September 6, 2012

About ZSFG

About Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is the Heart of San Francisco. We save lives. We are a Level 1 Trauma Center and the City’s safety net, serving anyone in need. Nestled at the foot of Potrero Hill in the city’s Mission District, the public hospital has been an essential part of San Francisco ‘s health care system since 1872. Considered one of the finest public hospitals in the US, the General, as many refer to it, offers humanistic, cost-effective and culturally competent care to an international community of patients regardless of their ability to pay. This history has had a strong impact on the hospital’s culture and creed.

Mission: To provide quality healthcare and trauma services with compassion and respect.

Vision: Rebuild Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center so we can continue to provide healthcare and trauma services for people in need.


  • Patient and staff safety
  • Quality healthcare
  • Disease prevention
  • Staff retention and recruitment
  • Culturally responsive care
  • Efficient resource management
  • Academic excellence in training and research


  1. Promote patient safety
  2. Enhance clinical care
  3. Promote staff retention & recruitment
  4. Maintain hospital infrastructure
  5. Comply with all regulatory standards & attain specialty certifications
  6. Maintain services during hospital rebuild

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) is a general acute care hospital providing a complete variety of health services, including inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency, skilled nursing, diagnostic, mental health, and rehabilitation services for adults and children.

SFG serves a diverse patient population. Staff at ZSFG provide services in more than 20 languages. Patients at ZSFG are ethnically and racially diverse: 18% are African American, 21% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 24% are Caucasian, and 31% are Hispanic. ZSFG serves about the same number of men as women (51% men, 49% women). About 57% of patients are under the age of 45, about 34% are between 45 and 64 years old.

County Hospital
SFG is owned by the City and County of San Francisco and operated by the Department of Public Health’s Community Health Network, which is responsible for the administration of ZSFG.

Historical Partnership
The University of California, San Francisco has been the City’s partner for providing patient care since 1873. All of the physicians at ZSFG are UCSF faculty, committed to providing high quality care to the people of San Francisco. Today, some 1,600 UCSF physicians, specialty nurses, health care professionals and other professionals work side-by-side with 2,600 City employees at ZSFG.

SFG operates the City’s only trauma center, treating over 3,900 severely injured patients annually. The trauma center is designated as “Level 1”, the highest level available. This designation means that ZSFG must provide comprehensive care to the most severely injured patient 24 hours a day/7 days a week. It necessitates a wide range of resources, including in-house trauma surgeons specializing in orthopedic-, general-, and neurosurgery, anesthesiologists, other promptly available specialists, and a highly-specialized nursing staff.

SFG operates a full-service emergency department, treating patients for emergencies such as heart attacks, asthma, cuts, sprains, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal bleeding. The emergency department at ZSFG is the first responder for trauma patients and is the only center in San Francisco for sexual assault evaluation, paramedic medical direction, care of patients in custody, and extensive social service and interpreter services. The Emergency Department saw 53,000 patients last year, and had approximately 18,000 ambulance arrivals.

Psychiatric Care and Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES)
PES at ZSFG provides 24-hour, 7-day a week emergency assessment, stabilization and disposition for acutely ill adult psychiatric patients who are San Francisco residents. PES is the only designated evaluation facility for adult patients placed on psychiatric holds, known in public-safety parlance as “5150”. PES provides emergency assessment and hospital placement for San Francisco patients placed in sub-acute facilities that are experiencing an acute exacerbation. ZSFG is the largest acute inpatient and rehabilitation hospital for psychiatric patients in San Francisco. Over 7,200 Psychiatric Emergency encounters in FY2009-2010 with 21% were admitted.

Inpatient Hospital
SFG, its physicians and staff treated an average of 275 acute medical, surgical and psychiatric patients per day in FY 2009-2010. That year,15,934 patients were admitted, 1,222 babies were born, and 1,786 women, many of whom are high-risk, received pre-natal care at ZSFG. In addition to the acute beds, ZSFG operates 30 medical skilled nursing beds, 59 mental health skilled nursing beds and47 mental health rehabilitation beds in FY2009-2010. These beds are occupied almost 100% of the time.

SFG has ten operating rooms. One is always reserved for trauma patients. 6,588 surgical procedures were performed; half 45% of them were emergencies in FY 2009-2010.

Primary Care and Clinical Services
SFG provides primary care that is comprehensive, continuous, accessible, organized, coordinated and accountable. Outpatient clinics at ZSFG had 488,865 encounters last year, almost half of which were for patients seeking to see their primary care doctor.

The ZSFG campus is home to more than 20 UCSF research centers, affiliated institutes, and major laboratories. More than 160 UCSF principal investigators conduct research through programs based at the hospital campus with an annual budget over $107 million. These research activities support ZSFG’s patient care by enabling ZSFG to attract leading physician-scientists, who provide patient care as well as pursuing their research activities.

Medical Education and Training
SFG is staffed by one of the top medical programs in the country – the UCSF School of Medicine, along with the UCSF Schools of Nursing, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. On any given day, about one-third of all UCSF residents and fellows – more than 200 physicians – are working and training at ZSFG. As an academic hospital, ZSFG is on the cutting edge of the latest medical advances. ZSFG promotes academic excellence through its wide range of services for a diverse patient population.

Partners for Patients
Patient care at ZSFG is provided primarily by UCSF physicians, specialty nurses, lab professionals, and health care professionals who are employed by UCSF, and by nurses and health care professionals employed by the City.

UCSF Doctors
The City pays UCSF for the patient care services provided by UCSF doctors and health care professionals through an affiliation agreement. UCSF doctors and health care professionals work together with City nurses, administrators and health care workers to serve patients at ZSFG.

There are over 5,000 people working at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Center. More than 3,000 are employees of the City and over 2,000 are employed by UCSF.

Of ZSFG’s operating budget of ~$639 million, about 80 percent comes from payments from Medi-Cal, Medicare, other insurance plans, and directly from patients for care delivered by UCSF physicians and allied health care professionals. Less than 20 percent of ZSFG’s budget comes from the city’s general fund.

Payer Mix
SFG’s inpatients payer mix includes those insured by Medi-Cal (39%), Medicare (19%), commercial insurance and other sources (9%). ZSFG’s outpatients payer mix includes those insured by Medi-Cal (24%), Medicare (16%), commercial insurance and other sources (20%).

SFG is the major health care provider for the estimated 150,000 people in San Francisco who are without health insurance coverage. Although about 8% of patients served at ZSFG are homeless, a large number of these uninsured patients are working full time.

SFG has been continuously located in the Mission District of San Francisco, since 1872 at 1001 Potrero Avenue, just west of Potrero Hill and Highway 101, and north of Cesar Chavez Street.

The Campus
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center campus occupies approximately 24 acres. The main hospital building is both an acute and ambulatory care building, containing the outpatient clinics, an emergency department, and inpatient beds. Other ZSFG buildings are occupied by outpatient clinics, research, and support services.