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 20, 2019
Leadership
People

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you about several upcoming changes to the Office of Strategic Communications and University Relations.

Vice Chancellor Barbara J. French will retire from UCSF on June 27, after 14 years of exemplary service. As head of Strategic Communications and University Relations, Barbara has provided invaluable counsel to me and my leadership team as well as former chancellors on issues related to communications, media relations, brand stewardship, government affairs, and community relations. She has led an award-winning team in elevating how we tell the UCSF story to our communities and to the world during a critical period in the growth of our enterprise.

Under Barbara’s leadership, University Relations has played a crucial role in advancing UCSF’s strategic priorities, including fostering constructive relationships with Mission Bay and Dogpatch residents to inform and support the expansion of UCSF programs; partnering with Parnassus Heights neighbors to create and adopt a 20-year Mount Sutro Reserve Management Plan and lay the groundwork for engaging the community in the re-envisioning of our historic Parnassus Heights campus; engaging communities in Oakland and Alameda County in support of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals; revitalizing and strengthening the UCSF brand identity system; developing UCSF’s presence across a broad and rapidly changing digital landscape; collaborating to create opportunities for San Francisco residents to relaunch...

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June 5, 2019
Advocacy

Dear UCSF Community,

UCSF strongly opposes today’s abrupt decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to discontinue intramural fetal tissue research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The efforts by the administration to impede this work will undermine scientific discovery and the ability to find effective treatments for serious and life-threatening disease. Fetal tissue is used in important research aimed at discovering cures for illnesses that affect the lives of millions of Americans, including Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injury, eye disease, and HIV.

At UCSF, today’s action ends a 30-year partnership with the NIH to use specially designed models that could be developed only through the use of fetal tissue to find a cure for HIV. UCSF exercised appropriate oversight and complied with all state and federal laws. We believe this decision to be politically motivated, shortsighted, and not based on sound science.

UCSF will continue to collaborate with the UC Office of the President, as well as with other universities, science associations, and affiliated organizations, to advocate for sustained federal funding of fetal tissue research with Congress and the Administration.

Sincerely,

...

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June 4, 2019
Advocacy
Community

Dear UCSF Community,

This month, members of our community will come together to celebrate Pride Month and mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

UCSF unequivocally reaffirms its support for the LGBTQ community. Our unwavering commitment to protect the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ community is especially crucial today in the wake of several federal actions that would roll back basic human rights, including access to health care and homeless shelters. Among them:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a regulation on May 24 that removes current anti-discrimination protections for transgender Americans from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), asserting that discrimination on the basis of sex should not include gender identity. The proposal essentially says that gender identity is not protected under federal laws that prohibit discrimination in health care.
  • The HHS released a...
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May 29, 2019
Partnerships

Dear UCSF Community:

Partnerships with peer institutions and industry leaders are an important part of our strategy to accelerate our work across all of UCSF’s mission areas. When considering these relationships, we must ensure that potential partners can sufficiently protect and safeguard any sensitive data we share as part of our collaboration.

A task force comprising UCSF leaders in research, technology, and operations has been working to better understand the unique opportunities and challenges confronting UCSF in regard to our collaborations and partnerships with external entities that include sharing sensitive data. Generally, the task force recommended streamlining the process for setting up external collaborations and establishing efficient oversight of certain types of relationships that involve sharing sensitive data.

The work to implement these recommendations is underway. The first step is to activate an interim process to flag high-risk data sharing proposals for review by the UCSF Enterprise Information and Analytics Committee (EIA) led by Dr. Jennifer Grandis. Specifically, prior to executing a contract, our designated contracting teams will forward to the EIA proposed partnership contracts that involve:

  • Sharing any UC-protected health information (PHI) outside of IRB-approved clinical trials
  • Sharing sensitive UCSF data with high-risk countries or companies
    • Identified using Restricted Party Screening software from Visual Compliance® and information from government and law enforcement authorities (e.g., FBI)
  • ...
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May 28, 2019
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues, Friends, Concerned Citizens:

Over the past several weeks, and in particular at the recent meeting of the UC Board of Regents, we have seen and heard hundreds of thoughtful, principled, and impassioned statements about UCSF’s proposal to expand our relationship with Dignity Health’s four Bay Area hospitals.

Many of you have expressed strong concerns about a significantly expanded UCSF relationship with a health care system that has certain limits on women’s reproductive services, LGBTQ care, and end-of-life options. Meanwhile, many of you have been adamant that UCSF must build on its decades-long affiliation with Dignity Health in order to provide critically needed health care services to our Bay Area communities.

We respect and appreciate the diversity of opinions from multiple stakeholders both within UCSF and outside our University, and we have heard you all. In the past several days, we have met internally, with Dignity Health, and with leaders both in the University of California Office of the President and the Regents. Given the concerns, we will not continue to pursue the affiliation as it had been envisioned, which would have created a stronger link between UCSF Health and Dignity Health’s four Bay Area hospitals.

What remains true is that the critical patient needs that have driven our discussions with Dignity Health still exist, and we have a responsibility to meet them. Going forward, we will continue to work to identify a path to help meet those needs and increase access to crucial health services. We will develop solutions that address many of the concerns we have heard. We are particularly sensitive to addressing the unique needs of women,...

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May 17, 2019
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community:

Yesterday, we were challenged with the fifth labor action within the past year. The disruptions caused by these repeated strikes are significant and affect the entire UCSF community – faculty, staff, trainees, students, visitors, and especially our patients.

Once more, UCSF Health rescheduled hundreds of patient appointments. For those patients who remained in our hospitals or received outpatient services, it continues to be disconcerting that they are forced to reschedule appointments or maneuver through picket lines in order to receive the excellent care that our clinicians and staff provide.

As before, we extend our gratitude to each of you who came to work and who planned and helped UCSF through this trying time. We are appreciative of the volunteers and replacement workers who enabled UCSF to continue providing services and the professionalism of those who chose to participate in the labor action.

No matter your opinion about strikes, everyone in the UCSF family is bonded by our UCSF PRIDE Values: professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, and excellence and our shared mission of advancing health worldwide. The work involved in ensuring the safety and security of the entire UCSF community, especially over repeated labor actions, can create very real tensions among colleagues. As we come together today and in the future toward fulfilling UCSF's mission, we ask that everyone recommit to these values.

We continue to hope and expect that the UC Office of the President and union leaders are committed to finding a resolution to these labor contract issues soon.

Thank you for all that you do for UCSF and UCSF Health...

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May 13, 2019
Partnerships
UCSF Health

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

Many of you have heard about our intention to expand our collaboration with Dignity Health. Although a proposal has not yet been finalized, our efforts are being publicly discussed.

We want to be clear as to why we are exploring this collaboration with Dignity and how, together, we can expand patient access to quality health care – care for women, care for the LGBTQ community, and care for all patients. We want to underscore that UCSF’s PRIDE Values will be central to this affiliation and are central to all that we do.

In addition, we want to let you know where you can find information about our plans with Dignity. Information is available on our Dignity Health Affiliation page, including FAQs, a letter from the UCSF Academic Senate, and a faculty opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.

What we are exploring is a broader affiliation between UCSF Health and Dignity Health. The aim is to expand our services at four Dignity hospitals – St. Mary’s Medical Center and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, and Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. This would be an expansion of our current relationship with Dignity, a relationship...

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May 6, 2019
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We have received a strike notice from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union for its Service and Patient Care Technical Units (SX and EX) and from the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union for its Health Care Professionals, Research Support Professionals, and Technical Units (HX, RX, and TX).

The labor action will begin Thursday, May 16, 2019, at 12:00 a.m. and end at 11:59 p.m. You can find updates on the In the Know website throughout the strike.

As we have stated in advance of previous strikes, we respect our employees’ rights to representation and freedom of speech. That said, striking is a serious matter, especially when it directly affects vital public services such as patient care.

Labor actions make a significant impact on the lives of our patients and their families. During last month’s strike, hundreds of appointments, including cancer infusion treatments, and selected surgeries were rescheduled. In addition, strikes create very real tensions among colleagues.

Once again, we expect disruptions to services across UCSF, including UCSF Health and the UCSF Dental Center, as well as those performed by UCSF employees at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

As always, our top priorities are the safety and security of the entire UCSF community – faculty, staff, learners, patients, and visitors. To support our work and minimize the impact of the strike, we have refined contingency plans based on our recent experience. The UC Office of the President is responsible for conducting negotiations with the unions...

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May 1, 2019
Philanthropy

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

We are delighted to share the news that UCSF has received a $30 million donation to launch a rigorous academic research program on homelessness. This new effort aims to build an evidence-based body of knowledge in the field; to train the next generation of homelessness researchers; and to serve as a resource for policy makers and others trying to solve the problem.

The gift, from Marc and Lynne Benioff, establishes the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, which will be led by Margot Kushel, MD, professor of medicine. Kushel, a nationally known expert on homelessness, is director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, where the initiative will be housed. Joshua Bamberger, MD, adjunct professor of family and community medicine, will serve as the initiative’s associate director.

Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s homeless people live in the state of California. As we all are acutely aware, many members of our local communities are struggling with this challenge. While efforts will initially focus on the Bay Area, ultimately the intent is to make research findings available to policy makers and others grappling with the issue across the nation.

In our region, perhaps the gravest threats to health are due to poverty, discrimination and, particularly, homelessness. At UCSF, our collective work in research and health care is focused on reducing inequities in health outcomes. We rely on visionary partners and donors like the Benioffs to help us...

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April 29, 2019
Community
Emergency

Dear Members of the UCSF Community,

UCSF denounces the hateful and deadly act that took place at Chabad of Poway last Saturday as its community gathered to worship on the Sabbath and at the close of the Passover holiday.

It was just last Monday that my statement was posted about the fatal violence that took place on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. The frequency with which these heinous attacks are happening is unfathomable, and yet tragically, it seems to be our new reality.

On behalf of all UCSF leadership, I am writing to reinforce that the University upholds the rights of individuals to worship as they choose and without fear. Here at UCSF, religious freedom is inherent in our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I remind you that professional counseling and confidential services are available to members of our UCSF community who are experiencing distress:

All members of the UCSF community must commit ourselves to do our best to ensure that UCSF, and the communities in which we live, are safe, supportive, and welcoming to everyone.

Sincerely,

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock...

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