UCSF Ranks as One of the Healthiest Employers in the Bay Area

By Mike Billings

UCSF student stretches on an aerobics stepper in the gym
Dental student Amy McFarling works out with weights and aerobics at the Millberry Fitness & Recreation Center on the Parnassus campus. Photo by Susan Merrell

UC San Francisco has ranked as one of the healthiest employers in the Bay Area, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

UCSF ranked as the ninth healthiest employer with 2,000 or more workers, according to the list released Friday.

“This award is important for UCSF because it is yet another example of how we live our mission of advancing health right here at home,” said Leeane Jensen, the Director of Wellbeing at UCSF.

It was the first time that UCSF, which included the campus and UCSF Health, applied for the healthiest employer award.

Jensen said that one of the recent initiatives that she thinks helped UCSF earn its ranking was the Healthy Beverage Initiative. Starting in July 2015, UCSF started phasing in a program to sell only zero-calorie beverages or non-sweetened drinks with nutritional value, such as milk and 100 percent juice, and phased out the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in onsite cafeterias and food vendors, vending machines, campus catering and retail locations.

Health leaders worldwide, including UCSF researchers, have begun to identify recommended limits of sugar consumption based on research implicating sugar in a growing number of diseases and conditions.

"At UCSF, it's important that we practice what we teach. Therefore it is important that we strive to take care of our employees just as we strive to take care of our patients and the greater community,” Jensen said.

Another large initiative, Jensen said, is the UCSF StepitUp challenges, which run one or two times a year for four to six weeks. In the challenges, the entire UCSF community is encouraged and motivated to do things such as move more, eat right and reduce stress by earning points for opportunities to win prizes and obtain recognition.

The San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal produce the annual Healthiest Employers award in conjunction with their research partner, Healthiest Employer LLC.

See the full story about the 2016 Healthiest Employers in the Greater Bay Area at the San Francisco Business Times’ website.

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.