Featured Partnerships

Read about collaborations between UCSF and community partners to advance health equity and how those partnerships are supported by the Center for Community Engagement.

Bayani Kabataan (Youth Heroes): A Photovoice Study with Filipino Youth in Union City

Despite the fact that Filipinos comprise the second largest group of Asian-Americans in the United States, few studies have focused on social and structural determinants of health affecting Filipino communities and Filipino youth. Photovoice is a youth-led participatory action research method that develops youth capacity to advocate for community change through data collection that can inform health interventions and policy.

As part of the Center for Community Engagement’s (CCE) Partnership Grants Program, the CCE awarded UCSF’s School of Medicine and PRIME-US student, Bernadette Lim, with a RAPTr (Resource Allocation Program for Trainees) grant to conduct the Photovoice study.

Lim conducted the study in partnership with Filipino Advocates for Justice located in Union City, CA where Filipinos comprise nearly 20% of the city's population.

The research project explored Filipino youth perspectives regarding the impact of their environment – including physical space, social determinants of health, and structural forces – on their physical and psychosocial health.

Ten Filipino youth (ages 14-18) were recruited for the study from in-school and after-school programs of Filipino Advocates for Justice. The youth used photography, caption-writing, storytelling, and focus group discussions to explore their perspectives regarding the effect of social and structural inequities on their physical and psychosocial health. Through this project, participants integrated themes of community health inequities in discussions of their photos, developed a list of youth-informed health recommendations to local policymakers, and produced a photography exhibit for community members and key stakeholders. The project produced information that could serve to guide future health policy changes and health interventions by fostering youth agency.

Bernadette Lim and her mentor, Monica Hahn MD MPH MS, who is an Assistant Clinical Professor in UCSF’s Department of Family & Community Medicine, PRIME-US Director of Inquiry and Evaluation, and Clinical Director of the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center (PAETC), were recognized with an award (the UCSF Dean's Prize for Outstanding Research in Health and Society and the UCSF Mentor Award) at UCSF’s School of Medicine’s Inquiry Summer Explore Symposium, Sponsored by the School’s Inquiry Curriculum, in recognition of scholarly accomplishments, innovation, creativity, and impact.

Partners: Filipino Advocates for Justice.

Abundant Life Health Ministries Intiative

The Abundant Life Health Ministries Initiative is a collaboration whose goal is to strengthen health ministries to promote health and to end cancer disparities. It was created in response to the high rates of chronic disease in African American communities. The initiative seeks to build upon the prominent role of churches in the lives of many African Americans by establishing a widespread, collaborative effort to address chronic disease through culturally appropriate and relevant venues, and to better engage faith leaders in the health and wellness of their communities.

Partners: UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Neighborhood Baptist Church, John Muir Health Alliance, Mills Peninsula African American Community Health Advisory Committee, Alta Bates Summit Ethnic Health Institute, American Cancer Society/SF, American Diabetes Association/SF, American Heart Association/SF, CA Department of Public Health Network for Healthy California, Arthur H. Coleman Medical Center, Men’s Health Committee—Alameda County DPH Urban Male Health, Acts Full Gospel Church, Voices of Hope Community Church, St. Andrew’s Church/SF, Healthy Oakland Clinic and Resource Center.

Youth Creating Change


Partners: Theo Yonn-Brown, Director/UCSF Volunteer Coordinator; Gabriel Santamaria, Director/Co-Founder/HOMEY Volunteer Coordinator; Joe Pantoja, Co-Founder/Advisory Committee Chair; Griselda Velasquez, Health Workshop Director; Donald Richards, Academic Workshop Director.

Community Service Learning – Dental Externship Program


Partners: Arriane Terlet, DDS, Dental Director, La Clinica De La Raza, Oakland; Marco Reyes, DDS, Life Long Medical Center, Berkeley Dental Clinic; Helena Khim, Externship Coordinator, UCSF School of Dentistry; Baharak Amanzadeh, DDS, MPH, Dental Externship Program Director, UCSF School of Dentistry.

The Bigger Picture


Partners: Hodari Davis, Youth Speaks National Program Director; Sarah Fine, UCSF/SFGH Center for Vulnerable Populations, Project Director; Dean Schillinger, UCSF/SFGH Center for Vulnerable Populations, The Bigger Picture Co-Founder.