Eleven members of the UCSF community were honored recently at the annual Founders Day Luncheon for their outstanding public service, University service and patient care.
Chancellor Mike Bishop, MD, welcomed families and friends to the festive occasion, where he joined colleagues to congratulate the recipients, who were selected to receive the awards by committees of their peers.
The Chancellor's Award for Public Service, established by Chancellor Philip R. Lee, MD, in 1970, annually honors members of the campus community who have performed outstanding public service, beyond what is required by their University positions. The award recognizes one member each from the faculty, staff and student body who make important contributions to the welfare of the community through public service activities.
The recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Public Service are:
- Francisco Ramos-Gomez, DDS, MS, MPH, associate professor, Department of Orofacial Sciences, School of Dentistry;
- James Wong, financial analyst, Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine; and
- Jason Miller, a third-year medical student and PhD candidate in the Medical Scientist Training Program, School of Medicine.
A member of the UCSF faculty for 15 years, Ramos-Gomez is recognized as a leader in children's oral health and a champion of increasing access to dental care for uninsured and underserved children and families. When the Family Dental Health Clinic closed at San Francisco General Hospital because of lack of funding, Ramos-Gomez found a way to serve the community. He became the first School of Dentistry faculty member to locate his practice in the Mission District, serving very young underserved children in a preschool-like setting. Ramos-Gomez started in San Francisco the Give Kids A Smile program, which has expanded in the city serving hundreds of children a year.
At the Native American Health Center in San Francisco, Ramos-Gomez translates research findings into clinical practice and works to eliminate disparities in underserved communities, specifically in the prevention of early childhood caries. He also was instrumental in voter approval of the California children and family act, which provides comprehensive early childhood dental care in San Francisco. The program receives funds to raise awareness of dental health and provide outreach programs to promote health and disease prevention.
A financial analyst at UCSF, Wong volunteers as an emergency medical technician and ham radio operator during his free time. As a volunteer for the American Red Cross, Wong is sometimes called upon in the dead of night, when people are displaced from their homes due to catastrophes such as fires, to coordinate assistance behind the scenes. Wong also serves in the medical center emergency operations center, using his radio skills.
As a member of the auxiliary community service run by ham radio operators, Wong and his entire family are certified by the San Francisco Fire Department as Neighborhood Emergency Response Training volunteers. With his pager and cell phone constantly at his side, Wong also volunteers many hours at community events, including the San Francisco AIDS Walk, Stern Grove concert series and Opera in the Park.
A strong and effective activist fighting to end the genocide of men, women and children in the Darfur region of Sudan, Miller and a coalition of UC students, faculty and staff brought the issue to the attention of the UC Board of Regents, asking that the University divest from companies that support the Sudanese government. In fact, Miller drafted a 220-page divestment analysis that was used as a guide by the Regents in their decision. In March 2006, the Regents voted to divest from several companies doing business in Sudan, an action that has occurred only twice before: when UC divested in apartheid-related and tobacco companies.
His efforts were key when, in September 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning the state pension fund from holding any stock with certain companies doing business with the Sudanese government. Miller also has contributed to legislation and policies in 20 other states and 40 universities in the United States. Miller plans to donate his $2,000 cash prize from this award to the cause.
EXCEPTIONAL UNIVERSITY SERVICE
The Chancellor's Award for Exceptional University Service was created in 1978 by Chancellor Francis I. Sooy, MD, to annually recognize staff employees in nonsupervisory roles for consistently performing at a level beyond what is ordinarily expected. The four recipients of this award are:
- Frank Farm, a web programmer and analyst III, Dean's Office, School of Pharmacy;
- Rebecca Gates, a clinical social worker III, Department of Pediatric Social Work, UCSF Medical Center;
- Carla Graf, MS, RN, a clinical nurse V, Department of Nursing, UCSF Medical Center; and
- Robert Lehr, a senior operator and administrative assistant III, Ambulatory Operator Services, UCSF Medical Center.
A five-year employee at UCSF, Farm is recognized for his commitment to excellence, collaborative approach to change and "impeccable sense of integrity and ethics." Farm provides his technical expertise and talent to the School of Pharmacy website, provides desktop and server support to the School of Pharmacy Office of Student & Curricular Affairs, and is generous with his time in offering computer support and technical advice to students and staff.
With 10 years of UCSF service, Gates is commended as a stellar provider of services to children and families at the medical center. She is a teacher, mentor and role model for co-workers. Gates is also recognized for her tireless efforts to improve communication to people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and for devising creative care plans in which patients' families are equal partners. Gates is viewed as a champion of at-risk children, some of whom are victims of child abuse. For each case, she identifies and assesses their situation and provides follow-up care in a gentle way. Gates is lauded for her "humility, grace, respect and tenderness."
With 19 years of service at the medical center, Graf goes above and beyond the call of duty to advocate for geriatric patients and to ensure a safe and therapeutic environment. Her contributions to patients, families, nursing, teamwork, collaboration, scholarship, and the research and practice environment at UCSF are exemplary. Graf has led falls prevention efforts, aspiration prevention efforts, and basic and advanced geriatric training for nurses, patient care assistants, chaplains and other disciplines. She helped to create a geriatric nurse resource group - more than 15 nurses from across the medical center with a special interest in geriatrics. They expand her reach by taking on evidence-based practice projects at the unit level to improve care for hospitalized elders. Graf is respected by her physician colleagues and those in other disciplines for her teamwork, collaboration and scholarship.
A former TV repairman and front desk receptionist at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, Lehr is lauded for his positive attitude and expertise as a senior operator, answering phones for the medical center's ambulatory care services. The 27-year UCSF employee is the last of UCSF's original operators, have helped thousands of callers navigate the complex academic medical center by answering questions and connecting them to the right people and places. He is considered a "tremendous resource for newly hired staff." Lehr, who graduated from San Francisco State University and serves as a substitute teacher, also has been a disc jockey for the past 30 years.
EXCEPTIONAL UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT
The Chancellor's Award for Exceptional University Management annually recognizes and rewards outstanding service at UCSF by those who have the responsibility to supervise, guide and lead others, as well as support the strategic goals and values of the University. The two awardees are:
- Amy Levine, EdD, executive director of the Center for Gender Equity, and
- Ann Williamson, PhD, RN, director of General Clinical and Emergency Services, Nursing Administration, UCSF Medical Center.
When it comes to advancing UCSF's values of diversity, equity and mutual respect, Levine is well-known across the campus and the UC system for her leadership and sense of humor. She is on the front lines advocating improvements and collaborating with colleagues to help women and minorities achieve their definition of success. Levine was appointed to a Presidential Staff Fellowship at the UC Office of the President to develop a strategic platform primarily focused on addressing the career advancement of the University's women staff. Levine has organized symposia since 1998 to help UC women staff identify and overcome institutional and personal barriers to career opportunities and advancement. She is recognized for holding the values of diversity closely to her heart, and is credited for hiring and mentoring a highly professional staff that reflects that commitment.
Directing a staff of 600 with 20 managers directly reporting to her, Williamson is lauded for her professionalism, efficiency and organizational skills. She has been instrumental in the roll out of the UC Care electronic medical records system, which has gone smoothly. Williamson has also planned and developed new patient services, and is an exceptional role model exemplifying management expertise and skills.
The Distinguished Nurse Award is presented annually to a professional nurse actively engaged in nursing practice, education or leadership at the UCSF Medical Center. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the care of patients and fosters professional and public awareness of achievements in nursing practice. The recipient is Julia Chinn, RN, a clinical nurse III, Department of Surgery, UCSF Medical Center.
With 25 years of UCSF service, Chinn is commended for her advocacy for all patients in general surgery and orthopedics. Serving many patients over the age of 65, Chinn works to keep them safe in part by preventing falls. She also improves care for delirious patients and led an effort to standardize assessment and management of these patients. Chinn mentors staff and is hailed for her staunch commitment as a patient advocate.
MOUNT ZION SERVICE
The UCSF at Mount Zion Milton and Helen Pearl Award for Outstanding Service was established by Helen Pearl in 1993 to honor the late Milton J. Pearl, MD, a longtime Mount Zion surgeon and community leader. The award annually recognizes a UCSF employee at Mount Zion who has consistently performed at a level beyond what is ordinarily expected. The recipient must have demonstrated exceptional willingness to render additional service of distinction to others. The awardee is Dorothy Ramirez, hospital unit service coordinator III, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion.
Ramirez is credited for her knowledge and high standards at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion. She consistently demonstrates the highest standard of skills, knowledge and ability in performing her job. Ramirez goes above and beyond her job in being a tireless accreditation advocate, directing and guiding volunteers, and conducting workshops for staff. She is also recognized as a great preceptor, mentor and role model not only to unit service coordinators, but also to nurses, students, physicians and all staff. For more than 30 years, she has demonstrated passion for and dedication to her work, her colleagues and especially patients and families at Mount Zion.