A group of nurses at the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center are mounting to an effort to change the name of their facility. They claim that recent news stories about the persistent lax approach to protecting users’ data at Zuckerburg’s Facebook have spilled over to the hospital, causing concern among patients.
“The patients are afraid,” Sasha Cuttler, RN, told KGO-TV. “I know people who go to the doctor and they’re afraid to tell the doctor what’s going on because they don’t know who is going to get that information.”
In 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician and philanthropist Priscilla Chan, dipped into their sizable bank account to donate $75 million to the city of San Francisco, earmarking the money for the San Francisco General Hospital as the public healthcare facility was nearing completion of a new building.
At the time of the donation, Chan cited her own experience as a pediatric resident at the University of California San Francisco as inspiration for the donation.
“Day in and day out, I witness the compassion and dedication of my colleagues as they work tirelessly to deliver the best available care to all of our patients,” Chan said. “Mark and I are proud to support such an important public hospital.”
Shortly after the announcement of the financial gift, the hospital was renamed in honor of the donors.
Some at the facility have grumbled about the renaming since the beginning, maintaining it undercuts the historic legacy of the hospital, which has served the community for nearly 150 years. The new protest might be spurred by a genuine emerging concern from the patient population, but there are clearly some who see Facebook’s data usage scandals as an opportunity to revive an ongoing grievance.
“It’s all the more reason to get it off of here, so we can get our identity back as the city and county’s public hospital,” nursing assistant Mike Dingle told KGO.
When asked about the protest, a hospital spokesperson simply emphasized the facility’s commitment to protecting patient privacy.
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell took issue with the protest.
“As a city, we should be supporting and thanking individuals that contribute to really the safety of our residents and not demonizing them,” Farrell told KPIX-TV. “That’s the wrong approach.”
Main image: Chief of staff Dr. Jim Marks looks over the new lobby of the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in 2015. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)