Bilal has been a friendly face in Radiology for more than 30 years and is a champion for diversity efforts on our campus. He is kind, welcoming, and very constructive. He is persistent and persuasive and has a welcome smile for everyone he greets. Over the years, Bilal has supported our staff and patients, bringing in new programs and has taken on many roles in his position as Department of Equity and Inclusion Lead for Radiology. With his guidance, the Radiology Department is consistently supporting equity at ZSFG.
The Equity Council recently said about Bilal: “Bilal has served on the Equity Council since its inception in 2017, providing a thoughtful, passionate perspective on how to advance equity at ZSFG.”
And, in the words of our Radiology DEI Chair Vishal Kumar MD: “I have known Bilal Chaney since 2015. I have seen his commitment and dedication to outreach, advocacy, and equity. His reach across the institution is immense, and our department would not be the same without him.”
And from Mary McGinty, “Bilal is an awesome coworker and friend. Bilal is very welcoming to all patients and will go out of his way to make sure their needs are met. He is definitely a patient advocate. Bilal is truly amazing and definitely an excellent example of an employee who understands ZSFG’s mission to provide quality, equitable, and compassionate care to all.”
Let’s see a round of applause for Bilal!
Dr. Paul Garcia
Dr. Garcia has been with the Department of Neurology and ZSFG for more than 30 years. A nationally recognized neurologist, he is the director of the Clinical Epilepsy Services at UCSF Medical Center. His university service is focused on assuring opportunity for students and faculty across the campus. He is the go-to person for complex seizures and there are many patients who have benefitted from his expertise. Recently, he was highlighted in a news story about his clinical acumen. A woman who was contemplating suicide was brought to ZSFG for evaluation. When she reported her symptoms, Dr. Garcia happened to be on call over the weekend and diagnosed her rare neurologic disorder. Needless to say, her life took a major change in a positive direction after her encounter with Dr. Garcia. He is a humble, hard-working, and kind person. Dr. Garcia’s tremendous leadership and commitment to ZSFG assures, year after year, that our Neurology Service continues to bring world-class medical care to those who need it most.
Celebrating 45 Years of Service at ZSFG
Cedric is the storekeeper with our Materials Management team where they receive most of the medical supplies for the hospital. His team delivers supplies to the units, stock supplies on the units and receives deliveries into the hospital. He also helps hospital staff with their orders.
Dr. Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D
Dr. Muñoz has dedicated a majority of his career at ZSFG with the Psychology Team, serving the Spanish-speaking community and the Mission District – a community he grew up in since he immigrated from Perú when he was ten years old.
Creature Comforts at ZSFG
Meet Annelie Nilson, RN, CNS – a Clinical Nurse Specialist with our Acute Care for the Elders (ACE) unit here at ZSFG. She was a recent panelist at the AgeIn “Creature Comforts” event at Ruth’s Table hosted by “At Home with Growing Older” – a forum, network and resource for the challenges of an aging society – where she shared some of the innovative programs we have available for our elderly patients here at ZSFG to a full house of over 70 participants.
As a certified “Senior Friendly Facility,” Annelie and her team have been working on ways to make hospital stays even more comfortable at ZSFG. She and her team provide care to elderly patients to try to prevent functional decline by mobilizing patients and preventing delirium. Aside from providing compassionate care – she often goes outside the box to engage in care. “Often times, giving a little extra can go a long way.” From providing something as simple as reading glasses, fidget toys or pocket talkers (a pocket-sized device that is equipped with a built-in mic and headphone that amplifies voices and sound), to providing companionship while creating opportunities to engage through innovative technologies – Annelie’s office is filled with many trinkets, toys and wonder.
One example of this are the robotic dogs and cats her team provides to elderly patients with dementia. The (robotic) dogs and cats purr and bark, but mostly, they bring joy to the patients. Annelie shares that there is tactile simulation through the simple act of petting the (robotic) dog or cat. It often brings a sense of calm and companionship. Many San Francisco patients are separated from real-life furry loved ones during their stay in the hospital. This program, partially funded by the 2021 Hearts Grant from the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, also encourages conversations for patients who are more withdrawn. The patients can name their pet, cuddle with their pets, and also give health care providers an opening for conversation. “Who do we have here?” or “What’s the name of your cat?” In one instance, a patient was such a fan of her nursing assistant at ZSFG that she named her furry robotic companion after her – Ruby. It filled the unit with laughter.
Annelie shares that robotic pets may not be for everyone, though. Take for example another elderly patient who was receiving care at ZSFG a few years ago. The wheel-chair bound patient was extremely withdrawn and always kept to the themselves. No matter how hard the team tried, they wouldn’t engage. It wasn’t until one afternoon, where a group of musicians equipped with guitars and trumpets, organized by Dr. Jeff Critchfield, our Chief Medical Experience Officer and Medical Director of Risk Management, gathered on the 7th floor rooftop garden of Building 25 as they often did, pre-COVID. Patients gathered around to enjoy the live music that filled the open-air garden, but it was one patient in particular that seemed to enjoy the mini-concert the most. This sparked an idea in Annelie. She leaned over to the patient and said, “I have a harmonica in my office. Would you like to join in?” The patient’s eyes lit up immediately and they nodded. As it turns out, this patient was a famous harmonica player back in their hometown in Hungary, something the unit only learned after the patient happily joined in on the ensemble during the event – as the patient seemed to transform into a completely different person, or their old self – now with harmonica in hand.
Annelie has been with ZSFG for the past 17 years and with the ACE team for the past 10. “I love talking to older patients and hearing their story and wisdom. They’re each so impressive in their own ways. It’s amazing what you can learn from just speaking with them.” She encourages everyone listen to each other’s stories – especially from the older generation. There are different ways to make people feel calm and comfortable – “we have a responsibility to just try. That’s why we’re here.”
ZSFG has a volunteer program that allows folks to spend a few hours a week with the elderly patients – in conversation and companionship. Volunteers should be at least 18 years of age. If you’re interested in participating, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank Annelie and her team for their truly compassionate care they provide – creating a home away from home – to the elderly population here at the certified “Senior-Friendly” ZSFG.
ZSFG Values In Action Award
Congratulations Tanvi Bhakta
Director of Medical-Surgical Nursing
Recently during the Expanded Executive Committee meeting, the committee recognized ZSFG’s Director of Medical Surgical Nursing, Tanvi Bhakta, MSN, RN, CNL for the Values in Action award. The purpose of this award is to celebrate a leader who embodies and models the ZSFG values (Joy in our Work, Thirst in Learning, and Compassionate Care).
Upon starting in her director role, she quickly forged partnerships amongst staff and divisions – for example, asking how Med-Surg and Department of Care Coordination could work more purposefully together. She has consistently shown a high degree of excellence, creativity, a detailed knowledge of patient level and system level factors, a focus on empathically supporting frontline teams, and also just a willingness to not take ourselves so seriously that we can’t also laugh and have fun while doing the important work in front of us.
“ZSFG is fortunate to have her clarity, thoughtfulness and empathic leadership. She is an invaluable resource who elevates the care we provide to our patients and improves the work environment for our providers every day. She was an absolute rock during the most difficult moments of COVID, bringing organizational skills, optimism and an incredible work ethic to uncharted territory,” shares Hemal Kanzaria, MD, MSc, Medical Director of Care Coordination – the pervious Values in Action awardee who nominated Tanvi. He continues, “She was a key partner for the physicians in DOM caring for patients with COVID, and our department recognized her contributions with the 2021 Robert Lull Award for a Subspecialty Consultant to the Medicine Service.”
It is the mark of a truly outstanding leader to be able to pivot in role and priorities yet retain one’s authenticity and unique strengths, all skills Tanvi embodies. Hemal describes her as an excellent example of a “warm demander”–someone who has high personal standards and works to achieve them, who cares about the lives of others and believes in their ability to do hard things, and who will always be shoulder to shoulder with you in a tough spot.
Thank you, Tanvi for your leadership, comradery and grace.
Thank You, HICS Team!
Shout-out to the Incredible HICS team!
As the COVID Emergency ends, we give a heartfelt deep appreciation to our Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) team who was formally activated on March 5, 2020 – the day the first two COVID patients were identified in San Francisco.
HICS met daily in person in the7th floor conference room of Building 25 until the Omicron variant emerged in June 2022. Like the rest of the world, the team adapted and continued their daily 9:40 a.m. meetings on Microsoft Teams.
With regulations constantly changing, new information being shared daily and a ton of ambiguity surrounding the virus – this team of over 70 healthcare professionals here at ZSFG came together daily to monitor infection rates and regulations, respond to safety protocols and questions that everyone wanted answer to, and to continue providing compassionate care to all – as everyone attempted to understand what was happening in the world.
As the Federal Public Health Emergency officially ends today, May 11, 2023 – HICS has been deactivated.
A special “thank you” to Nurse Director of Clinical Operations, Jeffrey Schmidt, RN, who led with empathy and humility as the Incident Commander from the on-set of the activation 3 years ago.
We thank the entire HICS team for their leadership and guidance – keeping patients, staff and San Francisco safe. You are appreciated. Thank you.
Advancing Equity March 2023 – Externship Spotlights
Say hello to Briana Allen!
Briana was born and raised in San Francisco Bayview Hunters Point and currently lives in Sacramento, CA. She graduated from City College of San Francisco in December 2022.
I chose a career in nursing because I had the opportunity of taking care of my Great-Grandmother before she passed, and I got to witness firsthand how compassionate and tirelessly the nurses that cared for her worked. Whether it was in the hospital setting or at home. They took care of her like she was their family member, and I would like to be able to do the same one day.
I enjoyed floating to the different care areas and getting a feel of what it is like to work on other units that we as nursing students are not always privy to like the Emergency Room or the OR for instance. I also enjoyed seeing such a diverse work environment on the floors. It showed that ZSFG can be inclusive to all different ethnicities and backgrounds.
I learned that no matter what specialty or care area you go to, it’s always good to be willing to ask questions if you don’t know something. Being a nurse there are always new advancements in healthcare and with ZSFG being a teaching hospital I thought it was great doing this Externship because literally everyone is willing to teach you things.
I am definitely more motivated to get into the ED. I had a wonderful time in the Emergency Dept, and the Trauma area was eventful to say the least.
Say hello to Gabby Adel-Berdan!
Gabby is from Vallejo, CA and graduated from San Francisco State University in December 2022.
I chose a career in nursing because I wanted to be in a position to serve, educate and advocate for people. I also like the role nursing plays in patient care and the knowledge I get to use in pathophysiology and science.
I appreciated how I got to experience many types of both inpatient and outpatient units. I got exposure to units that I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to see otherwise in my nursing program. It made me aware of and appreciated the variability and flexibility in the nursing field.
The most important thing I learned in this externship was how to better serve a wide variety of populations and individuals. I hope to work in places that actively works to serve disenfranchised individuals and improve health disparities.
This externship first exposed me to ER nursing, which made me want to complete my senior preceptorship in the ER. Now, it is a goal of mine to eventually become an ER nurse!
Say hi to Mariela Magana Rocha!
Mariela is from Livermore, CA and graduated from Samuel Merritt University in December 2022.
I pursued a career in nursing after a nurse advocated to use a translation service to facilitate communication with my parents and provide equitable care for my younger siblings who had become ill. Nurses play a crucial role in patient care. We provide support, advocacy, and strive to deliver care using science to improve patient health.
Mahoney Reign’s externship reinforced my passion for delivering the highest-quality health care to patients and supporting affordable health care services that improve the health of patients and the community.
I learned about the importance of being a healthcare provider for a hospital that delivers trauma and mental health services for bay area patients from underrepresented communities. Having the support of my preceptors during the externship gave me the opportunity to participate in multiple units and specialties, reinforcing my strengths and supporting my growth.
ZSFG gave me the opportunity to have my preceptorship in my dream specialty. I was provided with the resources and support to feel confident in delivering patient care and advocacy. As a first-generation student, this program provided me with the background to feel confident in applying for Nursing Residency programs. Being a part of Zuckerberg General Hospital reinforced my passion for working for low-income, and underrepresented communities.
Say hello to Susan Nguyen!
Susan is from El Dorado Hills, CA and is working towards her 2023 graduation from University of San Francisco.
I chose a career in nursing because not only did I want to challenge myself, but I also want to dedicate my time to working alongside a strong team that can make a difference in the lives of others.
I enjoyed being able to learn with hands-on experiences and seeing the thought process of each nurse regarding the care of the patients on each of the units.
I learned that being a nurse is a lot more than just passing medications and carrying out nursing orders. Nursing is about human connection, and to properly care for each patient and go beyond their needs, it is very important to have a team that will support you as it can get very challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Since my externship, I have grown a strong interest in the ICU and I hope to continue my career as an ICU nurse in the future.
Say hello to Yaneth Zamora!
Yaneth is from Hayward, CA and graduated from Samuel Merritt University in December 2022.
I decided to pursue my dreams of becoming a registered nurse due to a medical error that caused my sister to be paraplegic after her birth. This medical error almost took my sister’s life. Her first six months of life were spent in UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital – Oakland. She has been in and out of hospitals throughout her entire life due to her medical condition.
Over the years, some of the most amazing nurses cared for her. Every time we visited my sister, I was amazed at the nurses’ work with their pediatric patients. My sister was not supposed to live past 6 years old, but I am happy to say she is now 24 years old. I truly believe the excellent care provided by the nurses at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in combination with my sister’s amazing strength are the reasons why she is alive and well today. I want to apply the compassion and empathy bestowed upon my little sister to my future patients and their families.
Mahoney Reign’s externship reinforced my passion for delivering the highest-quality healthcare to patients and supporting affordable healthcare services that improve the health of patients and the community. I truly enjoyed shadowing the nurses in each department.
I learned about the importance of being a healthcare provider for a hospital that delivers trauma and mental health services for bay area patients from underrepresented communities. Having the support of my preceptors during the externship gave me the opportunity to participate in multiple units, and specialties, re-enforcing my strengths and supporting my growth.
ZSFG gave me the opportunity to have my preceptorship in the emergency department and trauma center my dream specialty. I was provided with the resources, and support to feel confident in delivering patient care, and advocacy. As a first-generation student, this program provided me with the background to feel confident in applying for Nursing Residency programs. Being a part of Zuckerberg General Hospital reinforced my passion for working for low-income and underrepresented communities.
Say hi to Zephyr Horowitz-Johnson!
Zephyr is from Fairfax, CA and is working towards her 2023 Associates Degree in Nursing from College of Marin as well as her 2024 Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Sonoma State University.
I have always been interested in science, education and social justice. After administrative jobs at non-profit and community organizations, I wanted more direct contact with the people I served. Nursing allows me to combine my interests and experience into a direct service that ultimately promotes the basic human right to health.
The teamwork atmosphere and being able to connect with the patients at ZSFG are what I enjoyed most about my externship with ZSFG.
Compared to my clinical rotations at other hospitals, ZSFG has the most interdisciplinary environment. It showed me how collaboration and coordination between the many specialties are vital in providing high-quality patient care.
The ZSFG externship has shown me that public health nursing is a viable career option for me to pursue my goal of giving back to under-resourced communities.
Coming home to where the heart is.
Last month, we featured the beautiful art sculpture that one of our ICU Charge Nurses, Nora King, created for San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s Hearts in SF auction. Her art piece and story got a lot of love – especially from her MICU family. So much so that they secretly brought it home to ZSFG to surprise Nora after winning the bid as a team.
Here’s what they had to say:
A number of staff in the MICU had been following Nora’s progress on the heart from the beginning. When she completed the heart, we had been following her on social media and fell in love with it immediately. One day close to the end of bidding, MICU Charge Nurses Tracy Cassin and Karyn Sanchez suggested the idea to rally people to bid on the heart so the team could keep it close to home and display it on the unit. It went absolutely viral within 24 hours as everyone was enthusiastic about contributing to the bid.
Over 60 people have contributed so far and the contributions keep coming in! Contributors include MICU and SICU RNs, Attending Providers from multiple services and Respiratory Therapy. It was a group effort for sure and the generosity was amazing.
The heart is symbolic for so much of what we do here in the ICU at ZSFG. We put our hearts into the care we provide to our patients/community and into caring for each other. Nora’s heart is also a symbol of being open and inclusive and what it means for all of us to be a team. Having gone through a pandemic together was a bonding experience and the timing of this heart coming home to the ICU feels like something we can all look at every time we come to work and be proud of what we do and remind us how well we work together.
One of her roommates also works in the MICU and I know it was especially hard for her to keep it a secret. I honestly cannot believe we pulled it off. Have you ever seen a baseball game when a pitcher is close to throwing a no hitter and everyone on the team stops talking to him out of superstition to not blow it? It was like that on the unit for a bit.
Nora was convinced that it was her own mother that put the final bid on the heart! We are all still floating on that adrenaline rush. Seeing her genuine surprise and pure joy was worth all of it!
Shared by Diane Scarlet, RN – Nurse Manager, Medical-Cardiac ICU
Nora King Left Her Heart in SF
As an ICU Cardiology Charge Nurse for the past 8 years here at ZSFG, Nora has put her heart into taking care of patient hearts every day. But her love for the community also beats outside the walls of our hospital. She was recently selected as an artist to express herself by designing a tabletop heart for SF General Hospital Foundation’s #HeartsInSF campaign.
Art has always been a way for Nora to relax and relieve stress – “an important part of staying heart healthy, by the way,” she reminds us. Spending over 100 hours carefully breaking plates and bowls provided by her parents in Florida and nearby friends for the project and strategically placing each of the 1,000+ mosaic pieces resulted in the beautiful artwork we see – a bright and colorful aura beaming around the heart sitting in the center. Nora laughed as she acknowledged the irony of the realistic heart on the heart shape. When asked about the inspiration behind her design, Nora couldn’t help but beam and share that it was an ode to her colleagues and the work we do here at ZSFG. “Everyone here just puts their heart and soul into everything they do! It’s one of the greatest things about working here at ZSFG!” – she said with pride. The warmth of the rainbow-like design is also a welcoming reminder for inclusivity.
With starting bids at $5,000 for each other hearts, Nora hopes somehow it’ll end up back on our campus but also hopes that wherever it ends up, that it makes someone’s heart smile too. The #HeartsinSF campaign was on display at the Ferry Building through February 2023.
View all #HeartsInSF here.
Quarterly Community Meeting
Representatives from the Hospital, UCSF, SFMTA and Public Works.
For more information contact Brent Andrew (email@example.com)