San Francisco Adopts New Model for Improving Health

UCSF Joins Community Partners in Leading Transition to Collective Impact Model

By Nooshin Latour

Mayor Ed Lee announces the alignment of three of the city’s successful health collaboratives into one body, the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP) on June 12. The event was part of the city’s annual Community Health Needs Assessment meeting. 

San Francisco is ranked 23rd in health outcomes among California’s 57 counties.

In an effort to improve health and health equity in the city, Mayor Ed Lee has announced the expansion and alignment of three successful community health collaboratives into one body, now known as the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP).

SFHIP builds off the existing program administered by the Community Engagement and Health Policy program at UC San Francisco’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and facilitated in collaboration with community partners and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). The newly formed entity brings in two other existing collaboratives: 

The SFHIP planning committee sits for a panel discussion. From left to right: Amor

Santiago of the API Health Parity Coalition and executive director of APA Family

Support Services; Kevin Grumbach, director of the Community Engagement and

Health Policy program at UCSF's CTSI; Colleen Chawla, deputy director of health

and director of policy and planning at the San Francisco Department of Public

Health; and Abbie Yant. vice president of Mission, Advocacy and Community Health

at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.

  • Building a Healthier San Francisco (BHSF) and Community Benefit Partnership (CBP) programs, efforts spearheaded by San Francisco’s non-profit hospitals and SFDPH in conjunction with wide-ranging community partners; and
  • SFDPH through the Public Health Accreditation Board and its community health improvement process.

Recognizing the original SFHIP program as a prototype of successful community engagement and collective impact principles, leaders of this new citywide effort adopted the name.

“SFHIP brings together three successful efforts into one, unified vision with a shared purpose,” said Abbie Yant, RN, MA, vice president of Mission, Advocacy and Community Health at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and member of SFHIP’s steering committee.

Collective Impact Model

Collective Impact Model

Five conditions of collective success include:

  1. Common Agenda
  2. Shared Measurement Systems
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities
  4. Continuous Communications
  5. Backbone Support Organizations

Stanford Social Innovation Review, April 2011

Over the past year, SFDPH joined with these collaboratives to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) as a part of its 14-month community health assessment that engaged community residents and health partners to define, measure and “move the needle” on select community-identified health priorities.

SFHIP will operate under a “Collective Impact” model, in which organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success.

“I consider the new SFHIP to be a collaboration on steroids, where we bring our many strengths to one table, working toward a common goal and using data to honestly assess our accomplishments,” said Frances Culp, senior health program planner at SFDPH.

UCSF Leadership in New Initiative

San Francisco's Department of Public Health, non-profit hospitals, and UCSF’s CTSI will together make up the “backbone” that champions and governs SFHIP. CTSI, which supported the formative phase of SFHIP, will also continue to provide infrastructure and administrative support to existing SFHIP Partnership Work Groups focused on addressing health issues related to physical activity and nutrition, children’s oral health, alcohol policy and heavy users of multiple services and Hepatitis B.   

“One of the strengths of the formative SFHIP effort was our success in convening a diverse set of stakeholders – UCSF researchers, local public health experts, government, public and private partners, and community-based organizations – to work collaboratively on jointly identified health issues,” said Kevin Grumbach, MD, director of the CTSI Community Engagement and Health Policy program and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF. “Lessons learned from this process are now being shared to inform the future of SFHIP.”

SFHIP's Shared Priorities

  • Ensure Safe + Healthy Living Environments
  • Increase Healthy Eating + Physical Activity
  • Increase Access to High Quality Health Care + Services

SFHIP will work to achieve a multitude of measurable outcomes, which may include increased access to grocery stores in underserved areas, a reduction in the annual violent injury incident rate and higher percentage of San Franciscans who have insurance or are enrolled in a comprehensive access program.

These priorities and goals will serve as the city’s road map for better health over the next three to five years.

Learn more at and or view the project road map.

UCSF's CTSI is a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (grant Number UL1 TR000004) at the National Institutes of Health. Under the banner of "Accelerating Research to Improve Health," CTSI provides a wide range of resources and services for researchers, and promotes online collaboration and networking tools such as UCSF Profiles.


Related Links