A Partnership Strengthened By Time
For a century and a half, our partnership in public health has radically redefined health care for all San Franciscans.
Partnership Between UCSF and ZSFG Begins: In 1873, the University of California and City and County of San Francisco begin a partnership that will redefine public health care in San Francisco for the next 150 years. To this day, ZSFG doctors are also UCSF faculty, UCSF medical residents receive critical training at ZSFG, and 20 cutting-edge research centers are based in ZSFG, helping San Franciscans get access to leading medical care.
The Great Earthquake: In 1906, UCSF doctors and nurses at the General Hospital provide frontline response to the city’s destructive 7.8 magnitude earthquake, providing care to tens of thousands of San Franciscans.
H1N1 Influenza Pandemic: In 1918, UCSF doctors and nurses at SFGH help lead public response to the global pandemic of Type A Influenza in San Francisco by organizing public health care efforts and mask mandates — a radical concept at the time.
Polio Epidemic: In the 1930s, UCSF doctors and nurses open public polio clinics to treat children across the city. SFGH wards for those effected would be critical until the public distribution of the Polio Vaccine in 1955, also through SFGH, that would halt the spread of the disease.
Maternity Care Options Expanded: In 1978, UCSF nurses and midwives at SF General lead in the way in helping reform California’s health care system for expecting mothers, creating the Alternative Birth Center at SFGH and opening access for Nurse/Midwives to deliver babies and provide maternal health care. This work expanded on SFGH’s cutting-edge premature birth clinic (opened 1960), which dramatically increased healthy birth rates for at-risk mothers across San Francisco.
HIV/AIDS Epidemic: In 1983, UCSF researchers at San Francisco General Hospital become the first to identify HIV/AIDs, and open Ward 86 as the leading center of care and treatment during the San Francisco HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their model of care eventually becomes the worldwide standard, dubbed “The San Francisco Model”.
Traumatic Brain Injury Program Launches: In 2001 the traumatic brain injury program is founded, providing world class state-of-the-art trauma care to patients with serious brain injuries. Part of the Level 1 Trauma center at ZSFG, the program includes operating rooms, intensive care units, and rehabilitative care programs.
COVID-19 Pandemic Response: In 2020, history repeats. UCSF doctors and nurses at ZSFG lead the public response to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. By coordinating public vaccination clinics, mask mandates, and rapid community response teams, San Francisco weathers a global pandemic with one of the lowest recorded infection rates of any major city despite its population density.
150 Years of Partnership: In 2023, it’s the 150th Anniversary of the lasting partnership between Zuckerberg San Francisco General and University of California, San Francisco.
Excellence in Action
The root of our partnership is simple — a commitment to collaboration between our city, its General Hospital, and its hometown public university. All physicians at ZSFG are also faculty at UCSF — and are empowered to take on state-of-the-art research while learning from the evolving needs of San Franciscans. The result of this partnership is the best clinical care provided to the greatest number of patients, for a century and a half and counting.
In It Together
From earthquakes to pandemics, our partnership has helped San Franciscans overcome every major health crisis for 150 years, and counting. No matter what comes next, you can be sure we'll be here for you.
Our cohesive community response to the global COVID-19 pandemic was a critical part of our local, statewide and nationwide efforts to save lives. We’re helping prevent future outbreaks by pioneering new treatments for tuberculosis at ZSFG, and improving our community-based strategies to address public health challenges.
Tackling Our Biggest Challenges
The health of our City begins with the good health of every resident – housed and unhoused. Our innovative health clinics are a central part of how we address San Francisco’s most challenging health issues.
We provide a full spectrum of resources to unhoused San Franciscans through our Citywide Clinic in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, educate and train the next generation of frontline health care providers through our Public Psychiatry Fellowship, and seek to understand and address root causes through our innovative Benioff Homelessness Initiative.
When You Need Us, We’ll Be There
By leveraging world-class UCSF research facilities like Pride Hall at ZSFG and treatments from award-winning UCSF doctors, we provide the latest techniques and best outcomes to everyone, anytime.
ZSFG offers state-of-the-art trauma care that provides world class care in emergencies, as well as integrated care that helps communities treat the root causes that give rise to street violence, using research-backed approaches that make the difference.
Creating a Better Future
Building a better, more equitable future for all San Franciscans is a central part of ZSFG and UCSF’s shared mission. Every day, our transformative clinics allow health care professionals to use research-based treatments and interventions that improve outcomes and save lives.
Whether we’re helping mothers have happy and healthy births by offering midwifery care and alternative birth options, assisting immigrants to access health care options through our Immigration Health Initiative, or helping families grow healthy and strong by supporting local access to fresh and affordable food through EatSF, our providers and our clinics work every day to change lives and promote health.
“We” Caring for “Us”
Our unique partnership means that San Francisco doctors treat San Francisco patients using San Francisco-pioneered research at San Francisco’s General hospital. There is no “other.” We care for us.
From creating the world’s first HIV/AIDS integrated health clinic in Ward 86 at ZSFG, to pioneering the latest models of care such as the SPLASH Clinic, our care breaks ground by breaking down barriers.
A Better Tomorrow
Whether we’re increasing agency and access in childbirth, or pioneering integrated care for the unhoused across San Francisco, tomorrow is the most important thing we do.