UCSF School of Medicine
Vice Dean's Office at ZSFG

Winter 2024
Advancing health worldwide in the heart of the City
Happy New Year!

Sustainability, climate change, and climate health are frequent topics of discussion at work, at home, and in the public sphere. In 2023 we witnessed record-setting temperatures and other climate crises, which have amplified the need to take action. Despite evidence of the relationship between climate health and human health, sometimes I struggle to direct my concerns and energy in specific, impactful ways. Sustainability, climate change, and climate health are some of my highest priorities and I’m pleased to share recent accomplishments and goals.

In 2023, the ZSFG Dean’s office obtained Living Green Office certification through a campus-wide program to promote sustainability. This process requires modifying specific aspects of the office’s workflow and engages the team in articulating their commitment to sustainability. Our office also established a goal of encouraging at least four other groups on campus to pursue Living Green certification. Several departments have already expressed an interest and the Dean’s Office Sustainability Work Group will provide guidance and support. I hope you’ll consider joining this effort! No group is too small, every action can make a difference.

We are fortunate to work at a university which has many activities related to sustainability. Drs. Sheri Weiser and Arianne Teherani are leading a UC-wide effort to promote sustainability, including a fellowship for faculty. Dr. Seema Gandhi, from the Department of Anesthesia, has spearheaded efforts to reduce the use of specific anesthetic agents which are especially environmentally harmful when they leak out of the anesthesia circuit. I plan to incorporate their recommendations into our sustainability activities.

Did you know that there is a Green Lab certification process to promote sustainability in the wet lab setting? This year I hope that several labs within Pride Hall will obtain Green Lab certification and serve as our pilot testers. I’ve also been invited to the Academic Senate’s Medical Waste Committee meeting and look forward to learning more about options to promote sustainability in the clinical setting.

I’m very proud of the sustainability projects which have been implemented by our residents and their faculty champions. For example, in Emergency Medicine there are efforts to increase recycling of instruments in bedside procedure kits, in Radiology there are programs to improve waste sorting in the Radiology Work Rooms, and Pediatrics is disseminating the Green Living Certification within clinical areas. Once we demonstrate feasibility and implementation, I hope we’ll disseminate these practices and build momentum towards meaningful, sustainable change.

As we begin a new year, I hope you’ll join our efforts to promote sustainability and climate health at ZSFG.
Let’s Go Green in 2024!

Elena Fuentes-Afflick, MD, MPH
Vice Dean
UCSF School of Medicine, ZSFG
Recognize a UCSF colleague today!
Everything is on fire,
but everyone I love is doing beautiful things
and trying to make life worth living,
and I know I don't have to believe in everything,
but I believe in that.

Poem by Nikita Gill, shared by Laurae Pearson
Zecret Hero
Rakesh “Rick” Shankar has held his role as a Public Safety Ambassador for the UCSF Police Department for over 11 years. He is currently part of the security team that oversees UCSF Pride Hall. This role involves a multifaceted approach to security, encompassing not only the traditional duties of protecting and guarding property but also prioritizing excellent customer service and proactive measures, such as obtaining information about upcoming events to ensure smooth operations.
Rick is excellent at providing a positive experience for visitors, especially during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic, and he reflects a genuine commitment to making a difference in people's lives. His emphasis on building a welcoming atmosphere through simple gestures like greetings and smiles shows an understanding of the impact such interactions can have, especially in a hospital setting where emotions may run high. Rick’s "Zecret" aspect at UCSF Pride Hall requires him to anticipate and prepare for events, which is a valuable approach to ensure efficiency and security. Being ahead of the curve not only demonstrates professionalism but also contributes to the overall success of security operations at the building.
His extensive experience as a San Francisco Patrol Special Officer for over 15 years adds depth to his skills and expertise in the field. It's evident that he finds joy in meeting new people and that his role extends beyond just security; it involves creating a positive and supportive environment for the UCSF community.
Rick’s outlook on his work and the acknowledgment of the opportunities for growth within the UCSF Police Department highlight a workplace that values its employees and encourages professional development. He brings a unique combination of security expertise, customer service skills, and a genuine passion for making a positive impact to his role at UCSF.

Events at ZSFG
CTSI Open House at ZSFG
Join CTSI Director and Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical Research (AVC-CR) Vanessa Jacoby, MD, MAS for discussion and refreshments at the CTSI Open House @ ZSFG, Thursday, January 18th, 2024, 1:00pm – 3:00pm at UCSF Pride Hall, First Floor conference room. Dr. Jacoby and CTSI leadership will share information about CTSI services, programs, and resources that support the UCSF research community, and wish to gather feedback and input to ensure CTSI programs meet the needs of the ZSFG research community. 
2024 Hearts in SF
UCSF Departments at ZSFG have always been major supporters of this City-wide fundraising event. This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hearts in SF. That’s twenty years of coming together to make a profound impact on patient-centered care, twenty years of civic pride in the beautiful Hearts in San Francisco sculptures that raise critical funds for our city’s public hospital, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and twenty years of investing in health equity and innovation for all who live here. 
Join CEO Kim Meredith and the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation as we celebrate the 20-year legacy of Hearts in SF. Lighting up the night at The Conservatory at One Sansome, Hearts in SF will be the fundraising event of the year.

Join the Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff headlining Hearts After Dark with an evening of dancing, live performances, and late-night treats to celebrate the legacy and impact of 20 years of Hearts in SF and the SFGH Foundation's commitment to health equity and innovation at ZSFG.
Testers Needed for UCSF’s New Generative AI Chatbot 
Chancellor Sam Hawgood recently highlighted UCSF’s efforts to become a leading AI-enabled life sciences university at his recent State of the University address. Part of this effort includes the development of UCSF’s own generative AI tool, known as VERSA. One of the goals of this effort is to help researchers find answers to complex questions about UCSF policies and procedures.
To help us “train the bot,” UCSF IT needs researchers to help create sample prompts with expected results, then evaluate the bot’s responses. Please contact Jake Schwartzman to participate in a user session where he will introduce and demonstrate the new tool. 
Fun Fact
Did you ever wonder about the painting in the hall near the cafeteria entrance?
Inpatient Care Team (oil, 1976) was a permanent gift from San Francisco General Hospital employees to the Medical Center and its patients. The painting was commissioned by the Personnel Committee, representing all employees, on the recommendation of John Brooks, Chairman. It was purchased on behalf of the committee by an anonymous donor.

At the time, we were informed that "none of the models who posed for the painting are SFGH staff members. They are friends of the artist, wearing borrowed SFGH uniforms. Because the artist, Donald W. Brodeur, had been a patient at SFGH himself, he had first-hand contact with many members of the 'real' patient care team. His warm feelings about their care and concern are expressed in his painting.“

Newsletter: sfgh News Vol. 5, No. 3 February 1977
Inpatient Care Team, Donald Brodeur, 1976
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