San Francisco Business Times Recognizes Health Care Heroes

July 28, 2011
Contact: News Office (415) 502-6397

The San Francisco Business Times recognized seven members of the UCSF community and a diabetes outreach clinic in its inaugural "Health Care Heroes" edition.

Introducing the special section, publisher Mary Huss said it is meant to give "credit where it is due — to the men and women in the health care profession who dedicate their lives and careers to saving people, curing illness, and providing comfort and quality care to patients and their loved ones."

"Our goal in creating these awards was to recognize exceptional professionals who go above and beyond their job descriptions, to discover inspiring individuals working to improve the health care system and the lives of patients in the Bay Area," Huss writes. "Importantly, we wanted to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes whose work behind the scenes makes a profound difference in the experience and outcomes of those receiving care."

Among those recognized is Dr. Anthony Luke, an associate professor of clinical medicine who is the coordinator of the PlaySafe Sports Medicine program who organizes free care for student athletes, Lynne Benioff for giving $100 million to UCSF for a children's hospital at Mission Bay and for her ongoing dedication to UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, and Dr. Helen Kao, an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF who works to improve care given to elderly and dying patients.

Kao, the founder of the Geriatric Transitions, Consultation and Comprehensive Care (GeriTraCCC) at UCSF Medical Center, graduated from the UCSF School of Medicine in 2003. She then served her residencies at UCSF Medical Center and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and earned a fellowship at UCSF Medical Center in geriatrics in 2007.

More than 100 candidates from across the San Francisco Bay Area were nominated by peers and colleagues as "Health Care Heroes." The selection panel consisted of health care leaders in the Bay Area as well as the Business Times editors.

These recognitions were announced on July 27 during a morning ceremony:

Community Impact, Individual

  • Anthony Luke, MD, associate professor, UCSF School of Medicine — Finalist


  • Lynne Benioff, UCSF Foundation board member and donor — Winner

Nursing Finalist

  • Hildy Schell-Chaple, RN, MS, FAAN, a clinical nurse specialist in Adult Critical Care at UCSF Medical Center


  • Richard Fine, MD, clinical professor of medicine and director of Quality Assurance, Department of Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital — Finalist
  • Helen Kao, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF — Winner


  • Iman Nazeeri-Simmons, chief quality officer for San Francisco General Hospital — Winner

Technical Innovation

Unsung Hero

  • Vilma Zarate, an administrative analyst in fetal surgery at UCSF — Winner

About UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital. For more information, visit

Follow UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital on or on Twitter @UCSFHospitals.

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