Our History

The CCE, formerly called University Community Partnerships (UCP), emerged from UCSF's desire to document, facilitate and expand its community-engaged scholarship and work throughout San Francisco, the Bay Area and beyond. The Community Partnership Resource Center (CPRC) at the School of Medicine served as a model for today's CCE.

Learn more about the history of the CCE

CPRCPlanning PartnersTask ForceTask Force MembersCreation of CCECCE Today

Explore the findings of the Task Force:

Development of CPRC

In 2003, the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at UCSF’s School of Medicine initiated planning for a new Community Partnership Resource Center (CPRC). The CPRC was envisioned as an entity that could facilitate more and better collaborative projects between San Francisco communities and UCSF to improve health and eliminate health disparities. Two project co-directors with experience in community-based work were selected—Naomi Wortis (a DFCM faculty member) and Robert Uhrle (a community activist and founder of Advocate Initiatives for Grassroots Access who also taught part-time in DFCM service-learning courses). The decision was made to focus initially on partnerships based in three neighborhoods in southeast San Francisco—Bayview Hunters Point, the Mission District, and Visitacion Valley—where there are striking health disparities compared to the rest of the city, and where DFCM had a foundation of pre-existing community connections. Although planning for the CPRC emanated from DFCM, the department viewed the CPRC as a vehicle to involve other departments and schools at UCSF in more effective community partnership activities.

Development of the CPRC consisted of several steps: a community assessment to validate the potential utility of a resource center, recruitment of community and UCSF representatives to a collaborative planning committee, drafting of a formal mission statement and goals, and creation of infrastructure. See the list of CPRC planning partners below. By 2004, this process had resulted in the generation and formal adoption of the mission, principles, and goals of the CPRC.

A full-time Program Coordinator for the CPRC was hired. This position was initially held by Jay LaPlante and later by Roberto Ariel Vargas. A Community Council was formed to serve as the executive body for the CPRC, empowered to make decisions about projects and activities. Members of the Council represented a diverse cross-section of the population of southeast San Francisco, including community residents and representatives of community based organizations (CBOs). The Council included an intentionally smaller number of UCSF representatives.

The CPRC provided services matching potential new partners and facilitating collaborations, as well as assisting with sustaining existing partnerships. In addition to the financial support from DFCM and the Executive Vice Chancellor, an early grant of $15,000 was obtained from California Campus Compact to support these activities. In 2005, the CPRC was awarded one of the highly competitive grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Outreach Partnership Center Program. This grant was used to build partnership capacity infrastructure, to launch a job training program, and to work with community partners on their high priority areas of violence prevention and resiliency promotion.

Task Force on Community Partnerships

In 2004, as the CPRC was coming into being, the UCSF Chancellor’s office also began to focus more attention on civic engagement. A new Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost (EVCP), Eugene Washington, had recently been appointed, and prior to assuming that role, he had attended one of the planning committee meetings of the CPRC and assisted with identifying some seed funding. Soon after his appointment, the EVCP appointed a UCSF Task Force on Community Partnerships.

The EVCP charged the task force to (1) perform an inventory of what university-community partnerships already existed between UCSF and California communities; (2) review the case for university-community partnerships and best practices for engagement by academic institutions; and (3) make recommendations for how to improve UCSF’s engagement in community partnerships. He appointed 20 UCSF representatives to the task force, including the CPRC leadership and program coordinator, and asked the Chair of DFCM, Kevin Grumbach, to lead the task force. Five other UCSF representatives and two community representatives were subsequently invited to participate on the task force. See the list of task force members below. One community forum was held to get input from community partners of task force members on their perspectives about UCSF’s community partnership work and to solicit their input into the task force recommendations. Consultations were obtained from two national experts in community partnerships.

The Community Partnership Task Force distilled all the data they had gathered into a task force report. The report includes (1) the case for community partnerships and an engaged campus; (2) results of the UCSF inventory; (3) best practices at other institutions; and (4) a summary of findings, recommendations, and action steps. See the full task force report with detailed recommendations.

The task force’s report and recommendations were favorably received by the EVCP and by the Chancellor, and the Chancellor allocated institutional funds to create the Center for Community Engagement (CCE).

Creation of CCE

In 2005, the CCE was created in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Advancement & Planning to support the many existing partnerships between UCSF and San Francisco-based community organizations and to facilitate new partnerships. The Chancellor appointed ten university representatives from across all schools to serve on the CCE Council, including the CPRC director. Subsequently, community representatives were nominated for the community representative slots, and ten were chosen to serve on the Council. In 2006, a Program Director was hired for the CCE. The Council agreed on a leadership structure that involves two co-chairs--a community representative and a university representative. The co-chairs lead the monthly Council meetings and meet with the Program Director between meetings. The first co-chairs were Gwen Henry and Kevin Grumbach. Working groups formed to focus on the following issues: economic and employment development; educational outreach to youth and adults; service-learning at UCSF; community-based research and evaluation; and developing a CCE sponsored grants program for university-community partnership projects. CCE and CPRC staff worked jointly on the development of a searchable database of university-community partnership programs and resources. In 2007, the Community Partnerships Grants Program was established with the first round of grants made in 2008.

CCE Today

In 2009, the Office was restructured to better address the Task Force recommendations. This restructuring included moving the office to Student Academic Affairs to foster stronger relationships with the academic functions of the university. Joseph I. Castro, Vice Provost for Student Academic Affairs, became the CCE’s Champion Advocate. Naomi Wortis was appointed to a new position as the CCE’s first Faculty Co-Director. And the word “Program” was dropped from the end of what was then University Community Partnerships Programs’ (UCP’s) name. As part of the restructure, the pre-existing Community Partnership Resource Center (CPRC) merged with the CCE at the suggestion of CPRC’s Community Council. Two of the CPRC Community Council members subsequently joined the CCE Council. The CCE Council was expanded to include 12 community members and 12 university members.

In 2012, in search of better alignment, upon the request of both the CCE Council and Chancellor, the CCE moved out of Student Academic Affairs to the newly created Vice Chancellor Office of Diversity and Outreach. The CCE reported to founding Vice Chancellor Renee Navarro. In an effort to combine the functions of the CCE and the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Community Engagement & Health Policy, the research arm of the CCE, under a single organizational unit, the CCE moved under CTSI in 2015. During this transition, the CCE Council and staff took the opportunity to re-assess the CCE’s role and made a commitment to focus on UCSF’s anchor role to address the drivers of inequities. A decision was also made to change the name from the University Community Partnerships (UCP) to the Center for Community Engagement (CCE).

Members of the Task Force On Community Partnerships

  • Nancy Adler, Psychiatry & Center for Health and Community
  • Charles Alexander, Student Affairs and Dean’s Office, Dentistry
  • Claire Brindis, Institute for Health Policy Studies & Pediatrics
  • Orlando Elizondo, Community & Government Relations
  • Kathy Flores, UCSF-Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education & Research
  • Ellen Goldstein, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies & Family & Community Medicine
  • Lisa Gray, Community Partnerships Program, Community & Government Relations
  • Kevin Grumbach, Chair Family & Community Medicine
  • Dixie Horning, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health
  • Maryanne Johnson, Geriatrics Division, Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Anda Kuo, Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) Residency Program
  • Cindy Lima, UCSF Medical Center Administration
  • Nancy Milliken, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and School of Medicine Dean’s Office
  • Rena Pasick, Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Howard Pinderhughes, Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing
  • Sally Rankin, Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing
  • Lori Rice, Dean’s Office, School of Pharmacy
  • Tracy Stevens, Center for Science and Education Opportunity
  • Peter Walter, Biochemistry & Biophysics
  • Naomi Wortis, Community Partnership Resource Center, Family & Community Medicine
  • Patricia Caldera, Science and Health Education Partnership
  • Annemarie Charlesworth, Institute for Health Policy Studies
  • Gerri Collins-Bride, Community Health Systems, School of Nursing
  • Julia Faucett, Community Health Systems, School of Nursing
  • Laurie Kalter, Center for Health and Community
  • Karen G. Pierce, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Bayview Hunters Point Health and Environmental Assessment Program
  • Robert Uhrle, Community Partnership Resource Center, Family & Community Medicine
  • Jay LaPlante, Community Partnership Resource Center, Family & Community Medicine
  • Cecilia Populus-Eudave, Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, General Internal Medicine & Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Dennis Keane, Center for the Health Professions
  • Advocate Initiatives for Grassroots Acces
  • Asian Perinatal Advocates
  • BVHP Community Advocates, Inc.
  • BVHP Health and Environmental Assessment Task Force
  • Chinese for Affirmative Action
  • CLAER Project
  • Community Bridges Beacon
  • Community Empowerment Center
  • Girls After School Academy
  • Horizons Unlimited of San Francisco, Inc.
  • Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Inc.
  • Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
  • Network for Elders
  • RAP Collaborative
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • San Francisco General Hospital Foundation
  • San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Community Development
  • Southeast Child-Family Therapy Center
  • Southeast Neighborhood Jobs Initiative Roundtable
  • The Center for Strategic Planning
  • Visitacion Valley Beacon Center
  • Visitacion Valley Community Development Corp
  • Visitacion Valley Jobs Education & Training
  • UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities
  • UCSF Center for Health and Community
  • UCSF Center for Health Professions
  • UCSF Community Health Systems, School of Nursing
  • UCSF Community and Government Relations
  • UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • UCSF Family Health Outcomes Project
  • UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health
  • UCSF San Francisco Injury Prevention Center
  • UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies