Minutes of the Health Commission Meeting

Tuesday, May 30, 2000
3:00 p.m.

101 Grove Street, Room #300
San Francisco, CA 94102


The special meeting of the Health Commission was called to order by President Roma Guy, MSW, at 3:05 p.m.


  • Commissioner Edward A. Chow, M.D.
  • Commissioner Roma P. Guy, M.S.W.
  • Commissioner Ron Hill
  • Commissioner Harrison Parker, Sr., D.D.S.
  • Commissioner David J. Sanchez, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Commissioner John I. Umekubo, M.D.


  • Commissioner Lee Ann Monfredini

On behalf of the Commission, Commissioner Chow presented a special Certificate of Appreciation to Doreen Dare, RN, MSN, for her 23 years with the Department at San Francisco General Hospital. Gene O’Connell, Executive Administrator of San Francisco General Hospital, and Tony Wagner, Executive Administrator of the Community Health Network, each expressed their appreciation for Ms. Dare’s fine work and commitment to quality of care issues at San Francisco General Hospital and training at Laguna Honda Hospital through the Community Health Network.


Dr. Mitch Katz, Director of Health, thanked the Commission for holding this special Commission meeting to consider the proposed General Obligation Bond of $97 million to be considered for the November 2000 ballot, to improve facilities at San Francisco General Hospital and the Community Clinics.

Dr. Katz reviewed the process:

Pursuant to requests from the Health Commission and from members of the Board of Supervisors, the Department of Public Health assessed its immediate capital projects and seismic requirements. The results of this review were presented and considered in public hearings held by the Health Commission and the Board of Supervisors’ Finance and Labor Committee in March 2000. Since that time, Supervisor Mark Leno requested that the Department of Health prepare a General Obligation Bond proposal that could be considered for placement on the November 2000 ballot.

If approved, the proposal will be submitted and considered by the City’s Capital Improvement Advisory Committee (CIAC) for its recommendation. If approved by CIAC, the proposal will be presented to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors for review and approval for placement on the November 2000 ballot.

The four major projects to be funded through General Obligation Bonds are:

  1. Seismic retrofit to San Francisco General Hospital to bring the  hospital’s life safety structures and systems into compliance with State earthquake standards to meet the 2008 deadline, allowing the hospital to remain open as an acute care institution until 2030 - $19,350,000
  2. A new ambulatory care and research facility at San Francisco General Hospital to house urgent care, HIV/AIDS, primary and specialty care, and clinical research - $48,000,000
  3. Capital improvements to San Francisco General Hospital to increase outpatient capacity, improve public access, reconfigure nursing unit and Treatment areas, build public Health Laboratory facilities, and improve facilities to meet AD and other code compliance - $14,982,300
  4. Capital improvements to the existing primary care centers to expand clinical exam rooms, reconfigure eligibility and registration areas, improve public access, and improve facilities to meet ADA and other code compliance, including lead abatement - $13,268,400

Finance costs of issuing bonds - $ 1,500,000

The cost of these projects, including financing costs, is estimated at $97,010,700. The Department will continue to work with the Department of Public Works, the Planning Department, the Mayor’s Office of Finance, and the City Attorney’s Office, to further define the construction timelines and other details needed to size a general Obligation Bond proposal.

Dr. Katz pointed out these projects have previously been presented to the Commission. Additionally, the proposal would provide the opportunity to co-locate mental health and substance abuse programs in the primary care clinics. Not included in this bond are school-based health clinics. There needs to be a longer planning process at the School District to achieve a level of readiness.

Public Speakers:

  • Bob Hartnagel, Aide to Supervisor Mark Leno, spoke on behalf of the Supervisor and urged the Commission to move forward with the proposed bond.
  • Brad Benson, Aide to Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano, expressed support for the current proposal but also indicated his concern for inclusion, but will hold off, the capital needs of mental health community-based organizations, housing, and the Tom Waddell Clinic.
  • Dr. Talmadge King, San Francisco General Hospital Chief of Medical Service, expressed support for the ambulatory care and research facility. The programs housed in the proposed building would focus on outpatient care and would accomplish the following:
    • Enhance customer service and accessibility
    • Reduce patients’ frustration in finding where to go
    • Improve service by making the environment customer friendly
    • Enhance teaching and research goals
  • Dr. Phil Hopewell, Associate Dean at San Francisco General Hospital, emphasized the importance of the proposed improvements to San Francisco General Hospital and the Community Health Network. He also pointed out U.C.’s commitment to its partnership with the CHN and that the ambulatory care facility is crucial to fulfill the partnership. Even though U.C. is building the Mission Bay Campus, there is an increased need to have patient-based research at SFGH; this will complement the research at Mission Bay; research is in line with the CHN mission.
  • Dr. Mike McCune, AIDS researcher, promoted academic research near a patient-based hospital and urged the Commission to support the resolution.
  • Helynna Brooke, Executive Director of the Mental Health Board, endorsed the bond proposal. She also supports the idea of adding school-based health clinics, community-based mental health facilities, and housing.

Commissioners’ Comments:

  • Endorses the bond proposal
  • Timely, well-thought-out, comprehensive, affordable measure
  • Will increase morale of personnel
  • Need to balance between centralizing and decentralizing services
  • Thanked Supervisors Leno and Ammiano
  • Important bond in promoting infrastructure
  • Inquired about operational and moving costs; timeline for ambulatory care facility; capacity in the ER at San Francisco General Hospital
  • Concern for school-based clinics; have to be worked out with School District
  • Increased cost to taxpayers on property tax would be $40 per year
  • Co-location of mental health and primary care services would be a public benefit
  • Everyone has pulled together for the elderly (LHH Bond) and persons at risk
  • Acknowledged the UCSF and the CHN partnership
  • Bond will pass
  • Modernization; increase in efficiency; acknowledged concern for mental health community-based facilities

President Guy thanked Department staff for the comprehensive documents.

Dr. Katz thanked Eric Miller and Carlos Villalva for their expertise in developing the bond proposal

Action Taken: The Commission (Guy, Umekubo, Hill, Chow, Parker, Sanchez) adopted Resolution #5-00, entitled "Approving a Proposal to Fund the Seismic, Life Safety and Critical Facility Improvement Project Through General Obligation Bonds in the Amount of $97 Million to be Placed on the Ballot for November 2000."



The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Sandy Ouye Mori, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission