Consistent with its mission as a public university, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is an integral part of the community and committed to forging fruitful relationships that provide support to and strengthen the community at large.
One of the ways UCSF supports partnerships in the community is through the University Community Partnerships Program (UCP) which serves as a bridge between UCSF and the neighborhoods around it. Launched in 2006, UCP works to strengthen the University’s connection with the community and to empower the community to work with the University. The emphasis is on collaboration that values and respects the assets and diversity of both.
Outreach programs connect high school students with UCSF students to engage in science projects and activities.
UCP maintains an annual grants program with the goal of improving public health and decreasing health disparities in San Francisco. Grants are awarded to community organizations for projects in four areas: service learning, education outreach, research and evaluation, and workforce and economic development.
In 2010, UCP awarded 19 grants. Among those in the research and evaluation area were four funded by the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. They are:
- Using computers to improve health: The Caminos Pathways Learning Center and UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care are working together to engage patients at the San Francisco General Hospital Family Health Center by using computer technology to improve their health. The project involves a course in Spanish that includes basic digital literacy and application of skills for managing chronic conditions.
- Reducing mercury exposure in fish: The Clean Water Fund and UCSF School of Nursing are collaborating on a project to identify populations at risk for mercury exposure from fish caught in San Francisco Bay, develop culturally relevant interventions to reduce mercury exposure from fish ingestion and advocate practice guidelines that improve quality of care related to mercury exposure.
- Encouraging better nutrition: Gateway High School and the UCSF Department of Pediatrics are partners in a project to enhance education about nutrition. The project includes expanding a fruit and vegetable garden at the school, holding cooking and nutrition education events for students and parents, and adding more fresh food and nutritious options in the school lunch program.
- Improving the well-being of low-income women: The Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment and UCSF are collaborating to design a survey instrument for more extensive research to measure the impact of microenterprise services on the health and well-being of low-income women in San Francisco. This traditionally underserved population includes women of color, immigrants, women with disabilities and welfare recipients.