SFGHF’s lifetime director supports community’s most vulnerable
Well-known for her philanthropic and community work, Pam Baer has been involved in numerous causes over the years. One of the causes that is top priority has been in the public healthcare system and more specifically, mental and behavioral health.
As Lifetime Director of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (SFGHF), Pam has been instrumental in capital campaigns, events and strategy work that help to fund solutions to help our community’s most vulnerable.
The pandemic and its aftermath has brought to light an array of pertinent issues and the need to support public health even more. The need is great to support the vulnerable and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) remains a safety net for so many. As a result, Pam Baer’s dedication to the foundation’s causes continues.
The dedicated team at ZSFG serves those experiencing poverty, homelessness, and a lack of insurance, as well as recent immigrants and local communities of color. Since the pandemic began last year, the foundation has focused on the issue of how an individual’s socio-economic circumstances can have a direct impact on their general health and wellness.
The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s 2021 mission is to “support and fund excellence in patient care and innovation at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center because we believe in health equity, access, and quality health care for all people.”
“Issues stemming from mental health is widespread among our most vulnerable citizens. This coupled with the COVID crisis has the General operating at full capacity having to support the community through this double pandemic.”, Pam Baer states.
In 2018, she helped to create and launch the Transform Mental & Behavioral Health Fund. The organization supports and pilots mental health programs and initiatives and has raised more than $5 million since it was first established. Its goal is to help provide accessible care as well as destigmatize mental health issues. However, when the pandemic hit, it shed further light on the demand for mental health facilities and support. Now in phase two, the fund is picking up pace to approach this challenge. The Transform Mental and Behavioral health Fund has helped to fund and Initiate programs such as the Acute Care Team and Telecare Health in order to make care safe and accessible through the COVID pandemic.
ZSFG is the only 24/7 Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES) in San Francisco and is the point of entry for more than 8,000 patients a year experiencing a psychiatric emergency. More than 60% of all ZSFG PES patients experience homelessness or marginal housing and many are experiencing substance abuse disorder.
Though public funds help to support ZSFG’s core services, there are areas of demand within the mental health sphere. Fortunately, backed by board members, the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation has the power to make way for positive change.
Since the Transform Mental & Behavioral Health Fund started, a solid plan has begun to form involving five interdisciplinary, inter-departmental programs for the support of Behavioral Health: Addiction Care Team, Behavioral Emergency Response Team, Team Lily, Solid Start, and Social Medicine.
Baer joined the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation in 2002 and served as a board member for 16 years. Upon leaving that post, the foundation named her a Lifetime Director. Since she first became involved with the foundation, she has been immersed in its charitable activities. Her leadership and engagement in the Hearts in San Francisco Project is notable. As part of the campaign, the foundation auctions off locally-designed heart sculptures to raise money for the hospital each year. Her vision to create and build upon its success every year continues to engage many in the San Francisco community and as a result, this project has raised more than $17 million in funds.
About Pam Baer: Born in Texas, she attended the University of Texas in Austin ahead of moving to New York City to work in the financial services sector focusing on brand marketing. Pam created a direct marketing company that focused on financial consumers and B to B strategy. After marrying Larry Baer, CEO of the San Francisco Giants, she relocated to San Francisco, sold her business and moved her energy into philanthropy . The couple now live in San Francisco and have four children.
A community leader known for her philanthropic work, Baer is involved in numerous charitable organizations. She holds various trustee and board positions including posts at Every Mother Counts, Nest, Family House, The Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Jewish Women’s Giving Circle.
Leave a Reply