UCSF Health FY19 Value Improvement Award Recipients

Congratulations to the FY19 Value Improvement Award Recipients!

Outstanding Engagement of a Clinical Team

Pediatric BMT and Heme/Onc

Andrea Parrish, Bart Reyes, Kim Scurr, Dinarte Viveiros


For two years in a row, the Peds BMT and Heme/ Onc team has been a leader in clinical improvement. In FY19, they achieved $1.8M in savings by reducing direct costs. Through multidisciplinary rounding, scheduling appointments at the infusion center so chemo can start on time, and inserting NG tubes to feed BMT patients, the care team works together to set realistic expectations for families and ensure some of UCSF’s most vulnerable patients receive the highest quality care.

Outstanding Achievement in Reducing Unnecessary Utilization

Palliative Care

Kara Bischoff, MD, Marsha Blachman, Eve Cohen,

John Hillman, Steve Pantilat, MD, Susan Smith, MD


Each of these initiatives was guided by the unifying principle of what was best for patient care. These initiatives helped prevent unnecessary Emergency Room visits and inpatient admissions, supported patient recovery through physical therapy vs. major surgeries, and shifted patients from operating rooms to lower risk outpatient settings. These teams truly demonstrate what it means to put patients first!  


Integrated Spine Service

Matt Callahan, Lowen Cattolico, Ralph Gonzales, MD, Sarah Imershein, Chris Holland, Cat Lau, MD,

Conor O'Neill, MD, Susan Smith, MD, Aimee Williams, Kurt van der Schalie, Patricia Zheng, MD


Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet

Matt Callahan, Josh Eugenio, Ralph Gonzales, MD,

Sarah Imershein, Igor Immerman, MD, Cat Lau, MD, Alexis Nunez


Care for the Homeless 

Ralph Gonzales, MD, Adrienne Green, MD,

James Hardy, MD, John Hillman, Sarah Imershein,

Molly Shane


Outstanding Turnaround


Specialty Pharmacy

Martha De Los Reyes, Cynthia Do, PharmD,

Esmerelda Gomez, Julia Huang, Philip Kong, PharmD, Cassandra Lamzon, Jennifer Liu, PharmD,

Myra Pascua, PharmD, Dara Sieng, Vaaomala Ueligitone, Diana Ung, PharmD, Amber Woodman


In the first six months of operation, UCSF Specialty Pharmacy has served more than 2,400 patients across eleven specialties. The direct feedback from a Specialty Pharmacy patient speaks to the incredible efforts of this team: “Please commend UCSF Specialty Pharmacy for a job well done and for truly caring about the patients of UCSF.” 


Outstanding Partnership Across Departments

Provider Time Studies

Charlotte Canari, Janet Degon, Mitch Erickson,

Reece Fawley, Patty Hobart, Faraz Khan, Dave Morgan, Andrina Ong, Cliff Skinner


FQHC Improvement

Charlotte Canari, Margia Corner, Gena Lewis, MD,

Kelley Meade, MD, Robert Oto, Paul Takayama,

George Weiss

Government Reimbursements partnered with Contracting and Faculty Practice to encourage providers to participate in time studies to claim uncompensated costs.


These initiatives recognize our providers for the exceptional care they offer patients and UCSF gets paid for the work we’re already doing.


Outstanding Engagement of Lean Management System


Langley Porter

Phil Chun, Weston Fisher, MD, Christine Khuu, Michaella Pain, Sarah Pennisten, Eva Turner

Langley Porter and Interpreter Optimization were UCSF Lean champions, embracing a system of continuous improvement to support the execution of their initiatives. Through visual management and leader rounds, Langley Porter drove engagement and accountability. The Interpreter Services team undertook two week-long value streams to identify inefficiencies and opportunities to improve service and reduce costs. Their hard work, diving into their processes, workflows and legacy practices, yielded $2.6 million in financial value in FY19 and has built the foundation for improvement in FY20.

Interpreter and Translation Services Optimization

Susan Alves-Rankin, Susan Pappas, Jason Phillips,

Juan Reyes-Alonso, Mateo Rutherford, Nga-Sze Wong

Outstanding Team Leadership to Drive Value


BCHO Materials Management

Pat Brown, Jeannet Burmann, Eamon Loughnane,

Rex Miller

The East Bay Materials Management initiative was led by frontline leaders in perioperative services and the BCHO Value Analysis Team to reduce costs and standardize supplies, yielding $1 million in savings for FY19.

Outstanding Development of a

Sustainable System for Ongoing Improvement



Herb Dye, Donna Hays, Jackie Nemer, MD,

Niraj Sehgal, MD, Matt Wolden

The Clinical Documentation Integrity (CDI) team has made a significant impact on UCSF Health’s quality metrics over the past two years. In partnership with physicians, UCSF Health is able to more accurately capture severity of illness and risk of mortality of our medically complex patients. This work contributes to improved measurement of patient complexity, publicly reported outcomes, and utilization.

Outstanding Achievement in Challenging the Status Quo



Ralph Gonzales MD, Kendall Gross, PharmD,

Sarah Imershein, Cat Lau, MD, Devi Nelakuditi,

Ashley Thompson, PharmD


This team challenged a longstanding practice that had resulted in dozens of incident reports from improper administration of albumin. Through their efforts to develop guideline-based indications, a new order set, service level data reporting, and provider education, this team reduced unnecessary albumin utilization while improving patient safety and decreasing costs by $129K. They were so effective that appropriate Albumin usage is now a UC-wide initiative in FY20.

Outstanding Expansion of Services

Walnut Creek Gastroenterology

Sabina Ali, MD, Sherry Hickok, Arathi Lakhole, MD, Peggy Lastiri, Lynne Lynn, Prita Mohanty, MD, Vivien Nguyen, MD, Mala Setty, MD, George Weiss, Andrea Works

Through the expansion of GI services to the Walnut Creek Campus, BCHO successfully integrated new providers to meet patient demand. By utilizing existing space and support staff, the Walnut Creek GI practice served hundreds of additional patients.

Outstanding Teamwork in

Revenue Optimization

Danielle Blanc, Kay Burke, Kate Chater, Heidi Collins, Terri Covington, Tony Davoren, Eric Day,

Andrea Dowling, Karla Fenstermaker, Katie Furman, Samantha Gill, Kate Hansen, Craig Johnson, Agha Khan, Faraz Khan, Amy Kuwata, Lucia Kwan, Aileen Libengood, Sam Marcus, Robert Martin, Michelle Marts, Andrew Maruoka,

Nelson Medina, Dave Morgan, Jackie Nemer, MD,

Kristen Rhinehart, Lori Ridley, Cami Rutledge,

Christy Sedore, Nancy Shibata, Cliff Skinner,

Chad Slomovitz, Caitlin Snow, Kamal Soni, Brian Wheeler  

Led by a dedicated team of leaders, this portfolio of initiatives required significant efforts across UCSF operational departments including periop, ED, nursing, informatics, and clinical systems. Thanks to the many individuals who went above and beyond to develop new protocols, educate frontline staff, and launch initiatives, these optimization initiatives delivered significant value this year.