Dr. Patrick Ha Receives $500,000 Anonymous Gift to Support Research and Clinical Work

July 10, 2023

Patrick Ha, MD, received an anonymous gift of $500,000 to support his research and the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery. Dr. Ha is the Irwin Mark and Joan Klein Jacobs Distinguished Professor and Chief of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery in the UCSF Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (UCSF OHNS).

Patrick Ha, MD

In addition to supporting basic research through tissue banking and salary support of basic scientists, the gift will be used to help support incoming surgeon scientists as they begin their careers.

"Our group has worked hard to ensure that patients with head and neck cancer feel surrounded by the multiple teams required to successfully carry out complex treatment plans," says Dr. Ha. "To me, this gift reinforces that our process is working and is a recognition of all of their efforts."

Contributions help in many ways. Research efforts to further understanding of head and neck cancers require funding to support the investigators, the tools needed to carry out the work and resources to bring on collaborators. This donation provides the funds to conduct pilot studies and also allows for the educational and financial support of trainees who are beginning to conduct their own research.

"The current gift allows for me to think about all of the different missions of our work at UCSF," says Dr. Ha. Those missions include:

  • Educational opportunities for trainees here and around the Bay Area. The donation allows the department to continue providing educational resources like dissection courses that require significant funding.  
  • The gas card program, which eases the burden on patients who need to travel long distances to seek UCSF's specialized care. The program, which is run in partnership with our social work team, has been very successful. "We can now continue to provide resources such as those for patients in need," says Dr. Ha.
  • Support of junior faculty in their early career development. The gift will help the department provide these faculty members with the departmental resources that will help them grow as clinicians and educators.

"We will continue to think about how we can provide the best care for all of our patients and to broadly consider how we can educate the next generation of clinicians and develop innovative ways of treating head and neck cancer and offering a human touch throughout the patients' journey," says Dr. Ha.

We are so grateful for this donation, which supports our mission to benefit the communities we serve through the delivery of outstanding patient care, innovative biomedical research and excellence in medical education.