Robert Gorter at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) AIDS Clinic – Ward 86 (1982 – 1993)
From 1982 through 1993, Robert Gorter, MD, PhD, was one of the main attending physicians at the AIDS Clinic – Ward 86 at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) in San Francisco California, USA. In addition, from 1986 through 1993, he was the Medical Director of the Department for AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California in San Francisco Medical School till he left for Germany in 1993. The Department he directed also had its main offices at San Francisco General Hospital, one of the main teaching hospitals of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
The AIDS Clinic – Ward 86 was on the 6th floor, and the Department for AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics was on the fourth floor but the activities and the number of employees grew so fast that the top floor was soon added. In this picture, one can see the brick building which survived very well the big earth quake (7,9 at the Scale of Richter) in 1989.
One of the main doors of the building of San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) at 995 Portrero Avenue San Francisco CA 94110. The Department of Psychiatry had an extensive methadone program for intravenous drug users on the second floor. Dr. Gorter had developed an intensive collaboration with this department and could put to use and share his experiences with the methadone detox and maintenance programs, the methadone bus (“low threshold” methadone prgram) and the needle-exchange programs he set up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in the early and mid 1970’s. Soon, Dr. Connie Wofsy, also an Associate Professor at UCSF, Department of Infectious Diseases, joined the team and took special care of the Methadone Bus Project and the projects aiming at (female) Sex Workers in San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area at large.
The “Jugend Still” doors of the elevators to the Department of AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Services for intravenous drug users.
Soon, all the developments through these initiatives, San Francisco AIDS Clinic – Ward 86 became a role model not only for the USA but also for the Netherlands, and Germany. Through the years, visitors from all over the world came to San Francisco to see for themselves how in San Francisco clinical health care for HIV/AIDS patients was provided and which programs had been initiated and developed as a “spin off” like the Visiting Nurses Program (VNA), “Coming Home Hospice” with its “Buddy System” and “Meals on Wheels”.
Dr. Gorter had approximately 120 coworkers at the Department of AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF. This is Karen, one of the main biostatisticians. Karen came on board a few years after the Department had been established.
Kelly, one of the secretaries at the Department of AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics and at the AIDS Clinis – Ward 86, at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH).
Rita Meakin (r) with one of her many assistants, was in charge to set up and coordinate all the activities outside of the hospital. Activities would include visiting intravenous drug users, the homeless in the parks and shelters for the homeless for education about transmission of HIV, questioning (interviewing) and blood draws.
Thelma (l) and a second nurse were Dr. Gorter’s big supporters. They were nurses by training and assisted Dr. Gorter at the Family Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital as well as in the work at the Department of AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Thelma was always in a very good mood and easy to work with.
Gary Carr (Nurse Practitioner at the Ward 86 AIDS Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital) was a dedicated nurse to his patients and always available for Robert Gorter to volunteer at the low threshold “Street Corner” work with HIV positive drug users
Andrew Moss, PhD, originally from the UK, was the epidemiologist who headed the Department of AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics as an epidemiologist. Andrew and Robert were a good and very dynamic team and they got along quite well both as scientists as well as personally. During their collaboration, many articles in peer-reviewed journals were published and numerous talks as an invited and “Key Note Speaker” were held. Also, they were prominent participants in the AIDS Task Force the president of the USA at that time, Ronald Reagan, had established.
In 1989 Renato Alves came from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to San Francisco to work with Dr. Gorter and was very helpful with his knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish to be a field worker of that population that would not speak English but Spanish only.
Robert Gorter on his fare-well party at the Department of AIDS Epidemiology and Biostatistics, of which he was for years the Medical Director. Here he is captured with several of his Street Workers who would assist in education and interviewing persons for research purposes.
Robert Gorter getting all the attention on his farewell party at San Francisco General Hospiuatal from all his 120+ co-workjers who worked with him for so many years. Here, he received a photo book and some of the pictures were used in this little update on Dr. Gorter’s biography.
Here, Dr. Robert Gorter gets all the attention and help from Andrew Moss, PhD, to unwrap one of is presents on his farewell party at San Francisco General Hospital from all his 120+ co-workers who worked with him for so many years.