backgrounds, we present different points of view, and we offer unique contributions. Embracing these differences and fostering an inclusive and equitable culture is essential to our individual and collective success. To help us reach our full potential, we will launch the Foundations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Training module to all UCSF members on January 25, 2021.

The DEI training is an important step we are taking together as an institution to cement our commitment to anti-racism, dismantling systems of inequities, and living the full meaning of our Principles of Community and PRIDE Values.

Developed by the Office of Diversity and Outreach and the UCSF Education Task Force, the training will provide the foundational knowledge and common language to better understand why diversity is core to our work. It will help us identify the actions we can take to promote a diverse, equitable, welcoming, and safe environment at UCSF—for ourselves and, importantly, for all of the patients and communities we serve. All current members of the UCSF enterprise will be expected to complete the training within the next 90 days.

Watch for an email from [email protected] on January 25 to access the training and please visit the...

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January 7, 2021
Advocacy
Community
People

Dear UCSF Community,

The attack on the U.S. Capitol Building yesterday was in plain terms an attack on democracy itself—on the will of the people. I am deeply disturbed at what unfolded in our nation’s capital. But I am also resolute in our responsibility to strongly condemn this act and the actions of those who seek to further divide the country.

Despite the angry mob’s attempt to overturn the lawful results of the presidential election, our democratic institutions and process were not deterred, and the will of the people prevailed. The peaceful transition of power was only temporarily disrupted. Congress confirmed the election of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the early hours of January 7.

As President-elect Biden reminded us yesterday, democracy is fragile.

This is why we must speak up—to protect and tend to our democracy, for everyone. In this, UCSF has a unique privilege and obligation. We are an institution that exists to serve the public, empowered by the will of the people of California to serve all without bias.

As we have throughout the past year, I encourage you to look after yourselves and one another. If you need support, please make use of the health and well-being resources available to the UCSF community. Also, make time to connect with each other, something especially important as we all continue to manage the challenges of physical distance and isolation.

With the new year come hopeful signs of change. The vaccine rollout will accelerate as supplies and distribution increase, and the incoming White...

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December 11, 2020
Community
Leadership
People

Dear UCSF Community,

As we enter the final weeks of 2020, encouraging news on the COVID-19 vaccine front is helping to bring this difficult year to a close with a renewed sense of hope.

Yesterday, a vaccine advisory panel commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the FDA grant Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA’s approval is expected any day, and preparations are already under way at UCSF.

Approval of the Pfizer vaccine will mark an important turning point, but it will take months before this and other vaccines become widely available. Even as the vaccine distribution expands, we must recognize the serious threat the coronavirus continues to pose to public health—especially at a time when community transmission, including in the Bay Area, is at an all-time high.

All of us, including those who have been vaccinated, must continue to adhere to public health orders, wearing masks, physically distancing, washing hands, and avoiding unnecessary travel and gatherings. Despite the fatigue we all feel, we must stay vigilant in taking all appropriate steps to slow the pandemic and avoid mistaking a vaccine for a cure.

Following FDA approval, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is expected to authorize use of the Pfizer vaccine in California. With the CDPH’s authorization, and aligned with public health guidance, UCSF will offer vaccinations to those on the front lines of the pandemic as early as next week.

As vaccine manufacturing capacity ramps up, a phased plan for distributing the vaccine is required. Initially, UCSF will offer the vaccine to those who have the highest risk of exposure to...

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