Exhibit: 'Medical Center at Mount Zion: A Legacy of Health Care'

By Eve Harris

A new, permanent museum-quality exhibit has been entertaining and educating passersby at UCSF Mount Zion for the past month. The 9 x 14 foot display, "UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion: A Legacy of Health Care," dominates the wall opposite the Cancer Resource Center at 1600 Divisadero. Historic and contemporary images are displayed for a few seconds each on one of four embedded monitors visible through portals labeled "Changing Architecture," "A Legacy of Community Support and Outreach," "A Legacy of Compassionate Patient Care" and "A Teaching Hospital with Cutting Edge Research." The silent sequences of digital images provide the viewer an interpretation of the dynamic nature of health care and research at the Mount Zion campus, according to Curator Susan Morris. Until its merger with UCSF in July 1990, Mount Zion Hospital, now the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, operated as a private non-profit institution. It was founded during the late 19th Century -- when ethnic and religious segregation in hospitals was common -- as a Jewish hospital with the mission "Healing, grounded in learning and supported by acts of personal kindness." Acquainting herself with Mount Zion was not hard for Morris -- she and her children were born there! Morris said she intends this installation "to inform a new generation of the remarkable history of Mount Zion.
Photo from exhibit
"With images of Dianne Feinstein as a County Supervisor and Willie Mays as a San Francisco Giant, it may also remind those who have already given years of service to Mount Zion just how far they have come. "The dynamic changes now occurring at Mount Zion are part of the changing nature of society and medicine and continue the rich legacy of health care at Mount Zion," Morris said. Historic images were culled primarily from the collection now housed at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, where Morris is former director. She said it took 18 months to cull through thousands of photos and materials to select the items for each theme. Just as the Mount Zion legacy continues, she said, so the project is intended to continue. Morris will periodically seek to refresh the collection of images.
Photo from exhibit
Jeffrey Pearl, MD, was the guiding force behind the creation of the "legacy wall," which he likened to a museum installation. When asked about the project's genesis, Pearl told this story: "One day (Dr) Peter Carroll came to me. He said, 'I love Mount Zion! I love working here. I don't want to work anywhere else. But I need to know more about it.' So that's the reason for the legacy wall." Pearl, who is associate dean of the campus, secured project funding from the Harris Fishbon fund of the Mount Zion Health Fund. Bill Chayes of Chayes Productions designed the exhibit along with Irene Morris of Morris Design and with help from Mary Phillips, associate architect, UCSF Medical Center. Source: Eve Harris
Photo from exhibit

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Mount Zion History