First Annual Disability Service Awards to Honor Three Members of UCSF Community

By Juliana Bunim on February 17, 2011
From left, Geraldine Collins-Bride, Alice Wong, UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann and Nathaniel Gleason at the first-ever awards ceremony to honor disability leaders.

The first annual 2010 Chancellor's Disability Service Award will honor three members of the UCSF community for their dedicated and remarkable work to advance access for and accommodation of those with disabilities.

“Developing an award brings attention to the work of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Diversity as well as what individuals on campus have done to continue improving access and accommodation to our disabled colleagues, students, staff and faculty on campus,” said Michael Adams, director of the office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Diversity and campus coordinator for Americans with Disabilities Act. “It brings that constituency into balance with other groups that are traditionally part of the broad definition of diversity.”

The campus community is invited and encouraged to attend the first-ever award ceremony to recognize disability advocates in the faculty, staff and student/trainee categories. UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, presented the awards on Feb. 22 in Toland Hall on the Parnassus campus. The awardees are:

  • Geraldine Collins-Bride, RN, MS, ANP, clinical professor and vice chair, Department of Community Health Systems;
  • Alice Wong, MS, staff research associate, Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences; and
  • Nathaniel Gleason, MD, medical resident, the Department of Medicine.

Geraldine Collins-Bride

Geraldine Collins-Bride

For nearly 30 years, Gerri Collins-Bride has been a  primary care nurse practitioner in General Internal Medicine Practice at UCSF, providing care for adults and transitional age youth with psychiatric and developmental disabilities, receiving referrals from throughout Northern California.

She is a founding member of the Redwood Coast Regional Center Telemedicine Assessment and Consultation Team, a service that provides expert consultation to rural health care providers in Northern California to care for the most medically complex patients with developmental disabilities.

Collins-Bride also delivers primary care to individuals with serious mental illness in her nurse-managed faculty practice, PCOM (Primary Care Outreach for persons with Severe Mental Illness) in community-based residential mental health treatment programs in San Francisco. PCOM has been recognized as a successful model of academic community partnership, and served as a major clinical training site for advanced practice nursing students for four successfully funded federal training grants and a five-year NINR funded clinical trial of wellness for individuals with mental illness.  

Collins-Bride acts as a role model as an advanced practice nurse. A member of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, she is described as a faculty member who teaches caring and compassion and serves an excellent facilitator of complex clinical case discussions.

While working with a large number of patients with cerebral palsy, developmental delay, hearing and sight impairments, Collins-Bride provides much needed advocacy for patients and families and clinical expertise for both outpatient and inpatient team providers.

In addition to her hands-on patient care, Collins-Bride has for eight years co-chaired the Annual Conference on Developmental Disabilities, and is working closely with the Office of Developmental Primary Care in the Department of Family and Community Medicine as the director of Clinical Education and Training to provide lectures and clinical residency training for students in the schools of nursing, medicine and dentistry at UCSF.  

She is an active member of the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s task force on transition of care for people with disabilities, and works with San Mateo Health Plan Initiative to develop a more integrated model of care for people with developmental disabilities.

Alice Wong

Alice WongAlice Wong

As a prominent advocate for the disabled in the UCSF community since 1997, Wong has educated and inspired countless colleagues while working to make the urban campus more accessible and welcoming for all people with disabilities.

While enrolled as a student, Wong served as president of the Disabilities Interest Group for six years, working in monthly meetings to expand access and raise awareness across UCSF. It was that group’s advocacy that led to the establishment of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Disabilities Issues, which Wong co-chaired for three years. Her work played a key role in the committee’s efforts to create and implement design guidelines for all UCSF renovation and new construction projects, making more buildings and spaces accessible to the entire campus community.

Her contributions over the last decade are numerous, including the conception of the first online access resource outlining accessible features of all major campus buildings, and the development of the Disability Resources website, offering a single destination of resources for the campus community.

Wong also successfully advocated for more TTY phones on the Parnassus campus, the installation of wheelchair accessible buttons inside campus elevators and signs indicating that individuals with special needs should be granted the courtesy to enter elevators first.

She is known for her creative thinking and dedication to her work advocating for the disabled, and is recognized for her extraordinary knowledgeable by her peers.

Wong currently works with the federally funded Center for Personal Assistance Services in the UCSF School of Nursing, which provides personal assistant services to enable individuals with disabilities to live and work independently.

Last July, Wong received the Mayor’s Disability Council Beacon Award for her outstanding leadership at the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act celebration in July 2010. The award recognized her work at UCSF and as the president of the San Francisco In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Public Authority Governing Body. IHSS is a statewide publicly funded program providing personal assistance services to low-income people with chronic and disabling conditions.

Nathaniel Gleason

Nathaniel GleasonNathaniel Gleason

Gleason received his BA degree from Brown University, a medical degree from the UCSF School of Medicine and will complete his residency at UCSF in internal medicine in 2011. He has volunteered for public health programs throughout Latin America, had a career as a musician, and was a member of the AmeriCorps Health Corp program.

He accomplished all of this, despite being legally blind. Gleason’s story was featured in the video profile series called “Voices” on the UCSF diversity website.

While in medical school at UCSF, Gleason was awarded a four-year School of Medicine Dean’s Scholarship for both his academic achievements and his commitment to assisting the underserved. He served for four years as the only student representative on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Disability.

Through a UCSF Social and Behavioral Student Research Grant, Gleason developed a disability curriculum including lectures and panel session specific to caring for patients with hearing, visual and mobility impairment to educate medical students in the care of patients with disabilities. The curriculum has a resounding effect, and remains an important part of the third-year medical student intersession course. Gleason has presented the content in several other venues including the Annual Review in Family Medicine Conference in San Francisco, the UCSF Family Residency conference series, and several nursing continuing medical education conferences.

In 2007, Gleason received the UCSF Essential Core Teaching award, and upon graduation from the School of Medicine received the prestigious Gold-Headed Cane Award, in recognition from his classmates that he is the most representative of a true physician.

Now as a resident in Internal Medicine, Gleason is known for his ability to connect with patients and families while demonstrating an infectious can-do attitude that motivates and inspires the entire community. 

Group photo by Susan Merrell