MEDIA ADVISORY: UCSF Experts on Homelessness and Health Resources Available to Speak with Bay Area Journalists Reporting on June 29

By Laura Kurtzman

In preparation for the June 29th media focus on homelessness in San Francisco, UC San Francisco would like to make reporters aware of the resources the university has available on the topic. Below are faculty members with expertise in homelessness and the health problems that homeless people face. These faculty members are available for interviews. Also listed are clinical resources for homeless people provided by UCSF faculty and students.

Please note that many of the UCSF faculty listed practice at UCSF’s partner hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. All of the physicians at ZSFG and the SFVAMC are on the UCSF faculty.

UCSF School of Medicine

Margot Kushel, MD, UCSF professor of medicine and a practicing general internist at UCSF partner hospital Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, is one of the leading experts on the health of the homeless. She directs a study of older homeless adults in Oakland to understand their life course histories, health and health care outcomes. She also conducts research on how families can help house older homeless relatives. Kushel is an evaluator of Santa Clara’s Pay for Success initiative, which provides permanent supportive housing to homeless adults in Santa Clara.

Devora Keller, MD, UCSF assistant clinical professor of medicine and a general internist at ZSFG, is the Medical Lead of the Emergency Department Case Management program at ZSFG, which provides intensive case management to high users of the Emergency Department, many of whom are homeless. She also practices internal medicine at Tom Waddell Urban Health Center, an SFDPH clinic that focuses on providing care for homeless-experienced individuals.

Maria Raven, MD, MPH, MSC, UCSF associate professor of emergency medicine, is an Emergency Department physician who studies frequent utilizers of the emergency department. She is the evaluator of Santa Clara’s Pay for Success Initiative, which provides supportive services for chronically homeless people.

Recuperative Care – Too Ill For the Streets

Michelle Schneidermann, MD, UCSF professor of medicine, is the medical director of San Francisco’s Medical Respite, which provides recuperative care for homeless patients who are too ill to be on the streets but don’t meet criteria for hospitalization. She recently won the Respite Care Network Award given by the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council.

Homeless Women

Elise Riley, PhD, MPH, UCSF professor of medicine, leads a team of health disparities researchers in the UCSF School of Medicine. She focuses on how clinical and behavioral factors converge to influence the health of homeless women. Her team is launching a new study for women’s heart health in the context of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and unmet social needs to develop tools for risk assessment.

Rehousing Older Homeless Adults

Kelly Knight, PhD, UCSF assistant professor of medicine, is an anthropologist at UCSF who working with Margot Kushel to examine how families can be involved in efforts to rehouse older homeless adults. They also are studying how pain is experienced by patients and managed by clinicians in safety net settings. Knight is the author of “addicted.pregnant.poor," which examines the lives of women in low-rent hotels in San Francisco.

Older Homeless Adults

Rebecca Brown, MD, UCSF assistant professor of medicine, is a geriatrician at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. She works with Kushel on the Oakland-based study of older homeless adults and has done similar work in Boston and nationally. She is an expert on the effects of homelessness and housing on geriatric conditions.

Tobacco Use/Cessation Among the Homeless

Maya Vijayaraghaven, MD, UCSF assistant professor of medicine, is a general internist at ZSFG and a tobacco researcher who studies tobacco use and cessation among the homeless population.

Mental Illness, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease Among the Homeless

Christina Mangurian, MD, UCSF associate professor of psychiatry is the founder and director of PReMIUM, the UCSF Program of Research on Mental health integration among Underserved and Minority populations. She is a community psychiatrist who researches diabetes and cardiovascular disease in people with severe mental illness, many of whom are homeless.

Drug Addiction

Jeff Devido, MD, UCSF assistant professor of psychiatry, is a psychiatrist with expertise in treating opioid and methamphetamine addiction.

Steven Batki, MD, UCSF professor of psychiatry, is chief of substance abuse programs and director of the Addiction Psychiatry Research Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. His research covers pharmacologic treatment for addictions to alcohol, opioids and stimulants. His work focuses on psychiatric and medical conditions that co-occur with addictions, such as PTSD, HIV, schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury. He does not work directly with the homeless population, but he can address questions about addiction and treatment.

Mental Health and Pregnant Women

Melanie Thomas, MD, assistant UCSF professor of psychiatry, is a psychiatrist at ZSFG who works on a mental health initiative for pregnant women who are homeless.

Prenatal Care

Martha Ryan, MPH, volunteer faculty at UCSF, directs the Homeless Prenatal Program, with support from Monica McLemore, RN, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the UCSF School of Nursing. The program offers housing, prenatal services and parenting support and emergency support of basic needs.


Mary Shiels, RN, MS, a UCSF clinical nurse, works in the HIV Primary Care clinic at ZSFG and has a community nursing perspective from her experience working in permanent housing for chronically homeless patients.

See next page: Resources for Homeless People

Resources for Homeless People

School of Dentistry Community Dental Clinic - Open Wednesday nights in the Dental Center at the UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, the clinic is operated by UCSF student dentists. Third- and fourth-year students, along with residents, provide the care, with faculty supervision. First- and second-year students are the coordinators, matching patients to providers and ensuring instruments and supplies are ready, again with faculty supervision. The community dental clinic has provided the equivalent of $700,000 in care over the last decade and topped the $1 million mark since its inception — made possible through donated equipment, access to clinic space and volunteers. This year’s program student director is Keely Walgama.

UCSF has a Public Psychiatry Fellowship that specifically trains psychiatrists to work with the homeless and other vulnerable populations directed by Christina Mangurian and Jim Dilley, MD, UCSF professor of psychiatry. Here are the current fellows.

The UCSF Homeless Clinic, launched nearly a quarter-century ago, is located at Multi-Service Center South, a shelter run by the St. Vincent De Paul Society of San Francisco.

First and second-year medical students provide care under the guidance of a UCSF physician or resident. Services include urgent care, physical exams, TB testing, dermatological treatment, and community resource referrals.