University of California, San Diego

March 11, 1999
KEY ADMINISTRATORS/KEY SUPPORT STAFF	SUBJECT:	Update on Recent Health Sciences Initiatives
Dear Colleagues,
Because activities in the Health Sciences are integral to UCSD's overall
teaching, research and public service missions, I would like to update you
on some recent initiatives within our area.
Our clinical system, UCSD Healthcare, faces major challenges, as the highly
competitive local health care market continues to evolve. In addition, a
review currently in progress indicates that several hundred million dollars
will be required in the coming years to seismically retrofit and upgrade the
infrastructure of our Hillcrest hospital, or to build a suitable replacement
facility. Although UCSD Healthcare is currently financially sound, these factors
require strategic planning for the future. One option we are exploring is
whether collaboration with another local health care system will help us
maintain long-term financial solvency and a diverse patient base of
sufficient volume to support our teaching and research missions. For the
past several months, we have been discussing a possible affiliation with
Sharp HealthCare, focusing on whether our core missions could be interwoven
and strengthened through partnership. This past weekend both institutions
agreed that despite good-faith efforts, the discussions were unlikely to
lead to a full partnership and should be discontinued. We will, however,
continue exploring collaborations with Sharp and others on a program by
program basis.
Over the past year we have also been evaluating the program and facility
needs within UCSD Health Sciences, with a view to enhancing our substantial
research, teaching and clinical strengths. We have concluded that it will
be important to our future as an academic medical center, a medical school,
and a major research enterprise to expand the research and clinical
strengths already established on the La Jolla campus. The medical,
educational and research value of scientists and physicians working side by
side is substantial; in fact this research/clinical partnership is
interwoven throughout the School of Medicine's history. For now, our priorities are to complete our comprehensive strategic review
of clinical and program needs to support all of our missions in the context
of the San Diego health care market, and to conclude our study of
Hillcrest's seismic and infrastructure needs. As part of this, we are
evaluating program and facilities opportunities in La Jolla, and determining
how we can continue to support the many vital programs now based at the UCSD
Medical Center in Hillcrest for all of the patients who depend on us,
including the indigent and underinsured.
We will keep you informed of future developments as our vision for the
future evolves though discussions with our faculty, staff, students and
community leaders.
John F. Alksne, M.D.
Vice Chancellor