Chinese Hospital and UCSF Health to Work Collaboratively to Benefit San Francisco Community

By Elizabeth Fernandez

Chinese Hospital and UCSF Health have signed a collaboration agreement to enhance the quality of health care in the San Francisco community. The agreement builds upon a three-year-long partnership that successfully developed a primary stroke center, which was certified by The Joint Commission in May 2022. Together, they also provided palliative care and COVID-19 care to the community.

The new agreement aims to expand on the existing collaboration by combining the strengths and resources of both organizations. Specifically, it focuses on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services in Chinese, such as the new stroke center at Chinese Hospital. By collaborating on programs and services for the community, including skilled nursing/subacute care, pulmonology care, cardiology, oncology, and other specialties, Chinese Hospital and UCSF Health hope to address health disparities and improve health care quality and access in the community.

The two hospital CEOs tour an ICU
Jian Zhang, chief executive officer of Chinese Hospital (left), and Suresh Gunasekaran, president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health, tour an ICU in Chinese Hospital.

The agreement is driven by a shared vision to create comprehensive and sustainable health care that is responsive to the community’s ethnic and cultural uniqueness, now and for the future. It also seeks to develop new programs that increase the availability of physician and administrative services to achieve measurable improvements in patient, family, and community health.

Dr. Jian Zhang, chief executive officer of Chinese Hospital, emphasized the significance of the collaboration with UCSF Health, as both hospitals are the only two hospitals in San Francisco to be awarded the 4-star distinction by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“By combining the strengths of the two organizations, we can provide better care and more access for our community,” said Dr. Zhang. “As the only remaining independent hospital in San Francisco, we can work closely with UCSF Health to provide comprehensive and high quality care that meets the equity challenges of today. With our recent remodel and increase in capacity, we are confident in delivering culturally appropriate and linguistically competent care for generations to come.”

Suresh Gunasekaran, president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health, said the alliance will allow more patients to access complex medical care and strengthen both organizations’ commitment to health equity.

“Through our growing collaboration, we will expand access to much-needed complex health care services for all of the patients served by Chinese Hospital,” he said. “This alliance is rooted in UCSF Health and Chinese Hospital’s shared values and is a powerful step toward reducing disparities in the access to care and delivering equitable health outcomes for all segments of our diverse and vibrant San Francisco community.”

A group stands on the fifth floor of Chinese Hospital where a sign reads Surgical Services
A group stands on the fifth floor of Chinese Hospital near a sign that reads Surgical Services.

UCSF Health is among the nation’s leading academic health systems, with a public mission of providing premier specialty care backed by globally recognized health sciences research. The collaboration is expected to foster shared learning opportunities and the exchange of best practices to achieve optimal outcomes for patients who currently have limited access to complex health care services.

Dr. Kin Yee, chairman of the Chinese Hospital Association Board of Trustees said, “We are so excited about this collaboration with UCSF Health. We are meeting the community’s need where they live and work.

“It is at times difficult for our community’s monolingual patients to navigate services at mainstream facilities,” Yee continued. “So, we are bringing the level of quality care that would otherwise be out of reach to them.”

“Building on the successes of UCSF Health and Chinese Hospital’s existing joint programs, we are excited by the expansion of our partnership,” said Shelby Decosta, president of the UCSF Health Care Network. “We will now work together on creating more programs and services that leverage our previous experience in order to offer critical specialty care services to more San Francisco patients in their own language, within their own community, and with an understanding of their cultural health care needs.”

About Chinese Hospital: Chinese Hospital is a community-owned, not-for-profit organization based in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It is a unique healthcare system that has grown in geographic and ethnic reach. It is made-up of multiple primary care clinics, outpatient centers, a health plan and a medical group to provide healthcare services throughout San Francisco and San Mateo counties for those seeking quality care in today’s health care environment. Chinese Hospital’s mission is to deliver quality health care in a cost-effective way and is responsive to the community's ethnic and cultural uniqueness. It traces its roots over 100 years to 1899 when the Chinatown community opened the Tung Wah Dispensary to provide eastern and western medicines for Chinese immigrants who could not access mainstream health facilities. A brand-new replacement hospital opened in 2016. 

About UCSF Health: UCSF Health is recognized worldwide for its innovative patient care, reflecting the latest medical knowledge, advanced technologies, and pioneering research. It includes the flagship UCSF Medical Center, which is ranked among the top hospitals nationwide, as well as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, with campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians, and the UCSF Faculty Practice. These hospitals serve as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco, which is world-renowned for its graduate-level health sciences education and biomedical research. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area.