UCSF ends affiliation talks with Dignity Health following protests

UCSF Medical Center
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) officials announced the school will end its pursuit of a strong affiliation between UCSF Health and Dignity Health's four Bay Area hospitals. (Hourann Bosci/CC BY-SA 2.0/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

In the wake of protests, University of California, San Francisco officials announced that the school will end its pursuit of a stronger affiliation between UCSF Health and Dignity Health's four Bay Area hospitals.

In an open letter, UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF CEO Mark Laret wrote that they'd met internally with Dignity Health and with leaders both in the UC Office of the President and the Regents over the last several days following protests over its expanded affiliation plans.

Many brought concerns about an affiliation "with a healthcare system that has certain limits on women’s reproductive services, LGBTQ care, and end-of-life options," they wrote. They heard from others who were adamant about the need for such an expanded affiliation to provide critical access.  

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"We respect and appreciate the diversity of opinions from multiple stakeholders both within UCSF and outside our University, and we have heard you all," they wrote. "Given the concerns, we will not continue to pursue the affiliation as it had been envisioned, which would have created a stronger link between UCSF Health and Dignity Health’s four Bay Area hospitals."

As the Los Angeles Times reported, both Hawgood and Laret had been strongly supportive of expanding the affiliation.

UCSF officials posted online that UCSF has no plans to end its ongoing collaborations with Dignity Health to provide certain critical patient services including hospital medicine, mental health, neurology, neurosurgery and pediatric burn care.

Officials said they will continue to look for ways to work with Dignity Health, comments that were echoed in a statement from Dignity.

"We have heard and understand the concerns raised by UCSF faculty and others relating to the proposed partnership between Dignity Health and UCSF Health, and agree that we cannot move forward with the partnership as originally planned," a Dignity spokeswoman said. "Going forward we will explore ways to work together to meet all patient needs and increase access to critical health services."

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