Blog

Campus Messages

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

May 12, 2021
Philanthropy
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community:

We are pleased to announce that UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ new home is scheduled to open this fall.

Adjacent to our Mission Bay campus at 675 18th Street, the 150,000-square-foot Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building is the culmination of our vision to integrate physical and mental health by eliminating boundaries that have isolated psychiatry and behavioral sciences from other medical disciplines.

Embedding mental health services into the overall health care system also will help reduce the stigma that can be associated with seeking help for mental health. Younger patients, in particular, will be able to go to one space to see their pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist, and other key members of their care team.

The five-story, light-filled building is supported by a gift of nearly $60 million from philanthropists John Pritzker and Lisa Stone Pritzker, longtime supporters of UCSF, and named in honor of John’s sister, Nancy Friend Pritzker, who died by suicide at age 24 during a depressive episode in 1972. You can read more about the project here.

As previously communicated, we are relocating outpatient services currently offered at UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics (LPPHC) at Parnassus Heights, which are located on the planned site of UCSF Health’s new hospital at the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights. Our inpatient adult care program, which offers acute psychiatric service for adults 18 years and older, will move to UCSF...

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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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April 23, 2021
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Colleagues,

We are asking all employees, including those at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, to receive or decline the COVID-19 vaccination by June 30, 2021, in accordance with an interim policy issued by the University of California Office of the President.

The goal of the interim UC policy is to protect the health and safety of the entire University community.  It requires all employees and certain trainees working on-site to be informed about the COVID-19 vaccines and then either be vaccinated or decline the vaccination.  To learn more about the interim UC policy, visit this link.

All UCSF employees and trainees (but not students) working on-site are required to take one of the following two actions:

  1. Get the COVID-19 vaccination.
    • If you received your vaccination at UCSF Parnassus Heights or UCSF Mission Bay, no further action is needed.
    • If you received your vaccination outside of a UCSF campus location—including City College of San Francisco, UCSF Fresno partner locations, or Zuckerberg San Francisco General—you must submit proof of your vaccination on the new Occupational Health Services (OHS) portal, which can be accessed via the UCSF network or VPN at: https://ohsportal.ucsfmedicalcenter.org/
  2. Or you must complete a form declining the COVID-19 vaccination on the new OHS portal linked above.

BCH Oakland employees should submit proof of a vaccination...

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March 12, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

One year has passed since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, but we are writing today to recognize another significant milestone in the effort to bring this public health crisis to an end.

Today, UCSF administered its 100,000th vaccine dose. Our vaccine rollout accounts for nearly a third of all doses administered in San Francisco, more than any other vaccine provider in the city. We want to thank our vaccine planning team and vaccine site volunteers for making this possible, and we hope you will join us in celebrating this achievement.

While we still have some distance to go before declaring an end to the pandemic, our society is at a hopeful turning point.

There are now three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, all of which are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. The CDC has also issued interim recommendations for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Though these recommendations do not apply in health care settings, including UCSF Health facilities, they offer reassuring guidance from federal officials that we are on the path to recovery.

We will review the new CDC guidance to determine what changes we will make to campus-wide COVID-19 policies. For now, we ask that everyone in the UCSF community at all of our locations — regardless of vaccination status — continue to mask, physically distance, wash hands regularly, and take all necessary precautions to keep our colleagues and patients safe.

While our fight against COVID-19 has not yet ended, this...

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March 1, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020, I am reflecting on the toll this disease has taken, the incredible rallying response of the UCSF community, and how the events of the past year will shape our future.

In recognition of this historic milestone, UCSF is hosting COVID-19: The Path Forward, a three-part series of panel discussions—on March 9, 16, and 23—that will address the lessons we have learned as scientists, health care providers, and public health experts. Panelists will discuss the science behind the pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable communities, and what a post-pandemic world might look like.

As we foster a guarded optimism that 2021 will bring brighter days, we cannot forget that the number of U.S. lives lost to the pandemic tragically surpassed 500,000 a week ago. COVID-19 remains a serious threat to public health. However, as new cases continue to decline, cities open schools and businesses, and more people are vaccinated, we can begin to envision life after the pandemic.

I hope you will join me for these special panel discussions, which are open to the broader public. These conversations, which will be recorded and may be viewed at a later time, will help guide our communities toward a better understanding of the challenges we face as we emerge from the pandemic’s grip. They also reflect the year-long contributions UCSF has made to public health, a reminder of our responsibility and privilege to serve our patients and...

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February 24, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we continue to roll out our vaccination efforts, I want to acknowledge the grim milestone that we have just passed as a nation. On Monday, the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, including the nearly 1,500 people who lost their lives that day alone. We mourn the lives lost and send our heartfelt condolences to their families and friends.

The effort to vaccinate all of our communities remains one of the highest priorities across the country. To date, UCSF Health has provided more than 75,000 vaccine doses to our employees, learners, patients and community members. Now we are entering a new phase of the vaccine rollout, in alignment with the City of San Francisco, based on the state eligibility guidelines for educational institutions.

As of today, we will begin vaccinating our remaining employees and learners, as well as our patients in the new categories, following the updated California Department of Public Health guidelines. This also includes UCSF employees who are working remotely. Vaccinations for faculty, trainees and staff at UCSF Fresno are being administered locally in Fresno.

The new directive is broad and aims to enable daycare, schools, colleges and other educational institutions – including our own – to reopen safely. The new categories also include our patients who work in childcare, teaching, as first responders, or in food and agriculture.

While this is good news, it is important to understand how limited vaccine supplies remain. As vaccine production, distribution capacity...

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February 5, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We have reached a new milestone in our COVID-19 vaccination efforts, having provided more than 50,000 doses of vaccine to our employees, city health care workers, and patients. This is a phenomenal effort and I am proud of the many teams across UCSF that continue to drive this critical public health goal.

As a result of additional Pfizer vaccine supply made available this week, we have been able to move more quickly than I described in my February 1 message.

As of Monday, February 8, we will begin vaccinating all employees and learners whose work has required them to be on site at least once per week for the past three months. You will be required to attest to your eligibility when you schedule your appointment.

While this is good news, it is important to understand how limited vaccine supplies remain. As demand continues to outpace supply, we and other health care providers face the real possibility of running out of vaccines each week. I am grateful that our vaccine leadership team is working continuously to avoid this possibility. In addition, we are continuing to expand our capacity to provide vaccinations, so that we are prepared to vaccinate greater numbers of people as the vaccine supply and distribution increase.

Given the vaccine shortage, the University of California Office of the President has asked us to prioritize patients to employees at a 2:1 ratio for our remaining rollout. We will be able to vaccinate about 200 employees and learners per day for first doses in the coming weeks. UCSF ID badge swipe data indicate that approximately...

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February 1, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we make steady progress in vaccinating our highest-risk employees, learners and patients, I would like to make you aware of three new policies that will affect when and how some members of our community receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Note that these will depend on our vaccine supply, which we expect to remain limited for the next few weeks.

UCOP Establishes Vaccine Timeline for All UC Campuses

The UC Office of the President has developed a simplified framework that is aligned with state guidelines and will be used at all UC campuses during the next phase of the rollout, to help determine when patients and employees become eligible to receive the vaccine.

During the first three weeks of February, a new group will be able to start scheduling their vaccination appointments each week through MyChart.

  • Week 1 (Feb. 1): Patients and employees (on-site and remote) age 65 or older.
  • Week 2 (Feb. 8): On-site food service, childcare, veterinary/animal care, and emergency services workers who have not yet been vaccinated.
  • Week 3 (Feb. 15): All other workers who are required to be on-site at least once a week.
Self-Scheduling Your Vaccination

Last week, we launched a new MyChart system to enable our patients to self-schedule their vaccines as soon as they become eligible, based on vaccine availability. Starting next week, UCSF employees who have not been vaccinated will be able to self-schedule their vaccine through MyChart. When scheduling your appointment, you will be asked to attest that you meet the eligibility criteria. Over the next three weeks, the priority groups will be...

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January 25, 2021
Leadership
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

After more than four decades of exceptional leadership locally, statewide, and nationally, Mark Laret has informed me of his intention to retire from the University of California at the end of this calendar year.

Mark’s decision caps an incredible tenure at UC, and at UCSF. In 1980, he began his UC career at the UCLA Medical Center where he built the external relations and managed care functions, led the acquisition of Santa Monica Hospital, and positioned UCLA as a leading regional provider of care. In 1995, Mark was appointed CEO at UC Irvine Medical Center in the wake of significant challenges at their fertility center. In that role, he strengthened the management team and built an enduring values-based culture focused on always doing the right thing for patients and the community.

In 2000, we recruited Mark to become CEO of UCSF Medical Center. He joined us as a three-year merger with Stanford Hospital was ending, leaving UCSF in difficult financial and operational circumstances with a depleted management team.

Mark recruited a new leadership team and developed the medical center’s mission, vision, and PRIDE (Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence) values system, all of which endure to this day. With the support of then Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, and in partnership with then School of Medicine Dean Haile Debas and the clinical department chairs, Mark and the team developed and executed a strategic plan to make UCSF larger, stronger, and better able to serve our diverse community.

The fundamentals — quality of patient care, safety, positive patient experiences, health equity, employee engagement, and operational...

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January 21, 2021
Community
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We are pleased to announce that this afternoon the UC Board of Regents unanimously approved key provisions that clear the way for us to modernize our historic Parnassus Heights campus.

The Regents vote today caps a years-long effort by hundreds of stakeholders both inside and outside UCSF who provided their input and support to develop the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan. This milestone marks the beginning of a bold 30-year vision to transform our oldest and largest campus into a welcoming destination for our patients and employees, and improve the daily experience of living in the neighborhood.

The Parnassus Heights plan expands the possibilities for our interconnected research, educational, and clinical enterprise. New facilities designed to 21st century standards will allow us to continue attracting the best and brightest learners, researchers, physician-scientists, and clinicians. In so doing, we will ensure UCSF’s ability to drive the innovations that have improved lives for decades and have established our place among the world’s leading academic medical centers.

Among the first projects to start will be the cornerstone of the plan, a new state-of-the-art hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center that will help us meet the current and growing demand for complex health care. Additional projects that will begin in the first ten years include the new Research and Academic Building, new affordable housing at Aldea for employees and trainees, and a renewed arrival experience on Irving Street. We invite you to...

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