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A Moment To Pause

February 25, 2021

Through this note, by offering a reflection on the remarkable spirit of the nearly 6,000 DPH and UCSF staff, scientists and clinicians contributing at ZSFG, we intend to highlight our collective efforts to becoming the best place to work.

Photo Exhibit Series III
Loved Ones

Images captivate.  They inspire.  They move us.  They invite us to travel to a different place, to a different perspective, to a different emotional or spiritual state.  Your enthusiasm for images comes through in the many appreciative comments of the past photo exhibits and the many submissions of new images.  To embrace your enthusiasm while sparking even greater numbers of creative contributions from our community, we are initiating a new format for the photo exhibits.  Key themes emerged in the submissions so far.  These themes touch essential parts of those who share their images, including “Loved Ones,” “Landscapes” and “Cherished Stuff”.  Our contributors have explored and interpreted these themes in wonderfully diverse ways.   “Landscapes” ranging from our interior world to the universal.  “Cherished Stuff” the things in our lives of great meaning and importance.  In this edition we start with “Loved Ones” highlighting the various shapes, forms or constitutions of ones we love.  Subsequent AMTPs will highlight “Landscapes”, then “Cherished Stuff”.  Keep the photos coming.  Submit yours here.

Jeff Critchfield

*Please see our special call for ANNIVERSARY PHOTOS below this Loved Ones Photo Exhibit.*

A new addition to our family is all the "meaning" during this time.

I’m Priscilla. I Love my job and I enjoy what I do. And what I love the most is a road trip with my husband. I really miss the days when we can show in our  smiles how happy we are without cover in our face and with no fear of getting sick. I hope it will happen again someday. Be safe everyone.

2020 was a challenging year to say the least. But, challenges bring out the best in this team who work together and problem-solve with the best. Pictured (from left to right): Maria Tercero Paz, Katerina Byanova, Aryana Bates, Laurence Huang, Sharvari Bhide, Rebecca Abelman, and John Zoscak. To 'decorate' our surgical face masks, we're wearing face masks with our research studies: The I AM OLD-DA Study and The I AM GOLD Study.
Laurence Huang, MD and Research Team

1) How did I spend these last few days? Answer: with my husband and my two "kids", Ollie and Gracie.
2) What holds promise in 2021? Answer: health, family, passion and peace.
Alisa Gean, MD


During a year of disruptive, shocking, distressing, inspiring and extraordinary firsts, we are approaching a series of calendar firsts – first anniversaries.  ​Today, February 25th, we have the first anniversary of San Francisco declaring the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic a state of emergency. The first city to do this, SF triggered national attention with responses ranging from admiration for courageous foresight to derision for our presumed over reaction.  Your heroically effective efforts day, after 360+ days, more than words, supply the narrative for the wisdom of early decisions made.  Coming up in March we will awake to the realization it has been one year since momentous changes transpired to our work and lives; March 13th marks the day operations as we knew it changed for ZSFG and March 17th marks the day Bay Area health leaders ordered us to Stay At Home.  Unimaginable in its first weeks, the extraordinary is now commonplace.  Masking; lines to enter the hospital; deeply restricted visitors to the campus; reductions in clinic visits; widespread home schooling with previously unimaginable amounts of screen time; hoping for the privilege to sit in a taqueria eating a $14 burrito which in 2019 we complained was crazy expensive.  These are only a few memories.  We would like to share yours.  Recognizing the enthusiastic response to the photo exhibits in A Moment To Pause, to honor the significance of our anniversaries, we encourage you to send us a photograph capturing some moment of this past year; perhaps an image that evokes a feeling or emotion you will associate with this time; maybe it’s a place, person or an object something now revealed over this past year to be essential to the importance of your being.  Send your photographs​, and we will exhibit them for others to appreciate both in an issue of A Moment to Pause and a curated Mezzanine display.  This moment also brings us to a milestone.  As you read, a week ago the United States passed over the line of 500,000 deaths due to COVID-19. May each in our own way, take a moment to grieve this magnitude of loss.  May we each recognize how our personal sacrifices and our deep commitment to loved ones, to community and I hope with increasing awareness, to self-care, brought comfort and life to so many in our worlds.

Share your anniversary photos here.

Jeff Critchfield

Resources & Support for Employees

In support of your reflections we encourage you to engage partners at the DPH and UCSF employee assistance programs at the links below.
Employee Assistance Program

Our Employee Assistance Program for tele-counseling is now available for DPH employees 24/7.
For UCSF Colleagues

Faculty and Staff Assistance: Explore diverse counseling services here.

UCSF Department of Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry created a website listing multiple resources.  Some are available only on the Parnassus Campus, others for UCSF employees.  The majority are for the whole San Francisco community.

Issue #1: Gardening Pause
Issue #2: Unmasking
Issue #3: New Rituals
Issue #4: Roots
Issue #5: Hello In There
Issue #6: Thresholds
Issue #7: To The Nurturers
Issue #8: Remembrance
Issue #9: The (TBD) Generation
Issue #10: The Purge
Issue #11: The Multiple Worlds of Black Health Workers
Issue #12: Sometimes Soldiers Wear Scrubs
Issue #13: Showing Up
Issue #14: Garden Poetry
Issue #15: Good Trouble
Issue #16: Photo Exhibit Series, Part I (July 29, 2020)
Issue #17: Music Exhibit Series, Part I (August 12, 2020)
Issue #18: Trust (August 28, 2020)
Issue #19: Treasures In Our Midst, Part I (September 8, 2020)
Issue #20: Beauty and Resilience from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Trees (September 22, 2020)
Issue #21: Confessions From the Home Front: The Unequal Burden on Women (October 6, 2020)
Issue #22: Photo Exhibit Series, Part II (October 20, 2020)
Issue #23: Introducing the Resilience Garden (December 8, 2020)
Issue #24: Bright Spots (December 23, 2020)
Issue #25: Dāna (Daan) (January 6, 2021)
Issue #26: Calm (January 26, 2021)
We welcome your feedback about A Moment To Pause.

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