Blog

Campus Messages

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

June 15, 2020
Advocacy
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects all Americans from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a resounding affirmation of our belief that there is no place for discrimination of any kind in our society. 

June is Pride Month and even as we celebrate this victory for equality and dignity in the workplace, we also strongly denounce the Trump administration’s action on Friday to repeal protections for transgender patients against discrimination when seeking health care. This is directly at odds with UCSF’s core commitment to providing unbiased, equitable, and welcoming patient care for all, including transgender and non-binary people, and all LGBTQ individuals.

In California, where state laws prohibit many forms of LGBTQ discrimination, the impact of the rollback will largely have no impact. In 28 other states, however, the repeal of this protection will leave transgender individuals exposed to discrimination in health care.

At UCSF, we must continue pursuing our decades-long work of championing equity and the rights of all members of the LGBTQ community. Klint Jaramillo, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center is working to support and raise the visibility of the LGBTQ community through advocacy, education, training and, recently, by championing a pronouns campaign to increase awareness about using everyone's correct gender...

Read more »
June 5, 2020
Community
People
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

The past weeks have exposed, in undeniable ways, a problem that has been festering in this country – the unjust treatment of people of color.

We are all feeling pain and anger in different ways. Some of you have spent a lifetime taking daily precautions in order to safely navigate society in ways a white person never has to consider.

For others, who don’t ever worry about getting pulled over by police when simply out driving – and how to respond - or ways to shop without aggravating suspicions of a store manager, the recent deaths of black people jogging outside, sleeping in their homes, and now, under a policeman’s knee, are exposing horrendous gaps in how people of color are treated in our country.

Racism and injustice are pervasive problems that require societal solutions that start with each of us. At UCSF Health, we must accelerate our work to reduce health disparities, and the inequities in our own culture that have been brought to light in recent engagement surveys.

There are actions we can take that are in our immediate control. As a start, I ask everyone at UCSF Health to join me in doing three things: listen, learn and lead.

I have been reaching out to colleagues to ask them how they are doing. Please respect that everyone may be processing events differently. Use your best judgement to let colleagues and teams know you are there for conversation and support. Race and ethnicity can be difficult topics to discuss, and it may be uncomfortable, which is precisely the reason it is so important for us to do. We may use the wrong words at times. But if the outreach comes from a place of genuine compassion and concern, we can listen to...

Read more »
May 19, 2020
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

In cities across the country the rhythm of daily life as we knew it only a few months ago is slowly beginning to return. In California, from the state capitol to city hall to UCSF, the focus on frontline response is broadening to include recovery efforts, even as we continue to watch for a resurgence.

As we address the financial damage created by COVID-19, we will face tough decisions. The economic uncertainty before UC and UCSF raises questions about budgets, staffing levels, and compensation, adding to the toll the pandemic has taken on everyone’s lives, especially the most vulnerable among us. These are important issues, and I want you to know that I will address them in a straightforward manner as more information becomes available.

Budgets

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a revised state budget that included a reduction for UC funding. Though we do not yet know the specific impact on UCSF, we must start preparing for potential budget cuts for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Continuing shortfalls on the campus and at UCSF Health only underscore the challenge before us. In response, I am instructing UCSF’s control points to start scenario-planning potential budget reductions of 5-10% in the allocation from the Office of the Chancellor. Additional updates will follow as this work develops.

Staffing and Compensation

At a time of uncertainty, I realize you have questions about potential changes to staffing and compensation. I have instructed the teams facilitating our recovery and resilience strategy to look for creative solutions to reduce costs on supplies and realize savings through the hiring freeze. This work is a shared...

Read more »
May 1, 2020
Administrative
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

After several challenging months, there may be reason for guarded and measured optimism. The rate of increase in local COVID-19 infections is moderating.

But this welcome progress has come with significant cost. The pandemic and the public health orders meant to slow it have taken a heavy toll on many in our community. It can be overwhelming to think about loved ones who have been separated or lost, and the livelihoods that have been devastated by a severely constrained economy.

Compared to other regions, however, the Bay Area has been fortunate. Encouraged by what they see, local and state officials are taking steps to begin relaxing the various shelter-in-place orders. 

In the coming weeks, UCSF also will begin a gradual process to resume some of our suspended operations. This includes a careful return to some activities on campus and increasing the number of non-COVID-19 patients at UCSF Health. Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, we will move deliberately and dial up or down our activities as needed, in close partnership with public health officials. The work ahead will require us to coordinate in new ways across the campus and UCSF Health, and I am hopeful we can continue building on the efforts already under way.

Our focus remains on the well-being of our UCSF community and patients, and our actions will be guided by our own timetable, in alignment with local and state orders. For the foreseeable future, many of our current policies will remain in place. As an example, those performing their duties remotely will continue to do so, in order to help facilitate physical distancing for those who must be on-site. Those who can no...

Read more »
March 25, 2020
Community
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF community:

On behalf of UCSF Health President and CEO Mark Laret, Dean Talmadge E. King, Dean Catherine Gilliss, Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, Dean Michael Reddy, and Dean Elizabeth Watkins, I am sharing this video message to thank you for your leadership and courage at a time when our communities need us most.

If you would like to learn more about how UCSF is responding to the pandemic, join me for another UCSF Health and campus COVID-19 virtual town hall on Friday, March 27, at 4:00 p.m. For those in the UCSF community who are not required to work and will be observing Cesar Chavez Day, a recording of the town hall will be available on the UCSF COVID-19 website following the event.

Sincerely,

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

March 17, 2020
Administrative
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF community,

Daily changes in the evolving Covid-19 landscape have become the norm, in a situation that looks anything but normal.

As local and state leaders issue new orders and policies, it is important to understand the details, so please take a moment to read what follows.

UCSF is exempted under the “shelter in place” order announced by six Bay Area counties, as are many other “essential” services. That means UCSF employees can come to work if their jobs require them to be on-site. But, as I instructed last week, managers and employees are to reduce work performed on-site at UCSF as much as possible. Similarly, Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for individuals aged 65 and older to stay at home exempts those who work in “essential” services such as health care, including UCSF employees. 

Our teams have determined that the actions we have been taking are consistent with the order announced yesterday. We are delaying or suspending non-essential work and creating conditions to allow for social distancing practices for those need to work on-site. 

Asking people to stay home when possible increases the opportunity for social distancing. As the “shelter in place” order states, maintain at least six feet from people when you go outside, even for exercise, which is allowed under the public health order. In addition to hand washing with soap, social distancing has proven to be very effective against the novel coronavirus...

Read more »
March 15, 2020
Emergency
UCSF Health

Today, Chancellor Sam Hawgood ordered an escalation of a wide range of UCSF policies and guidance already in place, as part of an expanded effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The overriding goal of this action is the critical need to limit community transmission.

As the Chancellor stated last week, “We must support every action that helps to ‘flatten the curve’ of new COVID-19 cases…Limiting the growth of new infections, while allowing those who are ill time to be treated and recover, will help our communities get control of COVID-19 and also help hospitals and clinics manage the increased demand for care.”

Visit the newly designed UCSF COVID-19 Resource Page and click the links below for additional details on the updated guidance that follows. In addition, to receive text alerts when updated UCSF guidance and information are available: Text 333 111 and enter “UCSF”

Escalated Policies and Guidance – Sunday, March 15, 2020

Large Events and Gatherings

  • All events of 50 or more participants shall be cancelled or postponed; events of fewer than 50 participants must prioritize alternatives such as videoconferencing.

Travel

  • UCSF is restricting all non-essential university-sponsored travel, both domestic and international.

Visitors

  • The San Francisco Department of Public Health on Friday, March 13, 2020, issued an order restricting visitors and requiring mandatory screening for all workers entering licensed...
Read more »
March 14, 2020
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We learned today that two health care workers at UCSF Health tested positive for COVID-19. Based on our investigation thus far, there is reason to believe that their exposure to the virus was from sources outside of our clinical facilities, but we are still working to make a final assessment. However, as part of our stringent protocol, we are taking every precaution to protect other health care workers and our patients. While we cannot be definitive about the source of the infection, we remain confident in our personal protection standards.

The health care workers are in self-quarantine, and we are identifying and notifying anyone who might have been in contact with them, including patients, staff, and clinicians. This investigation is being conducted by UCSF Occupational Health services in accordance with recommended best practices. Fellow employees who may have been exposed are being informed so they can either monitor their symptoms or be tested if they are symptomatic.

As you have read in several recent communications, we must take all appropriate actions to limit the opportunity for the community transmission of COVID-19. This includes exploring all options for reducing work performed by employees on-site at UCSF facilities through options such as telecommuting. Having our employees work from home when possible also will allow for greater opportunity to practice social distancing for employees who must work on-site. Actions like these will help “flatten the curve” of new COVID-19 cases and help reduce the demand for care in hospitals and clinics.

For our UCSF Health employees, faculty, and trainees working in clinical settings, we are taking...

Read more »
March 13, 2020
Administrative
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Since my last message to you, only two days ago, we have seen more indications of how the spread of COVID-19 is requiring changes to our daily routines. From the cancellation of major events, to the suspension of professional sports, to the closure of many local school districts, the changing circumstances of the novel coronavirus are increasingly disrupting life in the Bay Area, as in many other places around the world.

I am writing to provide you updated guidance that reflects the rapidly evolving reality of living with COVID-19 in our community for the foreseeable future.

As soon as possible, I ask all managers and supervisors to expand and accelerate efforts to reduce the amount of work employees perform on-site at UCSF facilities. Managers and supervisors should prioritize alternatives such as telecommuting. During this dynamic time, we also may need to consider redeployment of staff from areas with higher capacity to support other areas with critical operational needs.

We must support every action that helps to “flatten the curve” of new COVID-19 cases. Having as many people work remotely, along with the recent changes to our travel, visitor, and event policies, will create fewer opportunities for community transmission and greater space for social distancing practices. Limiting the growth of new infections, while allowing those who are ill time to be treated and recover, will help our communities get control of COVID-19 and also help hospitals and clinics manage the increased demand for care.

I appreciate the significant efforts already underway across all of our operational and mission areas to support the continuity of research,...

Read more »
March 11, 2020
Emergency
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Across the UCSF campus and UCSF Health, our leaders and teams continue to take all appropriate actions to help protect the health and safety of our UCSF community—while ensuring our ability to provide care to all of our patients—during what the World Health Organization is now calling a COVID-19 pandemic.

As countries step up their response to this public health challenge, and as we see actions being taken in our local community, I share your concerns about the escalating situation. I encourage you to stay informed about the sensible steps you should take to protect yourself and to stay abreast of the guidance we are providing to everyone at UCSF.

We are regularly sharing via email the latest updates and resources—all of which you can find on our dedicated UCSF COVID-19 resource page. Stay current by bookmarking this page and visiting often. Over the past week, UCSF and/or the UC Office of the President have issued interim guidance and policies regarding:

Read more »

Pages