Mount Zion Overview

The UCSF Mount Zion campus is devoted entirely to patient care. UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion comprises the entire site, serving as an innovative hub of specialized outpatient clinics, surgery services and comprehensive cancer care.

UCSF Mount Zion is one of the two main patient care sites of UCSF Medical Center. The other site is UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus.

The two sites are committed to providing the safest and highest-quality care to patients as part of the mission of UCSF Medical Center, which for the 10th consecutive year has been ranked as one of the top 10 hospitals in the country by US News & World Report.

Advanced Levels of Patient Care

As a leading health care facility, UCSF Medical Center is distinguished as an academic medical center and quaternary care hospital providing advanced patient care that is highly specialized and not widely available. The quaternary designation refers to a patient care facility offering clinical services above primary care to level four, the highest level.  In its academic role, the medical center and its clinical enterprise are integrated with UCSF’s research and educational programs.

For patients, including those at Mount Zion, this means the opportunity to receive pioneering treatments—many developed by UCSF research teams—that often are not available elsewhere.   It also means Mount Zion, like Parnassus, serves as a teaching hospital for students enrolled in UCSF’s four professional schools and for other trainees.    Patient care is provided as part of a coordinated UCSF network of teaching sites that serve as an essential training ground for the next generation of health professionals.  

Located in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood, about 2.5 miles from the medical center’s Parnassus site, Mount Zion is home to a vibrant community of UCSF faculty, staff, students, patients and other visitors that totals about 3,200 on a daily basis.

“UCSF Mount Zion is all about excellent patient care, and this extends into a patient-centric environment that has been designed to be accessible and supportive to all visitors,” said Jeffrey Pearl, MD, UCSF clinical professor of surgery and associate chief medical officer at UCSF Mount Zion. “The original Mount Zion Hospital has a rich history of serving the public, and this has not been lost on today’s patient care teams at UCSF Mount Zion. They have a strong sense of community, and it shows in the way this medical center operates.”

The growing network of outpatient services at Mount Zion includes Audiology, Cochlear Implant Center, Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)Dermatology, Headache Center,Asian Heart and Vascular Center, and adult and pediatric primary care, as well as a surgery center for both inpatients and outpatients. Mount Zion maintains 10 operating rooms and a 90-bed inpatient unit.

Support services include a patient health library and the award-winning Art for Recovery program,which is designed to support patients and others in the UCSF community through the arts.

Mount Zion also is the headquarters of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, which has the National Cancer Institute’s highest designation – comprehensive – in recognition of its cutting-edge patient care and innovative research.

Mount Zion serves as the main base for diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients, and maintains a state-of-the-art outpatient center providing one-stop care by a team of specialists. The overall excellence of the cancer patient care program – which, in addition to Mount Zion, includes cancer services and specialists based on the Parnassus campus and at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital – has earned UCSF Medical Center top ranking for this specialty. In the 2010 survey of America’s best hospitals by US News & World Report, UCSF cancer care is ranked No. 1 in California and among the top 10 programs in the nation.

Mount Zion also is home to the Cancer Risk Program, which provides genetic counseling to families with a history of cancer and is the largest and most comprehensive service of this type in Northern California, and the Cancer Resource Center, which maintains a library of information resources and hosts support groups and workshops for patients and their families.

Other specialized centers at Mount Zion include the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Sports Medicine Center, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Sleep Disorders Center and Pain Management Center.

In the future, Mount Zion’s role as an outpatient hub is expected to expand when UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay opens in 2014 on the UCSF Mission Bay campus. This new patient care complex will include specialized hospitals for children, women and cancer patients, and some services now at Mount Zion will move to the new facility, thereby freeing up space to expand others and add new ones.

History of Mount Zion Hospital

The original Mount Zion Hospital was established as a community hospital in San Francisco in 1887. A new facility, known as the Hellman Building, was constructed on Post Street in the early 1900s, and this building is now part of UCSF Mount Zion. A block party scheduled for June 2011 will celebrate the building’s 100th anniversary.

Mount Zion Hospital began its association with the University of California in the late 1920s, when its medical services expanded significantly and it became a teaching hospital affiliated with UC Medical School (later named UCSF School of Medicine). UCSF acquired the hospital in 1990, and developed the facility over the next few years into a second major clinical site, with an emphasis on outpatient care, under the name UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion.

Throughout the 20th century, Mount Zion Hospital had a key role in providing health care to area residents and in advancing medical care through research.

During the flu epidemic of 1918, the hospital treated 100-plus patients a day, and in the 1940s, it provided care to thousands of Jewish refugees. In the 1950s, cardiologists Meyer Friedman, MD, and Ray Rosenman, MD, began studying risk factors for coronary disease, eventually defining the syndrome known as “Type A” behavior and bringing national attention to the hospital. In 1976, the hospital opened the first alternative birth center in San Francisco, and 10 years later opened the city’s first hospital-based comprehensive women’s health center.