Harrison Alter MD

UCB-UCSF Joint Medical Program

Harrison Alter is a Lecturer of the Joint Medical Program.

Harrison Jacob Alter, MD, MS, Associate Chair for Research at Highland Hospital — Alameda Health System Department of Emergency Medicine, has been an attending emergency physician at Highland since 2004. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Alter also serves as Founding Director and Director of Research at the Andrew Levitt Center for Social Emergency Medicine (levittcenter.org). In creating the Levitt Center, Dr. Alter established new research and advocacy realm within emergency medicine, incorporating matters of community and individual well-being, population health, social factors, and many other disparate elements into the concept of Social Emergency Medicine. The Levitt Center currently works in alcohol, gun injury, health-related social needs such as housing and hunger, public health screening, commercial sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, opioid dependence, economic opportunity, and other areas. Levitt receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Health Care Foundation, the Emergency Medicine Foundation, and Gilead FOCUS. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Alter was on the faculty of emergency medicine at the University of Washington and its Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and served also as an emergency physician for the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, AZ. Dr. Alter received his medical degree from UCSF, his Master’s in Health and Medical Sciences from UC Berkeley, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Washington. He is a graduate of Brown University, with a concentration in Comparative Literature.

  • MD – UC San Francisco
  • MS – UC Berkeley
  • AB – Brown University
  • Interplay of social forces and the emergency care system in influencing individual and community health and well-being
  • Role of health-related behaviors and social needs within emergency care
  • Overuse of medical care