Campbell Receives Honors for Contributions as Trauma Surgeon at SFGH

By Lisa Cisneros

Andre Campbell, MD

Andre Campbell, MD

Andre Campbell, MD, a UCSF professor of surgery, was recognized on March 29 by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for his outstanding service as a trauma and acute care surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH).

Campbell received a certificate of honor for his “professional accomplishments and meaningful contributions” to the San Francisco community. The certificate was signed by Supervisor Malia Cohen and other supervisors.

A 1985 graduate of the UCSF School of Medicine, Campbell has dedicated 17 years of his life caring for patients at the UCSF-affiliated SFGH, home to the city’s only level-one trauma center, which stands ready around the clock to serve those injured in accidents, disasters and acts of violence.

In his remarks to the Board of Supervisors, Campbell stressed the importance of maintaining a strong trauma center at San Francisco’s public hospital, where UCSF physicians and allied health professionals work along side City staff caring for the uninsured and underinsured as part of an affiliation agreement that began in 1873.

Together, the team at SFGH cares for 55,000 patients annually in the Emergency Department that receives the highest number of patients arriving by ambulances for life-saving treatment.

“Recently, we all have seen the headlines in the media of the impact that a natural disaster had in Japan,” Campbell said. “The earthquake and tsunami that resulted even affected the California coast and resulted in the loss of lives. We see how important it is to have a strong trauma center and trauma system as we live in the earthquake-prone Bay Area.  I represent the thousands of dedicated physicians, surgeons, nurses, administrators and therapists who care for the 100,000 patients who are treated at SFGH.”

Saving Lives in San Francisco

Campbell was invited by the Board of Supervisors to receive the honor as part of Black History Month in February, but because of scheduling conflicts instead appeared before the board on March 29.

A staunch supporter for social justice and equal opportunity for underrepresented minorities, Campbell noted that many of the patients he sees at SFGH are victims of violence -- an ongoing trend that disproportionately affects young African Americans and those living in the southeast sector of San Francisco.

“This week the murders that took place over the weekend in the City point to the fact that we still have much work to do in our community in the future,” Campbell said. “Many of you have been out to SFGH to visit but some have not. You all have my personal invitation to come and visit me and the dedicated practitioners who work at SFGH. 

At SFGH we are skilled at caring for injured patients, but we cannot save everyone who comes into our hospital as noted by the patients who have died at our facility in the past few days. Telling a loved one bad news is the most difficult part of my job and I wish I would never have to hear the screams of bereaved families again.”

Supervisor Malia Cohen and Andre Campbell, MD

Supervisor Malia Cohen and Andre Campbell

For his role as a public advocate for violence prevention and education, mentor of students and trainees and national leader in advancing ethnic diversity in medicine, Campbell received the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award at UCSF.

He acknowledged the “immense support that members of the Board of Supervisors have had for the hospital over the years” as well as the voters who approved Proposition A, a bond measure to rebuild the aging hospital. Campbell was a member of then-Mayor Gavin Newsom’s committee that recommended that a new hospital be built on the Potrero Avenue site to meet state seismic safety standards.

“Each day when I hear the construction work, I am proud that we will continue to provide care in the future on Potrero Avenue in the Mission,” he said. “We have accomplished much caring for our patients, but we have much to do in the future. And as the budget process moves forward, we will once again need your assistance to allow us to do our work at SFGH.”

SFGH serves as an important training ground for UCSF students and trainees who learn to provide culturally competent care to a diverse patient population. It is also a major center for research for more than 160 UCSF principal investigators engaged in innovative studies to advance human health.

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