About UCSF Fresno

November 15, 2001
News Office: Cara Peracchi Douglas, Director Public Affairs and Communications, UCSF-Fresno

For more than 25 years, UCSF Fresno has been fulfilling a critical San Joaquin Valley health care need, providing medical student training, graduate medical training and continuing education for physicians and other health care professionals.

As a major branch of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, UCSF Fresno is a nationally recognized model for community and public partnership. UCSF Fresno's faculty and residents provide the majority of safety-net health care for the Valley's underserved at University Medical Center (UMC), and other affiliated hospitals and rural clinics throughout the Valley. UCSF Fresno also delivers the necessary expertise for the Valley's only full- fledged trauma and burn center at UMC.

Over the years, UMC has become functionally obsolete and in December 2003, UMC is slated to close its doors. After years of planning, Fresno city and county, the state of California, UCSF, local hospitals, clinics and community leaders have recognized the need to replace UMC with a modern, functioning facility. A plan was developed to build a new hospital called Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and an educational and research center called UCSF Fresno's Medical Education and Research Center (MERC). CRMC and MERC consolidate the former Community Medical Center-Fresno and UMC hospitals in downtown Fresno. MERC provides a critical component at CRMC. It joins the ambulatory care center, the hospital, and the regional trauma and burn center. Additionally, MERC combines and enhances educational and research services presently at UMC and other locations.

UCSF Fresno Program Facts

The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most rapidly growing regions of the state, one-third faster than that of California as a whole. The highly diverse population of 3 million is expected to double by 2020. Yet when compared to other areas a physician shortage and maldistribution in rural areas still exist. Despite that disparity, fewer medical residents are being trained in the Valley. San Joaquin Valley has 12 medical residents per 100,000 compared to 38 medical residents per 100,000 nationally.

UCSF Fresno trains about 175 medical residents every year, in specialties ranging from emergency medicine and surgery to primary care, with 70 percent of that training at UMC. The benefit of UCSF Fresno reaches well beyond the San Joaquin Valley -- 75 percent of trainees are from out of state; over 50 percent remain to practice in the valley; 75 percent remain in California.

Valley counties have almost twice the state percentage of children in poverty. UCSF Fresno faculty and residents treat the overwhelming majority of the Valley's underserved. Each year over 200 medical students participate in clerkships, electives or preceptorships ranging from cross-cultural emphases in migrant healthcare, learning medical Spanish and access to care in rural areas, to teen pregnancy and special geriatric needs.

Faculty and residents are engaged in a broad spectrum of research from clinical studies to basic sciences with an emphasis on improving health outcomes in high prevalence diseases such as asthma, diabetes and other health issues unique to our Valley's diverse population.

UCSF Fresno and UC Merced are highly complementary and beneficial for our Valley, with one addressing a health science need and the other an undergraduate need. UCSF Fresno provides a great deal more than just higher education. It is truly a service-based community partner through pipeline and outreach efforts such as:

  • CSU Fresno/UCSF Fresno Combined Residency/Masters in Public Health Program
  • Summer Biomedical High School Internship Program
  • Latino Center for Education and Research
  • Sunnyside High School Doctor's Academy
  • Pediatric Reach Out and Read Program
  • Alzheimer's Research Center
  • Area Health Education Centers

Medical Education and Research Center Building Facts

Cost: $26 million for a three-story building

Donated land: 3.20 acres on prime high-visibility land at CRMC in 58-acre redevelopment area of downtown Fresno; land donation to UC underway by City of Fresno, Fresno Redevelopment Agency and CMC; adjacent to clinics, hospital and trauma and burn center.

Special features: State-of-the-art electronic technology for clinical skills lab, standardized patient center, digital medical library, virtual classrooms and research facilities.

Status: Significant funds expended to take project through final design development.

Environmental impact report: EIR for 58-acre CRMC site Development Agreement approved in January 1995; Environmental surveys for MERC are complete; project conforms to UCSF LRDP.

Timeline: Construction to begin September 2002 with completion and move-in by Summer 2004.