Tag Archives: sf general

Support Pours In For Family Of Boy Killed By Fisherman’s Wharf Statue

Money has poured in for a grieving Utah family of a 2-year-old boy who died in a tragic accident outside an art and sculpture shop in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf last week.

Family friends put together an online fundraiser after 2-year-old Kayson Shelton, of Draper, Utah, died Friday afternoon, hours after playing on a dolphin statue outside of a sculpture store in the 200 block of Jefferson Street.

According to police, around 11:30 a.m. Kayson had been playing on the statue outside of the store when it toppled onto him.
Medical crews and police responded, and he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he died of his injuries later that afternoon.

Police said he was with his parents and his siblings, including an older sister who apparently tried to help him as he fell.

The store was cited for placing an object or merchandise on a sidewalk where it impedes pedestrian traffic, police said.

The store, Majestic Collection, located at 225 Jefferson St., released a statement that said, “This is an unfortunate and tragic incident. Majestic Collection is and has been co-operating with all investigative agencies. Our hearts and prayers are with the family.”

Since news of the toddler’s death, more than $20,000 has been donated through a YouCaring page for funeral expenses and support for Kayson’s parents Toni and Scott Shelton and other surviving family members.

On a memorial website for Kayson, family friends are also organizing a blanket drive through Project Night Night.

According to site organizers, Kayson loved blankets, so in his honor friends are collecting blankets for the San Francisco-based charity which gives blankets and care packages to homeless children.

At the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday afternoon, board president David Chiu asked for the meeting to be adjourned in Kayson’s memory.

The incident with the 6-foot dolphin statue falling onto Kayson occurred within Chiu’s district.

He said, “Any of us can’t know what his parents and family are feeling at this time.”

Chiu shared his condolences with the family, who has since returned to Utah.

More information about fundraisers for Kayson are available online at www.kaysonshelton.com.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Two Construction Workers Injured In Separate Accidents At SF Housing Development Site

Two workers were injured in separate accidents at the same under-construction housing development in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood this morning, according to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The site where both accidents happened—involving a falling wall and an excavator—comprises about 1,000 under-construction condominiums in the area of Innes Avenue and Donahue Street, Cal/OSHA spokesman Peter Melton said.

The second accident happened at 9:45 a.m. when a subcontractor working with South San Francisco-based Granite Excavation and Demolition was hit by the shovel of a front-end loader, Melton said.

The company has been doing excavation and soil preparation on the site. One employee was swinging the shovel of the loader around and noticed another employee standing in the path. He tried to stop moving the shovel but couldn’t in time and struck the other employee, Melton said.

The injured employee was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and Melton did not know the extent of his injuries.

Less than an hour before, at about 9 a.m., another employee had been injured at the same site when a wall he was helping put up fell on him.

The employee was working with a framing contractor putting up prefabricated walls. The wall was put up against another wall before it fell on the worker. Melton said it was unclear how the wall came down but investigators know it was struck by something.

San Francisco Fire Department officials said the worker was able to crawl out from under the wall after the incident.

That worker was taken to a hospital for abrasions and a head injury but is expected to recover, Melton said.

Both incidents are under investigation by Cal/OSHA.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

As Contract Expires, Nurses Say Staffing Shortages At City Hospitals Causing Patient Issues

With their contract set to expire in almost five weeks, nurses with the San Francisco Department of Public Health are alleging that staffing issues at the city’s hospitals is causing patient safety issues.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 said that with the nurses’ contract expiring on June 30, the union will hold a strike authorization vote on the week of June 9.

The union claims that staffing shortages in the city’s hospitals is causing poor safety standards and is a violation of the union’s collective bargaining agreement.

While San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan acknowledged the hospital has some staffing shortages, the exact number of nurses the city is short of is a matter in dispute during contract negotiations.

The union claims that the city’s public health department is anywhere between 94 and 304 nurses short of where it should be, while having the budget to hire far more workers.

Kagan said that SFGH, like all hospitals, has vacancies and fills them through hiring temporary employees and on-call nurses because fully staffing can be challenging.

She said as the only trauma center in the city with the only psychiatric emergency room, SFGH can get incredibly busy and regardless of staffing levels often has to redirect some patients to other hospitals to cover those most in need.

Despite that, she said that the hospital never turns away trauma patients, psychiatric emergencies, walk-ins, strokes or heart attacks.
The hospital calls this process “diversion” meaning that ambulances are instructed to take certain patients to other hospitals. The union says that the hospital has a diversion program in place 43 percent of the time.

The union also pointed to the recent case of Lynne Spalding, who went missing from a hospital bed and was found dead in one of the stairwells weeks later late last year as an example of how patient safety is overlooked at the hospital.

But Kagan said that multiple investigations into that incident have concluded that staffing was not a factor in her disappearance or death. She said that while failings were found in the hospital’s safety procedures, inadequate staff was not one of them.

“We need enough regular staff to comply with State staffing laws and our own hospital safety policies,” the union wrote in a four-page report on the staffing allegations. “Nurses demand that the City fill budgeted patient care positions immediately, and remove bureaucratic delays in hiring for budgeted positions.”

Kagan said she could not comment directly on the negotiations, but that she hoped for a quick and amicable resolution.
“We care about our nurses, we respect them, we know they work in challenging circumstances,” she said.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

Pedestrian Safety Video Game Intended To Teach Kids How To Evade Errant Drivers

San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee helped educate young students about pedestrian safety at an interactive traffic simulation at a San Francisco school this morning.

Yee was joined by the San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Police Chief Greg Suhr, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza and other officials at Lakeshore Elementary School at 220 Middlefield Drive, where students played a pedestrian safety video game and were part of a life-sized street simulation.

Peggy Knudson, a surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital, developed the video game, Ace’s Adventure, to teach students about staying safe while walking across the street and on sidewalks.

The street simulation, called Richie’s Neighborhood, placed students in situations where they had to handle traffic signals, street lights, crosswalks, cars backing up from garages, and other types of events that are likely to occur when walking in a city.

Supervisor Yee secured funding to bring the demonstration up to San Francisco for two days from its home base in Southern California, where the colorful life-size simulated neighborhood is usually housed at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The pedestrian safety education effort is part of the city’s “Vision Zero,” a 10-year goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities.
There have been seven pedestrian deaths in San Francisco so far this year.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

New Services For Mental Health And Substance Abuse Issues To Be Offered At SF General

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced a new initiative Friday to expand services for city residents suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems.

The Contact, Assess, Recover and Ensure Success (CARES) initiative will add a new psychiatric respite center at San Francisco General Hospital with access to peer counselors, new support for family members and youth, and additional case managers to care for those with severe mental health and substance abuse issues, according to the mayor’s office.

City officials say the program is meant to serve some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, many of whom suffer from a combination of a severe mental illness, chronic medical conditions, a history of substance abuse, unstable housing, underemployment and limited family ties.

“We have the strongest social safety net in the nation, spending $2.7 billion every year, yet we still have far too many people unable to make the choices they need to save their own lives because of severe mental health and substance abuse issues,” the mayor said in a statement.

“These hard-to-reach individuals oftentimes do not access the vital treatment they need and the new CARES initiative will help by strengthening our current behavioral health system of care for those that need it most,” he said.

As part of the CARES initiative, the mayor is also expanding the city’s Community Independence Placement Project, which works with the court system to require treatment as a condition for release for probationers and others released from jail who suffer from a mental health or substance abuse problem.

The expansion will mean former inmates will be required to comply with medication and other treatment plans and may incorporate those participating in probation-related and re-entry programs, according to the mayor’s office.

City officials say San Francisco jails have served nearly 800 inmates diagnosed with a psychotic, bipolar or major depressive disorder in the last year alone, not including the roughly 2,300 people served at any given time through the city’s Behavioral Health Court, Drug Court, or Community Justice Center.

Laura Dixon, Bay City News

All-Clear Given After Reports Of A Shooter Empties Three SF General Buildings

Police have given the all-clear after a report of shots fired prompted an evacuation of three buildings at San Francisco General Hospital this afternoon, a police spokesman said.

A possible shooting was reported at 12:47 p.m. in Building 1 at the hospital located at 1001 Potrero Ave., Officer Albie Esparza said.

A person in the building reported hearing one shot fired and seeing a suspect flee from the building, Esparza said.

Police arrived with an “immense” response and evacuated Building 1 as well as nearby buildings 89 and 90 and instructed the rest of the campus to shelter in place, Esparza said.

Officers searched the three buildings but could find “no physical evidence of shots fired,” Esparza said.

He said only one person heard the shot and that person was the only one who saw a suspect.

An all-clear was given at 1:50 p.m. and people were allowed to return to the evacuated buildings, Esparza said.

Building 1 primarily houses University of California at San Francisco research offices, hospital spokesman Tristan Cook said.

UCSF officials said on Twitter that the suspect was seen running across 22nd Street. Esparza said the possible suspect was described as a black man who is 5 feet 7 inches tall and wore jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt.

Sasha Lekach/Scott Morris, Bay City News

SF General Staffers Decry Understaffing Crisis, “Culture Of Chaos”

Hospital workers rallied outside the emergency room entrance at San Francisco General Hospital this afternoon demanding the city increase staffing to keep patients safe.

Nurses and other hospital staff picketed outside the emergency entrance on Potrero Avenue and 23rd Street as part of a Service Employees International Union Local 1021 rally, chanting, “What do we want? Staffing!” and “City Hall, you’re no good, respect the workers like you should.”

About 13,000 city employees, including hospital staff, are represented by the union.

According to rally organizers, the city’s Department of Public Health, which oversees operations at SFGH, has not provided enough staff for registered nurses, nursing assistants and other hospital departments for the past year.

Emergency room nurse Dan Merer said the staffing issue has “reached crisis proportions.”

He said his department is down 23 nursing positions, which leaves him and his colleagues doing clerical and other work that slows down the entire emergency system.

“Instead of a culture of safety, we have a culture of chaos,” he said.

He described an emergency room where patients are waiting interminably to be seen by nurses and doctors and beds are not ready for patients.

He said even if those nearly two dozen positions were filled that still would not be enough help.

He called the “skeleton staffing of nurses” unsafe and demoralizing for the nursing team.

Merer, who has been at SFGH for 28 years, said he was surprised that the city is not paying for more positions after patient care incidents occurred, such as Lynne Spalding’s death in October 2013.

The 57-year-old was found dead in a fourth-floor stairwell after ineffective searches and miscommunication about her whereabouts when she walked away from her hospital bed two days after she was admitted for an infection.

Food services supervisor Joe DiMarius said his department of about 100 workers is charged with serving about 300 patients and feeding roughly 1,000 doctors and nurses.

He said his department is feeling the brunt of inadequate staffing with not enough workers to deliver food to patients’ rooms and long lags at meal times.

In the three and a half years he has worked at the hospital, he said he has seen staffing levels decrease and, consequently, the food quality come down.

Brenda Barros, a worker at the hospital’s outpatient medical clinic, said the “workload is getting ridiculous” and that there are “new demands every week.”

She said the workers’ demands are not just about money, but about protecting the patients.

SFGH spokeswoman Rachael Kagan acknowledged that the hospital has staff vacancies, but said the hospital is always making staffing adjustments as necessary and looking to hire more.

She said contract talks are under way.

She said SFGH is the busiest emergency room in the region and serves as the area’s only trauma center.

Staffing levels are based on the population of patients, which changes constantly.

“We want to take care of the patients,” she said.

With the opening of a new hospital building projected for the end of 2015, Kagan said there will be more hiring.

Kagan maintained that staffing was not found to be an issue or have any connection to incidents such as Spalding’s death.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Woman Who Showed Up At SF General Might Be Responsible For Hit-And-Run Into Mission Building

Police are looking into the possibility that a woman hospitalized this morning is connected to a hit-and-run crash that badly damaged a building in San Francisco’s Mission District.

A driver crashed into a building near the corner of 21st and Folsom streets at about 2:30 a.m., San Francisco Police Officer Albie Esparza said.

The female driver and another female suspect fled the scene. There was significant damage to the building and car, Esparza said.

A short time later an injured woman showed up at a hospital and police are looking into the possibility that she is connected to the crash, Esparza said.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

Lynne Spalding’s Legacy: UCSF Makes Recommendations To Improve Security At SF General

A set of recommendations to improve security at San Francisco General Hospital following the death of a patient last fall was presented to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today, according to officials with the city Department of Public Health.

The University of California at San Francisco conducted the review of hospital security at the request of city officials after the death of Lynne Spalding, a patient who disappeared from her room in September of 2013 and was found dead in a stairwell on Oct. 8.

The review, completed this month, recommended steps including the appointment of a full-time hospital security program manager, the provision of more space for a security operations center and investments in new security equipment and technology, according to hospital officials.

In a statement today Lee said the review would help the city make sure San Francisco General met “the highest standards of security for all San Franciscans.”

“San Francisco General is a great public hospital that we rely on every day, for all our residents and visitors,” Lee said. “We must ensure that the security matches the excellent quality medical care at SFGH.”

The hospital had already announced a number of changes in January based on a second review by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Changes already made include daily stairwell checks, improved door alarms and routine checks on patients when alarms are activated, as well as development of a missing patient policy.

In addition, the sheriff’s department, which handles security at the hospital, made staffing changes including reassigning a dispatcher, two senior deputies, and a sergeant away from the facility and assigning a captain, two lieutenants, two sergeants and two senior deputies.

Other changes recommended in today’s report that were already underway include the development of a comprehensive security management plan, orientation and training program and developing a security check-list for regular rounds, according to hospital officials.

The new acute care building now under construction will also have stronger security features including enhanced surveillance and tighter access controls, officials said.

In the wake of Spalding’s death, officials uncovered a number of errors made in the search. Deputies failed to check all stairwells and failed to follow up on an Oct. 4 report of a person in a stairwell.

There were also technical problems with door alarms and surveillance cameras, and hospital officials initially issued an incorrect description of Spalding to deputies, describing her as a black woman wearing a hospital gown.

Spalding, who had been admitted to the hospital for treatment of an infection and disappeared shortly before she was supposed to be discharged, was white and wearing her own clothing when she was found.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

Personal Information For 55,900 Patients At SF Hospital And Clinics Has Been Stolen

The personal information of tens of thousands of patients at San Francisco Department of Public Health facilities, including San Francisco General Hospital, was stolen in a Southern California computer theft earlier this year, department officials announced today.

The security breach occurred after a Feb. 5 break-in at a Torrance, Calif., office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions where computers were stolen that held information on the company’s clients, including about 55,900 SFDPH patients.

Sutherland, which contracts with DPH for billing services, informed the department Tuesday that personal information including names, billing information, and some social security numbers, service dates and birthdays were taken in the theft.
Most of the patients were treated at DPH facilities between August 2012 and November 2013.

Most of the affected patients had used outpatient services at the health department’s Community Oriented Primary Care Clinics and the San Francisco General Hospital emergency department and clinics. Most of the patients were uninsured.

There were 168,500 patients from Los Angeles County health departments that had their information stolen as well.

Torrance police are investigating the theft.

The city’s health department will begin contacting patients by mail about the breach next week.

State health officials and the state attorney general and federal authorities are also looking into the theft.

Sutherland is offering San Francisco patients free credit monitoring and recovery services for one year.

Any affected patients may call Sutherland’s call center starting Monday at (866) 486-4809.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Suspects Who Jumped Man And Choked Him With Chain At Large

A man was attacked by three suspects in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood Tuesday night, according to police.

The 28-year-old man was jumped by the trio around 11:45 p.m. in the 200 block of Jones Street, which is near Turk, police said.

One of the male suspects tried to choke the victim with a chain while the other two punched the victim many times.

The victim was found with face and head injuries and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. He was not seriously hurt in the attack, according to police.

By the time police responded to the assault, the suspects had left the area. They have not been caught as of this morning, police said.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Man In Wheelchair Sought After Mission District Attacks On Women

A man using a wheelchair is being sought on suspicion of multiple assaults on women recently near San Francisco General Hospital, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department issued a crime alert Tuesday about the attacks, the most recent of which occurred at 22nd Street and Potrero Avenue, where a woman was punched in the lower torso by the suspect.

Authorities believe the same suspect is responsible for at least four other similar assaults in the past week, sheriff’s officials said.

The suspect is described as a black man between 40 and 50 years old who has a partially amputated right leg and uses his working leg to propel himself at a high rate of speed, according to the sheriff’s department.

The man has been treated for psychological services at the hospital and “can become assaultive at any time,” sheriff’s officials said in the crime alert.

Anyone who spots the suspect is asked to call the sheriff’s department’s patrol unit at (415) 206-4911.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Family Of Woman Found Dead In Hospital Stairwell Sues San Francisco

The family of a woman who was found dead in a San Francisco General Hospital stairwell in October after going missing there 17 days earlier has filed a claim against the city, the family’s attorney said today.

Lynne Spalding, 57, was admitted to the hospital for an infection on Sept. 19 and went missing two days later. She was found dead on a fourth-floor stairwell on Oct. 8.

The claim filed Tuesday on behalf of Spalding’s two children by attorney Haig Harris is a precursor to a lawsuit and seeks damages from the city, which oversees San Francisco General as well as the sheriff’s department, which provides security services there.

The 22-page claim states that Spalding’s death was the result of “reckless neglect of her care; professional negligence by her health care providers; negligence; and, the creation and maintenance of a dangerous condition of public property.”

Harris held a news conference at his office in downtown San Francisco today to discuss the claim. He said the city has 45 days to respond, and if they reject the claim, a lawsuit will follow.

The attorney said the hospital failed to keep track of Spalding, whom a doctor ordered not to be left unattended because of her mental state, and the sheriff’s department failed in its responsibilities to find and rescue her.

The department has acknowledged that sheriff’s deputies were asked to search the entire hospital campus for Spalding but failed to do so. Deputies also failed to follow up on an Oct. 4 report of a person lying in a stairwell at the hospital.
“None of it makes any sense,” Harris said.

Harris said the layout of the hospital also contributed to Spalding’s death—particularly that the doors to the emergency exit stairwells were not adequately equipped with alarms to notify authorities that someone had gone in there.

“Once out on the fire escape, it’s a trap,” he said.

Harris said Spalding’s two children, a 23-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son, “are having a very difficult time. They were very close to their mom.”

He said Spalding, who worked in San Francisco’s travel industry, “was a spectacularly admired person.”

The University of California at San Francisco Medical Center is conducting an independent review of San Francisco General’s policies and procedures, and the hospital has already made changes, including daily security checks of stairwells and the installation of better alarm systems on doors.

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s department has made staffing changes at the hospital, reassigning a dispatcher, two senior deputies and a sergeant away from the facility.

Harris said that while the city has acknowledged mistakes in Spalding’s case, he said it’s too early to determine how much money might be sought in damages on behalf of the family.

“It’s easy to say ‘it’s our fault,’ but it’s entirely another thing to come to the table and compensate the family,” he said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Man Who Allegedly Attacked Woman In SF General ER Pleads Not Guilty

4:20 PM: A 29-year-old man pleaded not guilty today to three felony charges in connection with an alleged attack of an elderly woman at San Francisco General Hospital last Friday, prosecutors said.

Orin Zebest pleaded not guilty to two felony assault charges and one count of elder abuse for the attack, which occurred at about 10:05 p.m. Friday, district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said.

Hospital officials said Zebest was on a psychiatric hold and was being transferred from the main emergency room to the psychiatric emergency room when he assaulted Mary Perez, an elderly woman who was also an emergency room patient.

Zebest had initially also been booked on suspicion of attempted murder but was later rebooked on the assault and elder abuse allegations, sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Fahey said.

San Francisco General Hospital officials released a statement about the incident, saying they are “profoundly sorry that Ms. Perez was injured while in our care. We take patient safety very seriously and are reviewing our procedures.”

Zebest remains in jail in lieu of $225,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on March 13 for a pre-hearing conference, Bastian said.

12:47 PM: A 29-year-old man is set to be arraigned this afternoon on three felony charges after allegedly attacking an elderly woman in the emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital last Friday, hospital officials said today.

The suspect, identified by the sheriff’s department as Orin Zebest, assaulted Mary Perez, an elderly woman who was also an emergency room patient, at about 10:05 p.m. Friday, according to a statement from the hospital.

At the time of the attack, Zebest was on a psychiatric hold and was being transferred from the main emergency room to the psychiatric emergency room by nursing staff, hospital officials said.

Perez is still in the hospital and is in good condition despite the attack, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.
Zebest has been charged with two counts of assault and one count of elder abuse, district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said. He will be in court at 1:30 p.m. at the Hall of Justice for arraignment.

Zebest had also initially been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but was later rebooked into jail on the assault and elder abuse allegations, sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Fahey said.

The hospital’s statement said, “San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center is profoundly sorry that Ms. Perez was injured while in our care. We take patient safety very seriously and are reviewing our procedures.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Suspect On The Loose After Shooting Near Westfield Mall

Police are searching for a suspect who shot a male victim multiple times near Powell Street in downtown San Francisco this evening, a police spokesman said.

At about 7:15 p.m., San Francisco police responded to the scene of a shooting just outside the Westfield Mall in the 800 block of Market Street near Powell Street, Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Arriving officers found a victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Shyy.

The suspect fled the area on foot and remains at large, Shyy said.

The Powell Street BART station was temporarily shut down but has since reopened, BART officials said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 553-8090.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

Two Hospitalized After Richmond District Brawl

Police in San Francisco are investigating a stabbing in the city’s Richmond District that sent two men to the hospital early this morning.

Officers responded to reports of a fight near Third Avenue and Geary Boulevard at around 2:15 a.m., San Francisco police Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Arriving police found two men who had been stabbed, Shyy said.

A 29-year-old man suffered a cut to his face and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated, Shyy said.

A second victim, a 42-year-old man, suffered multiple stab wounds and was also taken to SFGH.

Both men were expected to survive, Shyy said.

Police reported that a group of Asian males, believed to be the suspects, got into a black two-door sedan and fled the area, Shyy said.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

Allegedly Drunk Guy Shoots Himself In The Leg

An allegedly intoxicated man accidentally shot himself in the leg in San Francisco’s Bayview District early this morning, police said.

The 24-year-old man was under the influence of alcohol and shot himself in the leg at about 2:20 a.m. inside his home in the first block of Whitfield Court, according to police.

His girlfriend took him to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for the injury, which is not life-threatening, police said.

No other information about the shooting was immediately available.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Crane Malfunction Sends Construction Worker Plummeting From Transbay Transit Center Site

3:25 PM: A worker was injured this morning when he fell from a platform at a construction site for San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center, project officials said.

The accident was reported at about 8:10 a.m. at a site in the 500 block of Howard Street, where the worker was struck by a crane and fell about 12 feet, San Francisco fire officials said.

According to Adam Alberti, a spokesman for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the agency in charge of the transit center under construction, the crane malfunctioned and part it struck the worker, knocking him from the platform.

Workers were sent home for the day, and Webcor Builders and Turner Construction Co., the companies overseeing the construction work, are conducting an investigation into the incident, Alberti said.

The worker did not suffer any broken bones and is expected to be released from the hospital later today, Alberti said.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

9:03 AM: A construction worker was injured when he fell about 12 feet after he was hit by a crane in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood this morning, a fire department employee said.

The incident was reported at 8:11 a.m. in the 500 block of Howard Street near First Street, San Francisco fire Capt. Niels Tangherlini said.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they were told that the worker had been hit by part of a crane, causing him to fall, an employee with the fire chief’s office said.

The employee said the man was alert and talking when medical crews reached him. He was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

Spring For A Mosaic Heart, Help SF General

Mosaic hearts will be up for auction online starting this afternoon to benefit San Francisco General Hospital, which is holding a series of annual fundraising events this month.

The hearts are part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the “Hearts in San Francisco” series held each year to support the SFGH Foundation.

The online auction on select hearts starts at 1:30 p.m. today. Bidders interested in winning the artsy hearts can go to http://givingworks.ebay.com/hearts-in-sf.

Fifteen of the 6.5-foot-tall hearts will also be on display at the Macy’s Union Square Stockton Street storefront from today until the annual Heroes and Hearts luncheon on Feb. 13 at AT&T Park.

A tabletop heart designed with more than 12,000 Swarovski crystals is on display as well at the Wilkes Bashford clothing store at 375 Sutter St.

Other “Hearts” events are planned to raise money for the foundation, which helps subsidize grants and other hospital programming.

In 2013, the SFGH Foundation awarded 55 grants.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Missing SFGH Patient Found Safe

A woman who walked out of San Francisco General Hospital after surgery Thursday was found safe today in the city’s Mission District, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Valerie Gates, 34, was considered medically at-risk because she was being treated at the hospital and was in need of vital post-operative medications, police said.

Gates was located by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which provides security at the hospital, and was returned there for treatment as of 10:25 a.m. today, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

Kagan said finding Gates quickly was partly a success of new policies put in place after the death of Lynne Spalding, a San Francisco General patient who went missing on Sept. 21 and was found dead in a hospital stairwell on Oct. 8.

Spalding’s death spurred multiple investigations into hospital policies regarding missing patients. The investigations have shown that the sheriff’s department did not conduct a thorough search of the hospital and that there were miscommunications among hospital staff about Spalding’s appearance.

Kagan said Gates’ quick return shows that the “strengthened policy is working.”

She said while adult patients are free to leave the hospital after surgery, it is not recommended and the hospital has expanded its definition of “at-risk” in case patients go missing without checking out of the hospital.

Spalding’s disappearance “showed us we had work to do in our security and patient safety policy,” Kagan said.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

Two Head To Hospital After Potrero Hill Shooting

Two people were injured in a shooting this evening in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood.

Multiple shots were fired on the first block of Turner Terrace around 9:10 p.m., according to police Officer Albie Esparza.

It was initially reported by police that four shooting victims were driven to San Francisco General Hospital or arrived on their own, but it now appears that only two people were injured, Esparza said.

No suspects are in custody and Francisco police and sheriff’s deputies remain on the scene, Esparza said.

No further information is available on the condition of victims or on the suspects or circumstances of the shooting at this time, Esparza said.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

At Risk Woman Sought After SF General Walkout

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 7.53.31 AMSan Francisco police are searching this evening for a missing woman who walked out of San Francisco General Hospital after a surgery and is considered medically at risk.

Valerie Gates (pictured right), 34, was being treated at the hospital when she walked out, and is in need of vital post operative medications, according to police Officer Albie Esparza.

She has a bandage around her neck from a recent surgery, and is described as a black female, 5 feet 3 inches tall and 120 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, Esparza said.

Gates was last seen wearing a green jacket and burgundy pants and carrying a black purse.

She is homeless, and is known to frequent the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, Esparza said.

Anyone who sees Gates should call police at (415) 553-0123 or 911.

Woman Disappears From Scene After Shooting, Reappears In ER

A woman was injured in a shooting in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood late Friday night, a police spokeswoman said.

The city’s ShotSpotter system recorded the shooting at 11:26 p.m. on Scotia Avenue, but officers arriving on the scene were unable to locate any victims, San Francisco police Sgt. Danielle Newman said.

Police were later called when the victim arrived at San Francisco General Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound, according to the sergeant.

She was last listed in stable condition and is expected to survive.

Newman said the woman did not cooperate with police investigating the shooting, leaving investigators with few details.

Laura Dixon, Bay City News

Following Death Of Woman In SF General Stairwell, Federal Investigation Uncovers Numerous Privacy Violations

Federally ordered changes have been made at San Francisco’s General Hospital following the death of a patient who was found in a stairwell at the hospital last October.

The hospital today released fixes and plans to address problems outlined by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that contributed to the death of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding.

Previously: “Callous Incompetency”: Family Of Woman Found Dead At SF General Reacts To Shocking Sheriff’s Dept. Transcripts

Spalding, a San Francisco resident who was well known in the hospitality and travel industry, was admitted to SFGH on Sept. 19 with an infection. She went missing two days later.

Eventually she was found dead in a fourth-floor stairwell on Oct. 8, after a massive Bay Area-wide search effort.

The sheriff’s department, which provides security at SFGH, was asked to search the entire campus after Spalding had been missing for more than a week.

But it was later determined that the search only included half the stairwells, even though staff had been instruction to search everywhere.

Sheriff’s officials also failed to follow up on a report made on Oct. 4 of a person lying in a stairwell in the hospital.

It has also been revealed that there were technical problems with security alarms and surveillance cameras.

Transcript records between sheriff and hospital staff show confusion about Spalding’s disappearance when it was first reported.

At first she was described as a black woman wearing a hospital gown. Spalding was a white woman and was wearing her own clothing when she was found eventually in the stairwell.

The hospital has since undergone several reviews of the facility’s procedures and safety and security systems.

The sheriff’s department has made staffing changes including reassigning a dispatcher, two senior deputies, and a sergeant away from the facility.

Additionally, a captain, two lieutenants, two sergeants and two senior deputies were brought in at the hospital.

Federal investigators were at the hospital this week to re-survey the hospital for general security, patient safety and security and privacy.

Investigators had conducted an initial investigation from Oct. 30 and Nov. 8, following Spalding’s death.

According to hospital officials, the survey found the hospital in compliance with safety requirements and recommendations.

The hospital is also working with the sheriff’s department to make improvements identified during the federal investigation.

Some of those changes include daily security checks of all stairwells, better alarm systems on doors, and other security checks.

All sheriff’s officials assigned to the hospital will undergo new training on security and safety and there is a new six-week training course that was developed through the city’s Department of Public Health.

The hospital’s policy on missing or at-risk patients has since been modified to include a script for staff to follow to ensure accuracy when reporting a patient leaving the hospital before treatment is complete.

Additionally, the federal investigation uncovered that hospital staff accessed Spalding’s medical record four times without authorization.

Hospital staff said today “this is unacceptable” and have called for enforcing their own privacy policies.

According to the hospital, staff involved with the privacy breaches have resigned, been fired or placed on administrative leave. One staff member involved has returned to work.

The hospital said the privacy violation was reported to the state Department of Public Health and to Spalding’s family.

Another privacy violation involved a sheriff’s official who no longer works at the hospital or any other health site.

There will be ongoing review of the hospital’s security system by an independent review by the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center.

In the report released today, hospital staff said, “What happened to (Spalding) was horrible and never should have happened. We have worked diligently to fact find, cooperated with multiple investigations and developed a plan to become a safer, more secure organization.”

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

Critical Injuries After Driver Strikes Man In Crosswalk

A man was critically injured when a vehicle struck him in San Francisco’s Oceanview neighborhood on Monday night, a police spokesman said today.

The collision was reported at 9:12 p.m. at Alemany Boulevard and Brotherhood Way.

The 47-year-old victim and his brother were walking south in a crosswalk when a driver traveling west on Brotherhood Way struck him, police spokesman Sgt. Eric O’Neal said.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for a life-threatening head injury, O’Neal said.

The driver of the car, a four-door sedan, stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators, and was not arrested, O’Neal said.
The collision remains under investigation.

The case is the latest in a string of pedestrian-vehicle collisions in San Francisco. Several have resulted in deaths in the past month.

The San Francisco Police Commission and the Board of Supervisors’ neighborhood services and safety committee are holding a joint hearing on Thursday to discuss the issue of pedestrian safety.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News