The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP) has announced the results of its 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment, an exercise conducted every three years to provide focus and direction for the City of San Francisco’s public health agenda.
SFHIP is a coalition of community health professionals, hospitals representatives, health researchers and policymakers with the mission of eliminating health disparities in San Francisco. It was founded in 2013 by UC San Francisco’s Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the Hospital Council and three health equity coalitions.
UCSF continues to play a major role in SFHIP through its involvement on the organization’s cross-sector steering committee. In addition, CTSI’s Community Engagement & Health Policy program provides staffing for the organization’s backbone structure, which is responsible for implementation of SFHIP initiatives.
The group’s 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment found that the single biggest predictor of health for local residents is income. Those with higher incomes have better access to resources that promote health, such as healthy food and good schools, while being better equipped to avoid health hazards. Further, the assessment confirmed that income inequality tracks along racial lines, making communities of color more likely to be impacted by acute and chronic diseases.
“We still live in a city where wealth is health. That is wrong and it has got to change,” says Estela Garcia, DHM, executive director of Instituto Familiar de la Raza and co-chair of SFHIP. “SFHIP is working to eliminate these disparities through a collective impact model that mobilizes our city’s resources and provides the structure needed to get results.”
SFHIP’s priorities for the next three years track closely to the issues of income and racial inequalities. The priorities are:
Access to Care
Focus areas include reducing the prevalence of dental caries in Asian, African American and Latino public school kindergartners and decreasing preventable hospitalizations among African Americans and residents of the Tenderloin, SOMA and Bayview neighborhoods.
Healthy Eating & Physical Activity
Focus areas include food insecurity among senior citizens and pregnant women on Medi-Cal and increasing the number of African American, Latino, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander teens who meet the healthy fitness zone for aerobic capacity.
Focus will be placed on decreasing hospitalizations for major depression in targeted communities, reducing emergency room visits due to alcohol abuse among the middle aged and residents of the Tenderloin and SOMA, and lowering the rates at which African American, Latino and under one-year-old children experience maltreatment.
Keving Grumbach, MD, chair of the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine and co-director of the UCSF Clinical & Translational Science Institute Community Engagement and Health Policy program, says that SFHIP and its Community Health Needs Assessment create alignment among the city’s public health stakeholders.
“It is not enough for each of us to act as independent players. We have to work together and align under a common strategy. This is SFHIP’s vision, and we have built it into a movement to build an equitably healthy San Francisco,” says Grumbach.
The SHIP Steering Committee will use the results of the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment to produce a Community Health Improvement Plan, which will provide details about how the three public health priorities will be addressed.