Hal Luft smiling in gray suit with red tie and gray background

The Harold S. Luft Award for Mentoring in Health Services and Health Policy Research is sponsored by the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. The award recognizes UCSF faculty who are engaged in health services and/or health policy research, provide mentoring in these areas, and in their mentoring roles demonstrate the qualities exemplified by Dr. Luft.

Health services and health policy research covers a range of topics, including how social factors, financing processes, health technologies, laws and regulations, and personal behaviors, among other factors, affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately, our health and well-being. The main goals of this research are to identify the most effective ways to organize, finance, and deliver high-quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety.


UCSF senior faculty, at Associate or Full Professor rank, with research/teaching interests in health policy and/or health services research (HP/HSR). Nomination letters should demonstrate that nominees have made significant or sustained impact on the professional development of individuals they have mentored.


  1. Inspire and stimulate mentees to do their best and most creative work in HP/HSR.
  2. Expand mentees’ ways of thinking by fostering appreciation of different points of view.
  3. Develop career opportunities for mentees.
  4. Create communities of learners and maintain life-long contact with mentees.
  5. Serve as a role model in leadership, professionalism, integrity and life balance that goes beyond the scope of their individual job responsibilities.

Nominator must be a current or past mentee of nominee and be involved in health policy and/or health services research.


Nomination should include one primary and two supporting letters (no longer than 2 pages each) describing how the nominee meets the above criteria.  Specific, but brief examples or anecdotes are helpful.  Please include the nominee's recent CV with a list of the nominee’s mentees (noting, if possible, their current positions).

The nomination process is now closed. Please check back in early 2025 for the next cycle.

Award Selection Committee includes representatives from the four UCSF schools. 

Award – a framed certificate will be presented to the award recipient. The individual's name will appear on a permanent plaque at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, and the individual’s profile will be posted on the Institute’s website.

About Hal Luft

Harold (Hal) Luft, PhD, joined the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and UCSF in 1978 after five years at Stanford University as a faculty member and Associate Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. He became Associate Director of the Institute in 1986, became Acting Director in 1993, and was named Director in 1995. Since its inception in 1972, the Institute has been extremely fortunate to have leaders with broad vision, exceptional standards of excellence, and clarity of purpose. As the Institute's second director, Dr. Luft contributed to and exemplified the Institute’s legacy of leadership and service.

That legacy includes the training and mentoring of future health services research and health policy leaders. Dr. Luft often refers to himself as a 40+ years' postdoc because he has been involved in teaching and mentoring graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and interns for more than 30 years and has also advised junior faculty. He himself has been an exemplary teacher, mentor, and role model, and under Dr. Luft's directorship, the Institute, which is an organized research unit, continued and enhanced its leadership role in interdisciplinary training.

Dr. Luft was named Director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI) in July 2008, but he maintains an Emeritus Professor title at UCSF. He continues his dedication to training future leaders in health services research and health policy, and he continues to serve as a mentor to postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty.

2023 Harold S. Luft Mentoring Award Recepient: Renee Hsia, MD, MSc

Renee Hsia

"There are few women in emergency medicine of her academic ranking and notoriety, and none who are as naturally predisposed to mentorship as she is." - nominating letter

Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc, is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy at the University of California San Francisco. She is also Associate Chair of Health Services Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and a core member of the Philip R. Lee Institute of Health Policy Studies. Dr. Hsia is a national leader in research focusing on access to emergency care, especially for vulnerable populations; emergency department and trauma center utilization; the effect of service availability on patient outcomes; regionalization of care; and the wide variation in the costs and charges in healthcare. She has had over 180 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and her pioneering work has been highlighted in print media such as the New York Times, national radio such as NPR, and network television. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; and the American Heart Association. Dr. Hsia has received numerous awards, including the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine Early Career Faculty Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Young Investigator Award, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Award, and a Fulbright-Schuman Award from the U.S. Department of State and European Union. She is the first emergency physician elected to the American Society for Clinical Invesigation and was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine in 2021. She has mentored more than 50 trainees ranging from pre-medical students to junior faculty on projects, the majority of which have resulted in publications as well as oral and poster presentations at national meetings. Dr. Hsia works clinically at the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, and French.

Previous Winners

2022: Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, UCSF, DIvision of General Internal Medicine, Associate Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations

2021: Pamela Ling, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UCSF

2020: Mary Whooley, MD Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and Director of the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Medical Effectiveness (CHIME) at the San Francisco VA and UCSF

2019: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS Professor and Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity, UCSF School of Medicine

2018: Margot Kushel, MD Professor and Director of UCSF's Center for Vulnerable Populations

2017: Mary-Margaret (Meg) Chren, MD, Professor, Department of Dermatology at UCSF

2016: Andrew Bindman, MD, Professor, Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF School of Medicine

2016: Dean Schillinger, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

2015: Ken Covinsky, MD, Clinician-Researcher, Division of Geriatrics, UCSF School of Medicine

2014: Wendy Max, PhD, Professor and Director, Institute for Health & Aging, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, UCSF School of Nursing

2013: Edward H. Yelin, PhD, Professor, UCSF Department of Medicine’s Division of Rheumatology and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

2011: Ruth E. Malone, PhD, MS, RN, Professor and Chair, Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, UCSF School of Nursing

2010:  Michael D. Cabana, MD, MPH, Professor and Director, Division of General Pediatrics, UCSF School of Medicine

2009: Lisa A. Bero, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, UCSF School of Pharmacy (currently Professor in Pharmacy and the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney, Australia)