Chancellor Highlights UCSF’s Economic, Community Impact in 2016 State of the University

By Mike Billings

wide shot of a packed Cole Hall auditorium for the 2016 State of the University address
Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, delivered his third State of the University address to a packed Cole Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Photo by Susan Merrell

UC San Francisco’s investment and involvement in the community has continued to grow, and Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, spoke Tuesday about the tangible impacts the University has made on San Francisco and the Bay Area.

In his third State of the University address, titled “Invested in Our Community,” Hawgood highlighted the findings of a new UCSF economic and fiscal impact analysis and shared updates of how the University is making advances in the four priority areas he introduced in his 2015 address.

The new economic and fiscal impact report, an update to a 2010 study, shows that UCSF’s positive impact in San Francisco and the Bay Area is getting stronger. Between 2009 and 2015, UCSF’s total economic output in the Bay Area – the cumulative value of all its activities in employment, operations, construction and spending – is now $8.9 billion. That value is just one measure of UCSF’s integral role to the wellbeing of the community, he noted.

“UCSF has a rich history of collaboration, and we know that together we are most effective when we work side by side with our partners across public and private sectors, including industry, other higher education institutions, health providers and government, as well as with our neighbors, our alumni, our patients and our supporters,” Hawgood said.

Marking the Year’s Milestones

UCSF’s financial strength punctuates another year of academic and institutional achievements, and Hawgood pointed to several milestones over the past year.

New research endeavors launched in the last year included the recently announced Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and the National Science Foundations’ $24 million award that will create the Center for Cellular Construction.

Sam Hawgood speaks during his State of the University address in UCSF's Cole Hall
Chancellor Sam Hawgood's 2016 State of the University address unveiled UCSF's new economic and fiscal impact report and gave updates on the University's four priorities. Photo by Susan Merrell

“The Biohub and the Center for Cellular Construction are just two examples of the basic science that is the lifeblood of what we do here at UCSF,” Hawgood said.

He also acknowledged noteworthy accomplishments by UCSF researchers, including biochemist Bruce Alberts, PhD, being honored with the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science and the major roles in the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative by Mitchel Berger, MD, and Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD – both of whom contributed to a Blue Ribbon Panel’s recommendations to help guide the initiative.

In talking about cancer, Hawgood also noted the upcoming SF-CAN, a major initiative aiming to reduce San Francisco’s cancer burden that will be launching soon under the guidance of Alan Ashworth, PhD, and Bob Hiatt, MD, PhD, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Philanthropy continues to play an integral part of UCSF’s ability to explore, create and establish innovative programs, the chancellor said, reporting that the University raised nearly $596 million from more than 26,000 donors in fiscal year 2015-16.

“Now, more than ever, realizing our vision requires increasing levels of philanthropy so we can make even more significant contributions in research, education, health care and public service,” he said. “This level of achievement will only be possible with the continued strong partnerships that we have built with our donor community.”

UCSF’s Economic Impact

UCSF on Tuesday released a new economic and fiscal impact report, showing that UCSF’s total economic output increased 24 percent – from $6.2 billion to $8.9 billion in the Bay Area. Part of that output is the jobs that UCSF creates: With more than 24,000 people employed, UCSF – a $5.4 billion enterprise – has now surpassed the State of California as the fourth-largest employer in the region, Hawgood said.

UCSF continues to be an integral part of the local and regional economy. Specifically, UCSF is a critical component to the area’s thriving health and science sector.”

UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood

“What this means is that UCSF continues to be an integral part of the local and regional economy,” he said. “Specifically, UCSF is a critical component to the area’s thriving health and science sector.”

UCSF’s growth keeps it as a leader in generating new knowledge in science and health, Hawgood said. The growth includes an increasing amount of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding that the University captures amid increasing competition. UCSF in 2015 finished first in NIH funding among public institutions and second overall.

UCSF's research has lead to innovation that's captured both as patents and startups that have spun out of the University. A leader in the biotech and life sciences sector, UCSF has spun out more than 185 startups that have invented and commercialized products since 1968, Hawgood said.

In the innovation space, Hawgood talked about the incubator space that UCSF provides through the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). “In 2014 alone, companies that have emerged from QB3 received 50 grants, 14 patents and generated $600 million in funding,” Hawgood noted.

Another key to the entrepreneurial spirit at UCSF is the work of the Entrepreneurship Center and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Catalyst program, Hawgood said. “Both programs provide industry expertise, mentorship and consultation on business strategy, courses on product development, intellectual property and commercialization.”

In addition to the science, a large driver of UCSF’s economic growth has been UCSF Health, which “has become a major player in the Northern California health care sector,” Hawgood said. The health system has partnered with other institutions to extend high-quality health care and grow patient volume. With UCSF Health’s growth, it now accounts for $3.2 billion, or nearly 60 percent, of UCSF’s total operating budget, Hawgood said.

The growth also means that UCSF Health is extending its care to those who cannot afford it in the Bay Area, including through free health screenings and services, providing more than $113 million annually in undercompensated and charity care.

“We realize that while the economy has improved since the great recession that started in 2008, not everyone has benefitted from the financial turnaround,” he said. “I share mounting concerns, that I am sure you all have as well, about income inequality in San Francisco as the wage gap between low-income earners and high-income earners widens.”

Hawgood outlined some of the work UCSF is doing to provide job training in lower-income communities, and to address the high cost of housing for students by increase scholarship opportunities and piloting a Cost of Living Supplement for students.

Updates on Four Priority Areas

In last year’s State of the University address, Hawgood unveiled four priority areas: improving education and learning; striving for greater equity and inclusion, which includes addressing health disparities; advancing precision medicine approaches to improve health; and fostering transformative partnerships across multiple sectors.

Hawgood provided updates on progress made in the priority areas and shared videos highlighting programs that exemplify UCSF’s work in these areas.

Education and Training

The UCSF School of Medicine launched its new Bridges curriculum for all first-year students, and Global Health Sciences launched its the new PhD program to invest in research aimed at making the world a healthier place.

As part of the role of UCSF’s larger education work in the community, Hawgood highlighted the Science and Health Education Partnership, a nearly 30-year-old program that brings science and health education to San Francisco Unified School District students. The SEP program, the brainchild of Alberts and David Ramsay, DM, now reaches about 90 percent of the public schools in San Francisco.

The Chancellor shared a video with Alberts and SEP co-director Rebecca Smith talking about the program.

Equity and Inclusion

The hub of the work toward the goal of equality and inclusion is the Office of Diversity and Outreach, which launched a new staff certificate program to enhance understanding of the many types of diversity, to foster professional development and to build alliances that will extend well beyond the campus.

“Success in this work is critical to achieving our institutional goals to close gaps in inequities in health and employment and to help everyone within our diverse community have an equal chance to succeed,” Hawgood said.

The chancellor also called out the work of students in the White Coats for Black Lives movement, raising their voices for social justice. Just last week, students organized a vigil of 200 people to mourn the recent deaths of African-Americans because of police actions.

The work of fostering inclusion extends to eliminating health disparities, Hawgood said, and one example of UCSF’s work there is the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnerships’s Children’s Oral Health Collaborative.

Hawgood shared a video featuring Amor Santiago, MPH, the executive director of the APA Family Support Services, and Lisa Chung, DDS, MPS, an associate clinical professor in the School of Dentistry, talking about the work in oral health engagement in the community.

Precision Medicine

UCSF’s efforts in precision medicine – which aims to harness the power of big data and emerging technologies and our understanding of genetic, social and behavioral influences to improve health – is moving forward at the national, state and local level.

Vice Chancellor Keith Yamamoto, PhD, is working to keep precision medicine on the national agenda for the next presidential administration and will lead next year’s Precision Medicine World Conference, Hawgood said. On the state level, Atul Butte, MD, PhD, and leader of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, continues his work to give patients the tools to download their own health data from any of the five UC Health medical centers to help providers give more effective personalized care.

In June, UCSF hosted the Precision Public Health Summit, a two-day conference held in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology. One of the programs highlighted at the summit, the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, was a featured video shared by Hawgood.

Fostering Transformative Partnerships

UCSF’s ability to lead revolutions in health depends on forming and sustaining such strong, transformative partnerships,” the chancellor said.

One of the biggest partnerships launched this year was the accountable-care network Canopy Health by UCSF Health and John Muir Health. He also pointed to the growing partnership between UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals Oakland and San Francisco that included the new Pediatric Heart Center that launched in September.

The partnerships in San Francisco include the School of Nursing is partnering with the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services and the San Francisco Community Music Center in the Community of Voices project, Hawgood said. The project will be adding 12 new senior centers in the next five years.

The longest running partnership that UCSF has had, Hawgood said, is that with the hospital that now is now known as Zuckerberg San Francisco General and Trauma Center (ZSFG). The final video Hawgood featured was about Ward 86 and the new Golden Compass Program, which is focused on aging HIV and AIDS patients.

“Those featured in these videos and all of you gathered here consistently demonstrate the core values adopted by the UCSF Medical Center 16 years ago. They are: Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence or our PRIDE values,” Hawgood said. “These values are reflected in the work we all do. And we all share that passion, and sense of purpose and promise that these values bestow.”

Watch the full 2016 State of the University address:

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