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Why is research critical to improving health of vulnerable populations?

Understanding how various factors put vulnerable communities at risk for poor health and inadequate healthcare allow us to develop innovative strategies to address these factors and improve health. New knowledge about the basic biology of hypertension in young African Americans (an important risk factor for stroke and heart disease) allows us to focus prevention and treatment efforts more effectively in this population. New knowledge about effective use of technologies to improve communication in patients with limited literacy allows for more effective healthcare approaches for the management of diabetes. New knowledge about food insecurity and how this places poor communities at risk for diabetes motivates advocacy around issues of hunger and health.

News & Highlights

  • CVP Director Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS was quoted in a new article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Study emphasizes role of exercise in controlling weight.
    "There's really no point in playing physical activity off of diet, because both are absolutely critical - both for good health and preventing obesity," said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, director of UCSF's Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital. "These studies can get sort of complex, so to me it's about simplifying the message."
  • Join us for a free exhibition showcasing photography taken by youth from the Tenderloin PhotoVoice Project!
    "Ain't Nothin' Tender"
    Tenderloin PhotoVoice Project Exhibit at SFGH
    Date: Friday, July 11, 2014
    Time: 4:30-6:30PM
    Location: San Francisco General Hospital
    Wellness Center, Main Hospital Building, 2nd Floor
    1001 Potrero Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
    RSVP: TieuL@medsfgh.ucsf.edu

    On July 11, in collaboration with the Vietnamese Youth Development Center, Tenderloin Boys & Girls Club, Shi Yu-Lang Central YMCA, and SFGH Wellness Program, the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations will host a photography exhibition titled “Ain’t Nothin’ Tender” at San Francisco General Hospital to highlight photos from the Tenderloin PhotoVoice Project. Participants in the project will discuss their experience with the project and their photography, ranging from pictures of junk food to hypodermic needles. Students from the De Marillac Academy will share their perspectives on poverty through spoken word performances throughout the night. Refreshments will be served. For more information about the Tenderloin PhotoVoice Project and to view more photographs, please read the SFGate article featuring the project or visit the CHARM site.
  • CVP Associate Faculty member Vanessa Grubbs, MD recently had an article published in Health Affairs, Undocumented Immigrants And Kidney Transplant: Costs And Controversy. This beautifully written article explores the "costs and controversy" of undocumented immigrants and organ transplants.

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CVP Spotlight

  • Public Healthcare system Evidence Network and Innovation eXchange (PHoENIX)
    The goal of the Public Healthcare system Evidence Network and Innovation eXchange (PHoENIX) is to harness the potential of the current partnership between the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), and the California Healthcare Safety Net Institute (SNI), which has a deep understanding of how to successfully engage public hospitals in change, to forge a self-sustaining network that will lead dissemination and implementation efforts for evidence-based practices across all the public hospitals’ integrated delivery systems in California.
    This project is lead by CVP Faculty Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH (PI) and supported by CVP Faculty Dean Schillinger, MD (Co-I), Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH (Co-I), and Courtney Lyles, PhD.
    These efforts will have lessons relevant for health system implementation of evidence-based practices across health systems that provide care to underserved populations nationwide. PHoENIX will defy commonly held beliefs about public hospital systems being slow to change, insular, and bureaucratic organizations, and demonstrate that they not only are resources for innovation, but also can demonstrate the ability to operate as nimble and flexible learning organizations that rapidly take up, adapt, and implement evidence-based practices to maximize population health. PHoENIX will also gain valuable insights into implementation processes generalizable to other safety net health systems and beyond.

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