SF HIP Creates Model for Community Health

From left, Tekeshe Mekennon, Rena Pasick and Michael Potter, gather at the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnerships (SF HIP) event held at the Women's Building on March 28. Photo by Cindy Chew.

Despite San Francisco’s advances in biomedical research, high tech innovation and cutting-edge thinking, the city contends with significant health challenges and disparities across its diverse population – ranking 23rd in health outcomes among California’s 57 counties.

Since 2011, UC San Francisco has been a part of a broad coalition working under the banner of San Francisco Health Improvement Partnerships (SF HIP) that’s been trying to close this gap and achieve measurable improvements in health.

The SF HIP model is basically about bringing health to the community instead of trying to pull the community toward health.
Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, SF HIP Coordinating Council member

In support of SF HIP’s mission and goals, nearly 150 community, civic, academic and private champions of community health from across the city gathered at the Women’s Building on March 28 in the city’s Mission district to recognize and celebrate the group’s initial successes, and lay the groundwork for efforts of partnership working in five prioritized health areas:

In a keynote presentation, UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, shared her interest in the mission of SF HIP and stressed the importance of both urgency and measuring success.

“I want to challenge you. It’s important that you maintain a sense of urgency, and that the work you do be measurable and scalable,” she said.

“This work is really important, and we can teach the rest of the world about the San Francisco model, which we have done, for example, with HIV/AIDS.”

Desmond-Hellmann also affirmed SF HIP’s approach of seeking answers from all around the community and directly from those who are affected. “You’re asking community members important questions and learning about how the world around them influences their wellness or their disease. That can be as important as the care they receive in a clinical setting.”

Read more at UCSF.edu