Annual Tradition Celebrates UCSF Community Partnerships

By John Daigre

Exemplary community collaborations that promote health equity in San Francisco took center stage at the Fourth Annual Partnerships Celebration sponsored by UCSF’s University Community Partnerships (UCP).

“Our goal is to promote, and in this case showcase, creative and productive collaborations that bring new meaning to the definition of a public research university,” said Wylie Liu, MPH, MPA, director of University Community Partnerships. “With the help of committed community partners who are critical to our efforts, we’re seeing collaborations that impact the health of our community in a wide variety of ways.”

The Oct. 18 event at the University’s Parnassus campus included presentations from UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, UCP council co-chair Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, executive director of San Francisco’s Central American Resource Center; UCP council members and Service Learning Committee chairs, Michael Baxter, MSW, director of community health programs for youth at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and Gerri Collins-Bride, RN, a health sciences clinical professor in the UCSF School of Nursing; as well as a performance by Youth Speaks.

The evening also focused on the honorees of the 2012 Excellence in Partnership Awards, which recognize three exemplary collaborations that build on combined strengths to improve education, civic engagement, and overall health of communities. Award recipients included:

“These award-winning programs focus on topics that are relevant to the community, and through genuine collaborative efforts these programs are more likely to be effective and sustained,” said Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, UCP council co-chair representing community partners.

There were 11 partnership grants [PDF] awarded by UCP in 2012 addressing subject areas ranging from dental health and Hepatitis B awareness to physical education and LGBTQ youth health.

“UCP’s efforts involve all four UCSF schools, support the University’s outreach efforts, and include a wide range of community partners,” said Liu, who is also a program manager for the Community Engagement & Health Policy program of UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

Established in 2006, UCP supports a diverse ecosystem of organically developed, grass-roots community partnerships by fostering collaborations, incubating new initiatives, and working to overcome institutional barriers impeding civic engagement. It is directed by a 24-member council that includes 12 UCSF representatives and 12 members of the community. UCP is part of the Office of Diversity and Outreach.

Photos by Cindy Chew

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Read more about University Community Partnerships