UCSF Advanced Practice Providers

September 2022 Newsletter

Click here to view as a webpage

National Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Week

September 26-September 30, 2022 honors the contribution of our various APPs including Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Certified Nurse-Midwives. We are an important group of providers that elevate the fields of medicine and nursing to ensure our most vulnerable populations receive high-quality, evidence-based care.

Join your UCSF APP colleagues as well as those at the other UC Medical Centers for these virtual events to celebrate your hard work and to raise awareness of our unique roles in healthcare.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 hosted by UC Davis Annual Symposium 5-730 PM 

"Where do we go from here?" Advocacy, Leadership and Legislation

Fellowship: Transition to Practice

"The Value and Impact of Advanced Practice Clinicians on Inpatient Glycemic Outcomes"

"Transgender Health Leadership"

Register here

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 hosted by UC San Francisco

7-8 AM "Hot Beverage and Hot Opportunities" Stipends and Committees

Zoom link

12-1 PM Teach for UCSF and Program for Interprofessional Practice and Education Zoom link 

5-6 PM Leadership Academy for APPS and Evidence Based Practice Opportunities

Zoom link

Thursday, September 29, 2022 hosted by UC San Diego 12:15-1 PM 

"The Practice of Loving Kindness" with Susan Piver of The Open Heart Project

Susan Piver is a New York times bestselling author of many books. She will guide a 30 minute meditation session on the Practice of Loving Kindness, followed by a 15 minute question and answer. Register here 

APP Spotlight

Director of Pediatric APPs

Tara Valcarcel, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC has joined the Office of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) as the new Director of Pediatric APPs. She started on August 22, 2022. Tara will work collaboratively with all UCSF Health departments, clinic areas, and sites to ensure alignment among all areas for patient care and Pediatric APP support and advocacy for both Benioff Children’s Oakland and Benioff Children’s San Francisco.


Tara was an inpatient psychiatric nurse at Zuckerberg San Francisco General before earning her Master’s in Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing with a minor in adolescent health at UCSF. She has practiced as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at UCSF Health since 2010. She became an APP Manager in 2018 with oversight of ambulatory APPs across 15 pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties. Tara is an Assistant Clinical Professor with the UCSF School of Nursing and a session facilitator for the Program for Interprofessional Education (PIPE).

Tara has a passion for mentorship that developed from her experience as a first generation college student. She was the founding chair of the APP Mentorship Committee and APP Mentorship Program and is a mentor in the UCSF First Generation Mentorship Program. As a co-chair of the APP Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, she helped launch the Collaborative Career Advancement Network (C-CAN), a program that provides mentorship to UCSF employees interested in APP careers.

In her work with patients, students, and colleagues, her goal is to empower others through education and opportunities that enhance their sense of self-efficacy. Outside of work, Tara enjoys creating and appreciating art and being in nature with her husband and 5-year-old son.


Mitchel Erickson, DNP, BSN, MSN, ACNP, Age-friendly ED Advanced Practice Consultant, Division of Geriatrics, was the lead author for a poster presented in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the NEXUS Summit. Reducing referral and access barriers to early cognitive screening and assessment was the title of the work for which he was able to interact with attendees and share and present the group's data, outcomes and evidence resulting from interprofessional practice and education initiative. 

Jungying 'Sarah' Zhang, PhD, MSN, CRNA has been at UCSF since 2017 and has published and presented regionally and nationally. Her latest will be podium talk on August 16th, 2022 in Chicago at the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology Conference on on a clinical trial entitled "A Double-Blinded Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial of Use of Venlafaxine in Reducing Post-surgical Pain and Opioid Consumption in Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty"

Accepting Nominations

The 2022 Exceptional Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Awards will consist of four recipients chosen for their demonstration of UCSF Health PRIDE values.

Who can nominate?

Any UCSF Health employee on both sides of the bay may submit and/or second a nomination.

Nominations and eligibility are only for APPs: UCSF Health Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Certified Registered Nurse Midwife, Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist). Must be career employee >50%.

An electronic nomination form can be complete via this link and any questions can be emailed to [email protected] or [email protected].

Deadline for nomination is Friday, September 30, 2022. 

APP virtual award ceremony TBD. Click here for more details.

APP Education News

Register now and save the date--Friday, October 21, 2022

The UCSF Office of Advanced Practice in partnership with the UCSF APP Education Committee invite you to participate in the upcoming conference: Contemporary Issues in Advance Practice on October 21st, 2022. UCSF designates this live virtual activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1CreditTM.  $55.00 registration fee

Keynote speakers:

Victoria Keeton, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC

UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

“Social Determinants of Stress and their Impact on the Health of Latinx Mothers and Children”

Rosalind de Lisser, PhD-c, FNP, PMHNP  UCSF Health “Caregiver Burnout”

Sarah Palilla, PA-C, MMS UCSF Health “Bariatric Surgery Program”

Plus Special Interest Tracks: Education Performance Track, Mental Health Track

Orthopedic Track, Pain Management Track

More Info

APP Town Hall

Tuesday September 13, 2022 4-5 PM--Today

"Patient Advocacy Response System with VUMC" 

Speaker: Thomas F. Catron, PhD. Executive Director Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy; Associate Professor of Medical Education and Pediatrics

Meeting ID: 955 0777 3067

Password: 352461

Did you miss the prior Town Halls? Click here to view prior Town Halls on APP Utilization, Time Study, AB 890 (must log into MyAccess).

Email [email protected] to suggest future Town Hall topics. 

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a small organization with a very big mission. With a large library of online courses, the IHI Open School is an easy and effective way for health care students and professionals from around the world and across disciplines to gain essential training and skills in quality improvement, patient safety, leadership and other topics--on your own time, at your own pace.

Click here for more info about these Open schools and their courses.

Crisis Prevention Institute

CPI training programs provide strategies and techniques for all levels of health care professionals. These strategies and techniques focus on the care, welfare, safety and security of staff and the patients in their care with evidence-based de-escalation and crisis prevention approaches.  There are 3 CPI courses available through UC Learning The courses are designed to be taken in sequence. 

CPI 01:Non-Violent Crisis Intervention 2nd edition: Trauma - Healthcare

CPI 02:Non-Violent Crisis Intervention 2nd edition: Trauma - Healthcare Virtual Training

CPI 03:Non-Violent Crisis Intervention 2nd edition: Trauma - Healthcare in-Person Training

APP Standards & Compliance News

Pen Injectors Need Pen Needles

Autoinjectors, which already have an attached needle, provide a single

medication dose for onetime use prior to disposal. EPIPEN and AUVI-Q (both EPINEPHrine),and BYDUREON BCISE(exenatide) are examples of medications available in autoinjectors.

Unlike autoinjectors that already have a needle attached, pen injectors require patients to manually attach a pen needle. Some pen injectors, including OZEMPIC(semaglutide), come with a supply of disposable

needles. HUMALOG KWIKPEN(insulin lispro) and FORTEO (teriparatide) are examples of pen injectors that require the purchase of pen needles separately.

The FDA has received reports of missed doses and reuse of needles when the correct

pen needles were not prescribed and/or dispensed to patients (www.ismp.org/node/31803).

Most of these errors were attributed to not prescribing the required pen needles, not offering patients pen needles, and dispensing the incorrect type of pen needles,

unfamiliarity with the pen injector, and patients with an inadequate supply of pen needles.

Click here to read how what the FDA recommendations to prevent errors associated with pen injectors (page 5). 

Justice, Equity and Inclusion News

Racial Equity in Healthcare

Want to build on your skills of promoting racial equity in healthcare?

Attend a half-day workshop that builds on the fundamentals of relationship-centered communication. You will explore the impact of stereotype threat and unconscious racial bias on communication between patients and other members of the health care team.

For more information, please visit: https://cech.ucsf.edu/

Upcoming workshop 

September 16, 2022 9-12 noon

Professional Development News

What is an NP3?

An Nurse Practitioner III as a clinical expert who demonstrates excellence through advanced clinical practice, education and leadership. The purpose of this role is to encourage nurse practitioners to become nursing leaders by participation in clinical care, research, education and service to the medical center. There are currently 67 NP3 as UCSF. 

Click here to find out more about the criteria for NP3 application submission.

Applications are accepted twice a year--upcoming due date September 30, 2022


A message from the Office of Advanced Practice Providers


In May of this year many of you (49%) participated in the Annual Advanced Practice Provider Work Experience Survey. We extend our sincere gratitude to you for taking the time to provide your feedback. Improving the work experience for our people is an ongoing organizational priority, with each year offering an opportunity for us to re-focus on the items of greatest importance to you. 


Click here for an overview of the data describing UCSF Health All APP results (these include Benioff Children Hospital Oakland and West Bay campuses data combined).

All the data from the NPS survey can be viewed via The Provider Experience APP: NPS results - Tableau Server (ucsf.edu) dashboard.

End of Life Option Act--UCSF policy updated

  1. A mandatory mental health (MH) assessment is no longer required for all patients pursuing EOLOA
  2. When mental health assessments do occur, they may be conducted by a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker
  3. Physician credentialing is no longer required
  4. Required EOLOA visits may take place via Telehealth (in addition to in-person)

If you have questions about these policy changes or would like to arrange an education session, please reach out Brieze Bell directly at [email protected]

Click here for key policy changes

New APPs Who Joined UCSF Health

Please extend a warm welcome to our newly hired APPs

Ronley Aviles, NP SOM OB GYN Fertility

Cathryn Cherbini NP BOPC Cancer Center 

Sonja Goldberg, PA Orthopedic Institute Arthroplasty

Maura Granados, NP Pediatric OHNS

Teresa Meadows, NP Peds/Neonatal 

Roberto Mejias, NP Pediatric/Neonatal

Mellanie Merrit, PA urology

Maria Morales, NP General Surgery

Linda Pan, NP General Surgery

Matthew Sachs, NP Cancer Center Dysplasia

Stephanie Tejada, CRNA Anesthesia

Lauren Thayer, NP Hematology Oncology Clinic

Sabrina Winters, NP Pediatric/Neonatal

Irina Yurkova, NP Mechanical Circulatory Support

APP Job Corner

Refer an APP colleague to work at UCSF and potentially earn $2000 for yourself. For more info: referral program

Be sure they note your name at time of application submission.

There were 19 new postings in August 2022

Click here for comprehensive list of APP job openings
Wellness News

Responding, Reporting & Managing Patient or Visitor Discriminatory Behavior Towards Clinicians & Staff

Patients sometimes treat clinicians and staff in a discriminatory manner. These situations are complex because the behavior is unacceptable and sometimes further complicated if the patient is impacted by neurodevelopmental/cognitive/and/or biological reasons. Allyship and team-based approach is highly recommended including tapping into experts like the social workers and psychologists.

A resources to support you when confronting these situations.

from The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

How to Diagnosis and Treat Bias Patient Behavior


Effective Communication 

Contributed by Mike Rabow, MD, FAAHM

Director, Symptom Management Service

Medical Director of Palliative Care, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Director, The MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care at UCSF/Mount Zion

Associate Chief of Education & Mentoring, Division of Palliative Medicine

One of the barriers that may prevent us from actually using the communication skills we have is due to


Fear of Vulnerability.


Learning and practicing new communication skills means change, and change implies risk. One risk is the fear that in communicating, our weaknesses or heartfelt emotions will be revealed. Each of the three parts of communication (deep listening, talking clearly, and sitting in silence) require us to be vulnerable—to appear before another person (often in a very intimate setting), to be seen and heard, to face truths, to be discovered as we really are. 


Some might dread getting questions back from patients that are hard, painful, or embarrassing to answer: Hard questions where the response points to the unknown; Painful questions where the answer confirms what we and the patient wish to avoid (e.g. the cancer is back); Embarrassing questions where the answer reveals our own mistakes.


Some might worry that questions will open an overwhelming pandora’s box of further questions and complex issues (for which we don’t have the knowledge or time to respond).


Some might worry that in deep communication, our mask will be removed, our secret ineptitude will be uncovered, and we will be revealed as a fraud (the imposter syndrome). As has been said (perhaps by Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain), “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”


Some might worry that communication (especially around difficult topics) will reveal feelings that we might prefer to keep private (e.g. fear, doubt, sadness, or sorrow).


We worry about evidence of our vulnerability leaking out, thinking we will lose power. Instead, vulnerabilities shared typically create power and build connection. Almost all patients want to know that their health care worker cares (it’s in the name!). They want us to be technically competent, for sure, but simultaneously a real, authentic person.  We are not robots, apps, or protocols. 


We are vulnerable because we are human. Expressing (or simply revealing vulnerability) creates not just visibility, but also integrity, wholeness… and that’s healing.

…that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.

Audre Lorde

Let your voice be heard

Discuss With Us, What Matters To You

Come and chat with your Chief and Directors of Advance Practice Providers

Every 2nd Tuesday 12-1:00 PM ---Today September 13

Every 4th Wednesday 8-9:00 AM

Meeting ID 916 4136 5715  Password 478753

The Office of Advanced Practice Providers is here to support you.

Email us at [email protected]

Visit the UCSF APP website

Ivette Becerra-Ortiz, DNP, MPH, NP, RN, NEA-BC, C-PNP

Chief of Advanced Practice Providers

Kurstan Del Rosario,

Senior Operations Analyst

Roseanne "Rosie" Krauter, FNP-BC, CORLN Director of Clinical Systems

Brandon Sessler MMS,PA-C

Director of Professional Practice Fellowship Coordinator

Alisa Yee, MSN, ACNP-BC

Director of Operations

UCSF Health PRIDE Values Professionalism • Respect • Integrity • Diversity • Excellence

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