UCSF's Mitsuishi named a 2024 Steinberg Institute Champion

Mitsuishi talking to someone

2024 Steinberg Institute Champion Fumi Mitsuishi, MD, MS, is dedicated to enhancing the path to recovery for adults navigating mental health challenges by empowering them to secure stable housing, treatment, and employment, and facilitating their successful reintegration into society. [Photo: Noah Berger/UCSF]

The Steinberg Institute, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing sound public policy and inspiring leadership on issues of mental health, announced today the selection of UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty member Fumi Mitsuishi, MD, MS, as the first of its 2024 Steinberg Institute Champions. The recognition, awarded each May during Mental Health Awareness Month, honors unsung heroes working to improve the lives of California's most vulnerable.

Mitsuishi is a health sciences clinical professor of psychiatry and the division director for UCSF Citywide Case Management Programs, which provides "wrap-around" services for people in San Francisco with serious mental health conditions and co-occurring substance use challenges. Citywide is the city’s largest provider of intensive case management, in which multidisciplinary teams map out a plan for each client tailored to their health and housing needs, their life skills, and work and education background. The program's clients often also have histories of trauma, chronic, institutionalization, and housing instability.

In addition to the services provided at their main clinic in San Francisco's Mission District, Citywide’s 17 mobile teams see clients on the streets and in shelters and navigation centers—with additional teams located at housing sites, where they provide clinical support to residents. The program cares for more than 1,500 clients a year and is staffed by UCSF employees, who include peer counselors and employment specialists. It is overseen by the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in partnership with the State of California, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and other city department programs.

[Video courtesy of the Steinberg Institute]

Mitsuishi has committed her career to social justice, public service, and holistic health that supports mind, body, and social wellness. Born in Japan, raised in France, and educated in the United States, her unique background has fostered an appreciation for living at the intersection of cultures and understanding the experience of “otherness.” She firmly believes that unconditional positive regard for others and data-driven interventions can minimize stigma, homelessness, and suffering.

She studied neuroscience and history of art as an undergraduate and earned a master's in health sciences at UC Berkeley. She completed her medical training, residency in psychiatry, and a fellowship in public psychiatry at UCSF. Mitsuishi joined the Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Sciences as a faculty member in 2012 and has served as Citywide's director since 2018.

"I'm inspired by Dr. Fumi Mitsuishi's unwavering and compassionate commitment to San Francisco's unhoused population," said Steinberg Institute CEO Karen Larsen, LMFT.

This year's Steinberg Institute Champions have been selected in alignment with the institute's Vision 2030 Initiative, aimed at rebuilding California's workforce and reducing hospitalization, incarceration, and homelessness for people with behavioral health conditions. Additional champions will be announced throughout the month of May.

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About the Steinberg Institute

The Steinberg Institute was created to upend the status quo and dramatically raise the profile and increase the effectiveness of mental health policy-making in California. Founded by Sacramento Mayor and former state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in 2015, the institute is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming California's mental health and substance use care systems through education, advocacy, accountability, and inspired leadership. For more information, visit https://steinberginstitute.org.

About UCSF Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care, and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences conducts its clinical, educational, and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including the UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry BuildingUCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital; UCSF Medical Centers at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion; UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center; the San Francisco VA Health Care System; UCSF Fresno; and numerous community-based sites around the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Neurology, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area.