When Wilsey puts her mind to something, she’s a force of nature. And she’s plainspoken about the need for new UCSF children’s, women’s, and cancer hospitals at Mission Bay. Nothing, she says, is more important than health. “Sooner or later, I’m sorry to say, we’re all going to need a great hospital,” says Wilsey. “And with UCSF here, there’s absolutely no reason to leave town.”
The people of UCSF are so brilliant, so dedicated, so inspiring, you can’t help but feel you’re in the best possible hands. We just need the best possible hospitals for them to flourish.
What sets UCSF apart for Wilsey is what she calls the “tremendous genius” at work there, and the amazing people culture. “Once, my late husband, Al, was in UCSF for 17 days,” she recalls. “A kind nurse found me wandering the halls one night, and she said, ‘Don’t worry. If you’re seriously ill, there is nowhere else you should be. Your husband will leave here a well person.’ Al left Parnassus able to enjoy several more years of life.” Today, when Wilsey talks to the doctors and nurses at UCSF about their work, she’s inspired.
“They love what they do,” she says, “but they need hospitals that are efficiently built, with state-of-the-art equipment.” And when she considers the future of UCSF at Mission Bay, she becomes very emotional. “It is very important to me to have a leading cancer hospital and excellent research facilities in close proximity,” she says. “I like to think of a fearful cancer patient looking out the hospital room window to a lab and seeing a light on anytime, day or night, knowing that a researcher is working on a cure, perhaps for that patient’s own disease.”
In the grand scheme of things, Wilsey is philosophical. Although she lost her husband in 2002, she still remembers the many times she brought Al home from UCSF, grateful for the care and attention they both received. “One day, we all will need exceptional care, for ourselves or our loved ones,” she says. “It is my dream to create the great Western medical center. With our new facilities, we will attract the best and the brightest medical staff. We will no longer have to leave San Francisco for an additional opinion or superior treatment. UCSF Mission Bay, in conjunction with the other UCSF campuses, will truly be the destination health care resource in the West.”