Harold S. Luft Mentoring Award 2018

Margot Kushel, MD has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Harold S. Luft Award for Mentoring in Health Services and Health Policy Research, awarded by the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.  (Link to Photos)

Margot Kushel, MD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.  She was just named new Director of UCSF's Center for Vulnerable Populations and she is also a faculty affiliate of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.  Margot's research focuses on the causes and consequences of homelessness and housing instability, with the goal of preventing and ending homelessness, and ameliorating the effects of homelessness on health through informing clinical practice, programs, and policies. One of her current studies is looking at the causes and consequences of geriatric conditions in older homeless adults and the role of family in rehousing older homeless adults.

In addition to her research, Margot has a K24 mentoring grant from the National Institute of Aging, is the Principal Investigator of a T32 training grant and directs the UCSF Primary Care Research Fellowship that trains primary care physicians to conduct policy-oriented research. She maintains an active clinical practice at the Richard Fine People's Clinic at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and attends on the inpatient medicine service.  She speaks at local, state and national meetings about issues of homelessness, and frequently provides testimony to legislative bodies.  Margot obtained her AB from Harvard, her MD from Yale, and completed her residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in General Internal Medicine at UCSF.  

Excerpts from letters nominating Margot Kushel:

"Dr. Kushel is an exceptional mentor who has had a tremendous impact on my research career and personal life. One of her key strengths has been her accessibility."

"Dr. Kushel is an exceptional role model who has shown that it is possible to be a highly productive clinician-investigator by making health equity the central premise of her work."

"She is an incredibly caring person who not only wishes that her mentees succeed in their careers but also wants to see them happy and lead fulfilling lives."

"Dr. Kushel is a gifted mentor who has had a profound impact on my career. She brings brilliance, wisdom, intellectual generosity, and kindness to her mentoring. Being mentored by Dr. Kushel continually affirms my sense of how rewarding academic medicine can be."

"She is a role model who shows how it is possible to be a world-class clinician researcher while placing the interests of her mentees above her own."

"Margot teaches her mentees to achieve excellence. She does this by modeling how to conduct the highest-quality research, and by providing extraordinarily effective and inspiring feedback."

"Margot is a phenomenal role model who ensures that her mentees do work that is meaningful to them."

"She balances her rigorous approach with humor, kindness, and a deep dedication to understanding what is most important to her mentees - professionally and personally - and helping them to achieve those goals."

"Margot provided a great combination of mentorship and leadership, and allowed me to grow as a researcher by providing an opportunity for me to take a leadership role."

"Margot served as the primary mentor on a K01 for a non-clinical faculty member in my department. Despite the fact that this individual is Department of Emergency Medicine faculty, Margot reached outside of her own department to further the research ambitions of junior faculty. I can speak for my entire department in expressing our appreciation for her!"

"Despite being incredibly busy with her own research pursuits, Margot takes mentoring very seriously. She is enthusiastic about and committed to her work and her passion for her research is contagious, so that as one of her mentees, I feel equally inspired about my own career trajectory."

Previous Winners

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

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

2016: Dean Schillinger, MDProfessor 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)

About the Harold S. Luft Mentoring Award

We established this award in 2008 in honor of Hal Luft’s outstanding contribution as an exemplary mentor.  All senior UCSF faculty with research and teaching interests in health services and/or health policy research are eligible to be nominated.  The Award Committee, representing the four UCSF professional schools, makes the selection based on the following award criteria exemplified by Hal:

  1. Inspire and stimulate mentees to do their best and most creative work.
  2. Expand mentees’ ways of thinking by fostering an 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.

About Hal Luft

Harold (Hal) Luft, PhD, joined the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and UCSF in 1978.  Before that, he was a faculty member at Stanford University and Associate Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.  He became Associate Director of the Institute in 1986, Acting Director in 1993, and 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 and health policy leaders.  Dr. Luft often refers to himself as a 30+ 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 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 in July 2008, but he maintains an Emeritus Professor title at UCSF and continues to serve as a mentor.  Indeed, he has built training and research bridges between the two institutes.