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Nurses Protest To Drop 'Zuckerberg' From SF General's Name

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Some nurses at SF General on Tuesday were pushing to remove Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's name from the facility.

The protest is causing some discomfort among patients.

The Zuckerbergs donated $75 million to the hospital, enough to get the surname plastered all over the facility.

Some nurses say this is just another way a tech company is infiltrating the city in a way it shouldn't be.

"People are afraid. I've spoken with people who have said, 'I'm afraid to tell my doctor anything, because I don't know who is going to get that information,'" said Zuckerberg General registered nurse Sasha Cuttler.

Cuttler said he and other SEIU 1021 members are standing up for their patients' rights, especially after it was recently revealed that the information of 900 patients from SF General and Laguna Honda was compromised.

"It's fine to have somebody's name and to accept a donation and fundraising, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you like with patient data," said Cuttler.

"We don't think it makes sense for San Francisco General Hospital to be publicly associated with an organization that doesn't care about confidentiality," said former Zuckerberg General nurse Ed Kinchley.

"Confidentiality is so crucial to providing quality health care."

Mayor Mark Farrell sees Facebook's recent privacy issues and the name of SF General Hospital as completely separate.

"As a city, we should be supporting and thanking individuals that contribute to really the safety of our residents and not demonizing them. That's the wrong approach," said Farrell.

While former San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos is not part of the effort to remove the Zuckerberg name, he does support it, despite being one of the supervisors who voted in favor of the donation.

When asked if he regretted supporting the hospital renaming back a few years ago, Avalos replied, "I regretted it the moment I voted on it. But I also understood that if I were to vote against it, we would lose $75 million to open the hospital up."

SEIU 1021 wants to get the issue on a ballot for voters to weigh in on as soon as possible.

The best case scenario for that happening would be by November. Hospital officials say the name was changed out of appreciation for the generous gift.

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