Awards Highlight Partnerships Between UCSF, Community That Promote Health Equity

By Kate Vidinsky

San Francisco skyline

UC San Francisco’s Center for Community Engagement and Council honored the many valued partnerships between UCSF and the community at its recent Annual Partnerships Celebration. The event celebrated community partnerships as a whole and highlighted several exemplary collaborative programs that promote health equity in San Francisco and beyond.

The Center for Community Engagement facilitates relationships between UCSF and academic/health care entities in the greater community that build on each other’s strengths to foster civic engagement, health and wellbeing. The Center leverages UCSF’s role as an anchor institution with the goals of creating opportunity, advancing equity and improving health outcomes.

This event and what the Center for Community Engagement does is enrich the narrative of who UCSF is and what we do. It puts a human face on UCSF and it shows UCSF cares about the community.

Wylie Liu, MPH, MPA

Director, UCSF Center for Community Engagement

“This event and what the Center for Community Engagement does is enrich the narrative of who UCSF is and what we do. It puts a human face on UCSF and it shows UCSF cares about the community,” said Wylie Liu, MPH, MPA, the Center’s executive director.

UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, kicked off the 2017 Annual Partnerships Celebration on Oct. 19 with a welcome address. He was followed by a keynote talk given by Chuck Collins, president and CEO of the YMCA of San Francisco.

According to Liu, the awards recognize exemplary partnerships that highlight the power and potential of community‐university collaboration as a strategy for social justice.

Excellence in Partnership Awards

The four Excellence in Partnership Awards were presented to the winners in the areas of community health, research, education and economic inclusion.

Community Health & Policy Development Award

The Community Health & Policy Development Award was given to the Tipping Point Mental Health Initiative, a partnership between the nonprofit organization Tipping Point Community and UCSF’s Child Trauma Research Program. The Initiative, which launched in 2008, was recognized for its efforts to fight poverty while serving families in low-income communities with high-quality, culturally appropriate mental health services.

Research & Evaluation Award

The Fresno County Preterm Birth Initiative was named winner of the Research & Evaluation Award for its work toward dramatically reducing the number of babies born prematurely in Fresno County, which has one of California’s highest rates of preterm birth. The initiative brings together 18 community-based organizations and public institutions all focused on promoting good health for women before, during and after pregnancy.

Education & Training Award

Recognized as the recipient of the Education & Training Award, the Optimizing Aging Collaborative (OAC) was lauded for its commitment to serving the social, health and community resource needs of underserved urban elders, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. OAC is a citywide collaboration of community organizations, social service agencies and primary care health systems based in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics.

Economic Inclusion Award

Finally, the Arborist-Apprentice Internship Program was named winner of the Economic Inclusion Award. The program is a partnership between the green-focused nonprofit Friends of the Urban Forest and the San Francisco Wraparound Project, a violence intervention program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Created to help young survivors of violence change their lives, the program provides support through an urban greening apprenticeship and job‐readiness training, which serves as a bridge to long-term employment.