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Mount Zion Anniversary Event Celebrates Past, Present and Future

June 20, 2011
News Office: Derek Deike (415) 502-6397

One hundred years ago, construction began on Mount Zion Hospital's Hellman Building at 2200 Post St. Today, it remains entirely devoted to patient care, serving as an innovative hub of specialized outpatient clinics, surgery services and comprehensive cancer care for UCSF.

In honor of this centennial milestone, the Mount Zion campus is hosting a community health fair and invitation-only commemoration event on Saturday, June 18.

"The reason we're doing the event is to celebrate the past, present and future of the UCSF at Mount Zion campus," said Dr. Jill Einstein, a Mount Zion Health Fund board member and the event's chair person. "In terms of celebrating the past, by having the anniversary at the Hellmann building, it's really a reunion for all of the former doctors, nurses, administrators and auxiliary members to get together one more time."

Several notable speakers are participating in the Hellman Building Celebration including Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center, Frances Dinkelspiel, a descendant of Isaias Hellman, Dr. Sam Hawgood, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs, and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

"We're bringing all of these past employees and members of the Mount Zion community back to reconnect with what's here now and see it's something that's flourished from the foundation and heart of Mount Zion hospital," said Einstein. "It has these amazing centers and departments and services that are offered."

The idea for Mount Zion hospital was first conceived by 43 members of San Francisco's Jewish community in 1887. It was to be a place where individuals could receive care, "without regard to race or creed, to be supported by the Jewish community." About 10 years later the hospital opened its doors.

The hospital began its association with the University of California in the late 1920s, when its medical services expanded significantly and it became a teaching hospital affiliated with UC Medical School — later named UCSF School of Medicine. UCSF acquired the hospital in 1990, and developed the facility over the next few years into a second major clinical site, with an emphasis on outpatient care, under the name UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion.

The anniversary celebration is the brainchild of Dr. Jeffrey Pearl, associate dean, at Mount Zion and associate chief medical officer, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion. "The event recognizes the work that's gone on before hand and all the doctors and staff and nurses that have worked together to make Mount Zion a special place," he said.

More than 200 attendees are expected at the community health fair, where the public can enjoy music, presentations, a variety of booths, neighborhood food and opportunities to interact with representatives from many of the great programs at the medical center.

"By having a community health fair to follow the invite only event, we're able to promote and highlight all these great services like the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Women's Health Resource Center and the Sleep Center," said Einstein.

Five different musical groups including the UCSF Gospel Choir, the Ken Cook Jazz Trio and the acoustic folk Palm Wine Boys will take the stage throughout the day, providing a backdrop for a range of family-friendly activities and entertainment.

Interactive tents will offer passers-by the chance to check their blood pressure and glucose, or stop at the "ask the experts" tent to chat with a doctor or nurse. For visitors who want to find medical information on their own, a pop-up patient health library, part of the Mount Zion Fishbon Library, will offer a place for people to do research about various conditions and diseases.

Other local groups such as Zero Breast Cancer, the Jewish Home for the Aging, the blood donations van and UCSF police will be on hand as well. Visitors to the health fair will also have a chance to learn about Mount Zion's rich history in an archive tent.

"This event is about celebrating where Mount Zion has come from, and where it is headed," said Einstein.

About UCSF Medical Center

UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top 10 hospitals in the United States. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical Center serves as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco. The medical center's nationally preeminent programs include children's health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, women's health and cancer. It operates as a self-supporting enterprise within UCSF and generates its own revenues to cover the operating costs of providing patient care.

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