Three Outstanding UCSF-Community Partnership Programs Receive Honors

Carlos Garcia, superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District, right, talks about the district’s partnership with the Marie Wattis School at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital while Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center, and the children’s hospital team look on at a ceremony on Oct. 28.

Community and University leaders gathered at the Fisher Banquet Room at Mission Bay on Oct. 28 to recognize the best community partnerships with UCSF at the 2nd Annual Partnerships Celebration.

The partnerships reflect a clear articulation of shared governance, balanced partnership and strong outcomes.

“What sets the winners or best practices apart is how they further and foster our values of partnership,” said Wylie Liu, director of University Community Partnerships. “Our reviewers also noted that they resonate in our minds and hearts.”

Keynote speaker Irene Sung, MD, chief medical officer for community programs for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, addressed the crowd and praised the University Community Partnership Program for fostering relationships that help strengthen the community and improve lives.

“I really want to honor the office of community partnerships,” Sung said, “for helping the community programs that exist to build scientific backing for what they are doing.”

Rittenhhouse and Allen Meyer, both of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, for partnering with UCSF medical residents and students to provide care to the homeless through Street Outreach Services.

Among those participating in the community partnerships celebration on Oct. 28 were Carlos Garcia, superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD); Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, UCSF Chancellor Sue Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH; Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center, Sam Hawgood, MBBS, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, and Joseph Castro, PhD, vice provost of Student Academic Affairs.

Mayor Gavin Newsom sent a proclamation declaring it Annual Partnership Day in San Francisco to thank UCSF for its commitment to San Francisco and to improving health worldwide.

“We operate in the city and one of my aspirations as chancellor is that UCSF is considered a good neighbor,” said Desmond-Hellmann.

Awards were given in three categories: student and community, faculty and community and staff and community.

Student-Community Partnership

The student/community partnership award was captured by Street Outreach Services (SOS), which is the mobile outreach component of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium’s Health Care for the Homeless program. SOS has provided high quality, non-judgmental health services directly to homeless people in places where they live and congregate since 1988.

SOS partners with the UCSF Internal Medicine Residency Training Program providing unique training opportunities for medical students and residents, exposing them to community-based care.
By traveling to sites throughout the city, the SOS mobile clinic provides urgent and preventive medical care to people on the streets of San Francisco, serving more than 2,000 patients each year.

Faculty-Community Partnership

The partnership called Improving Outcomes for Transition Age Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities (CART) was honored in the faculty/community category for its work assisting people with developmental disabilities to access health care services.

Key partners are UCSF’s Developmental Primary Care, Family and Community Medicine, the Arc of San Francisco, Health Plan of San Mateo and Golden Gate Regional Center. This interdisciplinary team addresses clinical services, advocacy and in-home support, research in health surveillance and technical assistance and training for clinicians.

Kevin Grumbach, professor and chair of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF and chief of Family and Community Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, served as the founding co-chair of the University Community Partnerships Council.

“We truly are an egalitarian partnership,” said Mary Giammona, MD, medical director at the Health Plan of San Mateo. “We come from different interests, but it’s our commitment to the developmentally disabled people we serve…and through the UCSF grant, we hope we will continue to serve this population in need.”

Staff-Community Partnership

The Marie Wattis School at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital won in the staff/community category for its partnership with the SFUSD to help children continue their studies while receiving inpatient and outpatient treatment. Operated by Child Life Services, the school is part of the SFUSD and is staffed by credentialed teachers.

Children diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening diseases face challenges beyond their disease, and are at higher risk for problems, such as school phobia, poor-self esteem and school re-integration. However, because of this unique partnership, patients at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital no longer have to fall behind academically while they’re receiving treatment because they are taught state-approved school curriculum and receive attendance and coursework credit.

“It’s like the little red school house,” Garcia said of SFUSD’s Marie Wattis School in the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “All the students are different ages, all different subjects, but we make them feel at home and it’s a win-win.”

The honorees were chosen out of 15 applicants who have an established partnership with one or more community-based organization or agency. The applicants were evaluated by members of the University Community Partnerships Program and council who are comprised of leaders from both UCSF and the community.

UCSF created the University Community Partnerships Program in 2006 to empower the community to partner with the University and vice versa. The program is directed by a 24-member UCSF University-Community Partnerships Council, a group of passionate public service advocates consisting of 12 UCSF representatives and 12 members of the community.

Photos by Susan Merrell

Related Link

University Community Partnership