Why UCSF Health Hub Launched the UCSF Volunteer Patriots
When we started UCSF Health Hub eighteen months ago, our goal, as the community of the leading digital health venture capitalists, was to help smaller healthcare companies and inventors scale and grow their businesses or ideas by being connected with the best of the best from UCSF and the Silicon Valley healthcare ecosystem.
We’ve made thousands of connections, hosted the 1st Annual UCSF Digital Health Awards, hosted dozens of events and made some nice progress in pushing forward a digital health future vision with some of our great partners nationwide.
Then the virus hit.
Things changed, and while we have always championed telemedicine and remote diagnostics, the two areas of healthcare innovation that are fastest accelerating their adoption given the virus, we wanted to have a more direct impact on our communities' ability to fight this thing.
UCSF Volunteer Patriots program enables those in the UCSF ecosystem, including our thousands of Health Hub members; doctors — retired or postdocs, engineers, investors, designers, clinicians, project or program managers a chance to do two things.
One: Help UCSF solve that it sees are the most critical problems as it relates to the virus. Two: Help earlier-stage technology companies in the private sector get their Covid-19 solutions to or in market faster and better. So many of the innovative solutions are coming from our entrepreneurial ecosystem, yet, especially in this world of shelter-in-place, the companies can’t fast hire or don’t have the full teams they need to be world-class.
Our true UCSF warriors are the care teams on the front lines, the doctors, nurses and EMT battling the virus first hand. The rest of us can be patriots supporting the cause — with our time, our expertise or our donations.
Can you help?
Philanthropists and foundations are helping to procure PTEs, ventilators and more and our government is finally doing what it needs to do but while these needs grab all the headlines — -there is a lot more going on— behind the scenes. In wars, logistics, programming and all forms of coordination are needed. Some high profile, most not.
In It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1946 Christmas movie starring Jimmy Stewart, remember George Bailey? While his brother went off to fight WWII, George coordinated the response in town, performing critical tasks — volunteering to help the Bedford Falls community get through dark times and scarcity at home. We all can be like George and help our new ‘war’.
Visit our web page and sign up now if there might be a project posted live where you can help or there one might be coming soon, we will keep you updated. If we all can help make UCSF, the best hospital of the West Coast and top medical research center worldwide, and our entrepreneurial health tech ecosystem be more efficient and better equipped to handle what is going to be a tsunami soon, we can be a part of the solution.
UPDATE May 15, 2020: Since we launched we have connected almost 250 projects with volunteer mentors and advisors.