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How we measure a year at Saint Francis

Hospital News & Updates

Hearts of San Francisco - "Sails of the Bay" by Marius Starkey at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

How do you measure a year?

With a nod to Rent, arguably one of the most diverse cast of characters in a Broadway production showcasing modern LGBTQ activism and HIV/AIDS, Saint Francis Foundation (also) measures a year in love.  Now, I know terms like “love” rarely are spoken in business or in the work of hospitals and hospital foundations.  So, how about “care?”

In terms of care – and by the numbers – we’ve had a great year: five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of “care” if you will:

  • One of the Busiest Emergency Department in the City
  • Healthgrades Five Star rated Stroke and Acute Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Intensive Care Coordination services for our homeless patients to improve their health, reduce preventable readmissions by 36% and save $1.5M this year

That feels like a kind of love, doesn’t it?  Showing our love for our city — a love for the widely diverse population who live in it.

The business of hospitals and healthcare is getting harder every day, particularly when you are the city’s “safety net” hospital which turns no one away.  But, the “business” of hospitals should not be our community’s worry.  We take this challenge on with all our hearts and minds, no matter the financial numbers, to provide the best care possible whether you’re fully insured – or — unsure where you’ll sleep the next few nights.  As another song in Rent explains,

If you are cold and you’re lonely
(Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes)
You’ve got one nickel only
(Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes)
When you’re worn out and tired
(Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes)
When your heart has expired!

I’ll cover you.

Those lyrics resonate with me and how I view our work at the Foundation.  The role of the Saint Francis Foundation is to partner with the Hospital to not only cover unexpected gaps in funding but to also inspire innovation in patient care and community health.

Time and time again, our generous donors have met the challenge and invested in this small, community hospital.  They help us “step up” to meet some of the Hospital’s biggest needs: from a $15MM state of the art Bothin Burn Center to education scholarships for nurses, from technological firsts like the minimally invasive da Vinci Surgical Robots and Cyberknife to gentle and meaningful orthopedic rehab programs.

At this time of year – when looking back and taking stock – the most overwhelming and constant theme is gratitude.

I appreciate, first and foremost, the nurses and staff of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.  It is their outstanding care which is the genesis of the majority of the Foundation’s donations.  People give because of the care our nurses and staff provide.  Of course, I am also thankful for the tremendous skills of our doctors and surgeons.  And, I value the contributions of the Foundation’s committed and hard-working staff.

I am moved by the trust our community places in us.

Typically, when a patient enters our space, they not only shed their clothing and personal belongings for a hospital gown, they also open their hearts and turn their very precious lives over to us.  We are deeply humbled knowing we carry this precious responsibility and the Foundation is honored to stand behind it.

And, finally, looking forward to 2020, I feel hopeful.

I am confident we will continue to be supported by our donors because they feel connected to our mission and see clearly the valuable role Saint Francis Memorial Hospital plays in the health of the city.  In turn, we are committed to ensuring, through our grants, the Hospital has what it needs to deliver compassionate care to all who need it.

I am encouraged by the fact we have the opportunity to unify communities through shared commitments to “their” Hospital.  And – we will continue to partner with the Hospital in doing the kind of groundbreaking health work this complex and vibrant city deserves, such as some emerging opportunities expanding the role of our Gender Institute and our Women’s Health Institute.  More on that in 2020.

On behalf of the staff of the Saint Francis Foundation, I wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season and more seasons of love in 2020.