Every week, we feature one of our talented faculty, staff, or trainees.
Anna Chodos, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Co-Principal Investigator, Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program, Director, Geriatrics Outpatient Consult Service, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
Anna grew up in New Haven surrounded by positive role models of aging and of caregivers. Her grandfather in Canada was in a nursing home which she remembers as a really good place. (How many of us have fond memories of nursing homes?!!) Her mother is an ob/gyn and her nanny when she was a child was also a geriatric nurse, and both imparted a love for the caring professions. (What a wonderful intergenerational model of caregiving!) And she herself developed a special concern for vulnerable people, working as a volunteer in hospice care.
She loves the broad scope of geriatric medicine, and her wide ranging interests have been fostered by the complexity of the medical and social needs of the patients and the community served by ZSFG, where she leads the outpatient geriatric programs.
Anna confessed that as an East Coaster, moving to northern California was a culture shock, but even without totally adopting the mellow vibe, she has come to love her life here with her husband, Doug, and four-year-old son, Louie. She likes the fog, and when the fog clears, likes the view southeast of “the real San Francisco” from her home near Laguna Honda. Anna fits into the bay area with her love of good food and she enjoys impressive baking projects with Louie’s active participation, including elaborate decorating of cakes and pastries with antique baking tools used by her grandmother. She describes her son as a “silly, goofy kid who takes four hour naps”, and he’s learning to cook—what’s not to like about that?
Two parts of California life that she has not warmed to—the cold Pacific ocean: “What good is an ocean you can’t swim in?”, and what she refers to as “the bagel situation”. If anyone can tell Anna of a place in the bay area where you can get real New York style bagels, it will significantly add to the quality of her life here and she will be forever grateful!
Christine Cassel, MD
Professor of Medicine and Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy for the Department of Medicine
Christine, who goes by Chris, recently returned to UCSF where she did her bioethics fellowship early in her training. She has joined us as a Professor in the Department of Medicine and feels at home in Geriatrics, which she has always considered her primary clinical home. Chris over her career has had many roles in academia, leadership, health policy, and bioethics across the country (Chicago, NY, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.) but most recently returned to the Bay Area to become the Planning Dean for the new Kaiser Medical School and now has stayed in her current role with us.
When local, she commutes to our campus from her apartment in Jack London Square, but sometimes you may be meeting with her via Zoom while she’s 7500 feet above sea level in her other home in Santa Fe, New Mexico! She and her husband, who is originally from Wyoming, have had a home there for 30 years and that has always been a physical home base for them. They would always travel there for long weekends, holidays and summer, and she has many close friends and god children there. Chris describes Santa Fe as intensely beautiful and also very culturally mixed. They are surrounded by the mountains and outdoors. The people there are a mix of Native Americans, Anglo populations that moved in, and Spanish families. There’s incredible art and food, and for a small place it has big city culture with different types of activities in the summer and winter. Chris is basically an ambassador for Santa Fe and no doubt many of us will visit after her description of its wonder.
Chris really started in academia as a philosopher and after clinical training went back to bioethics. Now at this point in her career she came back to UCSF for bioethics and feels she can have a deep and rich intellectual life working in geriatrics, which is rich with philosophical and ethical issues, and at UCSF can be at the leading edge of bioethics and science. As her position is part-time and she has less work managing a large organization or many people than she has had in prior positions, she feels she can really enjoy her intellectual life.
Our mission is to improve the care of older patients locally and nationally through outstanding teaching and design of innovative curricula. We train physicians and other health professionals from first year students to seasoned clinicians in settings ranging from classroom to clinic and hospital to home.
We are specialists who provide person-centered medical care that reaches older persons where ever they need it--in hospitals, clinics or in their homes. Dignity, independence and choice are the focus of every healthcare decision.
Our research is grounded in a deep respect for older persons, and a commitment to improving their health, well-being, and quality of life. Our commitment extends to all older persons across the spectrum of the aging experience.