New Marketing Campaign Reinforces UCSF's Strengths in Pioneering Care

In the coming months, residents throughout Northern California will hear why UCSF Medical Center is the place to come for the latest, most effective health care.

The medical center is launching its latest multimedia advertising campaign focused on the “pioneering care” that is only available at an academic medical center that rapidly turns the latest research from the bench, into treatment at the bedside.

“At UCSF, we attract world-class clinicians and researchers who work side-by-side to deliver care, every day, in a way that is unique throughout the region,” said Erika Smith, director of marketing for UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “Our theme – Pioneering Care – illustrates that dynamic, in addition to the partnership between our clinicians and the patients who come to UCSF.”

The UCSF Medical Center, which includes the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, is ranked among the top hospitals nationally. As an academic medical center, it integrates patient care services with UCSF’s top-ranked research and education programs.

The consumer-focused advertising campaign is airing on network and cable television, and can be seen in the San Francisco Chronicle. Beginning next week, the message also will be carried on several online sites, including SFGate and WebMD, through commercials on National Public Radio, on local outdoor billboards and on UCSF.

Until recently, medical center marketing efforts primarily were targeted to referring physicians. However, with the advent of health care reform and in particular, consumer-directed health care, patients are more involved than ever in making decisions about their own care. 

“Consumers are being held responsible for guiding the direction of their health care. There are multiple insurance and network choices, and we want consumers to know what UCSF offers and how we are different from other medical centers, so they can get the best care possible,” said Smith.

The full campaign can be seen at

The ads feature some of UCSF’s top physicians, including Peter Carroll, MD; Margaret Tempero, MD; Larry Rand, MD; Mitchel Berger, MD; Thomas Vail, MD; John Roberts, MD; Jeffrey Olgin, MD; and ultimately, Nancy Ascher, MD, and highlight a few of UCSF’s clinical areas of excellence.

In the narratives, UCSF doctors and their patients talk about a mutual quest for excellence in care and a shared involvement in making decisions about treatment options. Patients also comment on the supportive environment at UCSF – “from the receptionists, to the nurses, to the researchers and the doctors, everyone was first-rate.”

Reinforcing UCSF’s strengths in translational medicine to consumers should reap several benefits. Based on recent market research, the messaging aligns with what’s important to potential UCSF patients, 25 percent of whom are “highly engaged” – doing research about and active in their own health care – and 25 percent of whom seek opinions from others, such as a friend.

In addition, the collaborative spirit among researchers, clinicians and educators that is unique to UCSF, also creates a singular environment that differentiates the institution from other health care providers while supporting the overarching UCSF brand.

“Each of our audiences, whether they are patients, donors or physicians, knows us based on their individual interactions with one part of UCSF.  But it’s the story of UCSF as a whole that demonstrates how we are changing health care and truly making an impact in people’s lives,” said Nada Hansen, creative director, UCSF Strategic Communications and University Relations.

“This campaign showcases the overall excellence of UCSF and how our singular focus on health empowers us to deliver the best in patient,” she said.