Inside this issue
MLK Jr. Day of Service....1
St. Anthony’s Diabetes….2
SOS Team Day ………….…2
“Founded in 1995 by the National Association of Community Health Centers, Community HealthCorps is the largest health-focused, national AmeriCorps program that promotes health care for America’s underserved, while developing tomorrow’s health care workforce.”
Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service
This year for Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, the San Francisco Community HealthCorps members worked to improve the health of our coastal environment and to maintain green space for the communities and clients we serve to use and enjoy. On Monday, January 18th, fifteen of our AmeriCorps members volunteered at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy along historic Crissy Airfield from East Bay to West Bluff. Our team members performed litter pick-up focusing on micro trash, such as cigarette butts, styrofoam fragments, and small pieces of plastic, which tend to accumulate along the high visitation corridor in the park. Marine life may ingest these small, often shiny, pieces of trash, negatively impacting their health. We had the opportunity to get outside with our orange buckets, trash pickers, and bright yellow vests to enjoy the ocean air and help collect six 5-gallon buckets full of micro trash, two 5-gallon buckets full of recyclables, 1 small tire, several 2x4 boards, and 8 hypodermic needles which were located and disposed of properly.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” - Martin Luther King Jr.
St. Anthony's Hosts Americorps Team Day
On November 18th, the SF Community HealthCorps team participated in St. Anthony’s Annual Diabetes Day in celebration of Diabetes National Awareness Month. St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic offers comprehensive health services in the Tenderloin, a district within San Francisco that sees a disproportionate rate of diabetes and poverty. For the past 11 years, St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic has hosted this lively event to bring together patients, staff, and community members to learn about diabetes prevention and management strategies.
AmeriCorps members led booths on exercise and healthy eating, handed out flyers and escorted patients, educated on community resources, took vitals and blood sugar, and offered private health coaching sessions. Members also assisted clinic staff with diabetes symptom screenings, cooking demonstrations, and dance lessons. Many outside organizations participated to educate attendees and provide community resources. Walgreens offered free flu shots and Sports Basement gave out gifts and raffle prizes. It was an educational and fun afternoon, and we are grateful to have been part of such an important event!
Street Outreach Services Team Day
Street Outreach Services hosted a Team Day on December4th 2015. SF Community HealthCorps members learned how to make hygiene kits, how to do medical outreach, and how to refer clients to medical care. We also toured the Street Outreach Services (SOS) medical van and learned about the type of care the SOS team provides to the city’s homeless population.
(Right: Ladi, Chantal, Justin, Stephanie C., and Amber posing in front of the Street Outreach Services medical van.)
Meet Our Members
Our Community HealthCorps members serve at sites throughout San Francisco, increasing access to care for thousands of uninsured and underinsured residents in the Bay Area. See below to read more about our members, their sites, and what their service experiences have been like so far.
In this issue, we profile half our members. Stay tuned for the other half in our next newsletter!
(Left: All smiles after a team day spent ice skating in San Francisco’s Embarcadero!)
UCSF'S Alliance Health Project's mission is to support the mental health and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities in constructing healthy and meaningful lives. AHP’s goals seek to manifest this mission by: Decreasing health disparities within the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities; providing the highest quality mental health services and substance use counseling based on the most effective interventions; growing a diverse and culturally competent work environment that allows staff to do their best and clients to flourish; translating our frontline expertise and our research findings into interventions, publications, and trainings that broaden its effect beyond our local community.
What do you do at your site? I work on a variety of projects at AHP, but serve primarily as a research assistant and HIV Testing Counselor. I spend my mornings completing an Electronic Health Inventory (EHI) with clients, which is "a digital interface that asks clients about themselves, including questions about mental health, substance use, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The data we collect through this process expands our capacity to support both LGBTQ and HIV-related health and wellness. In addition to improving individual client care, AHP compiles data, on an anonymous basis, so that AHP can demonstrate LGBTQ community health needs to potential funders of new programs." My afternoons are spent with our HCAT team doing HIV Testing or over at AHP's Development Office working on workshop content, fundraising, or blog writing.
Tell us about yourself. I am originally from Southern California, and so happy to be living in San Francisco now (it's been a dream of mine since I was a little girl!) I just graduated with my MPH in Global Health from Loma Linda University in June, and I'm hoping to continue my work with people affected by HIV/AIDS, specifically through program planning and management. I enjoy working with youth, and love to teach. I'm an avid coffee drinker, chocolate consumer and night owl that loves getting together with friends and adventuring through the city one coffee shop and dive bar at a time.
Street Outreach Services is the mobile outreach component of SFCCC’s Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program. Traveling in a medical van to sites throughout San Francisco, the dedicated SOS team of doctors, nurses, outreach workers, and volunteers creates “clinics without walls” at soup kitchens, on city streets, under freeway overpasses, and in parks. We provide urgent care services, referrals, supplies, and case management — all with the goal of connecting our patients to long-term primary care.
What do you do at your site? At SOS, I strive to connect the homeless patients we see on our van to primary care services. This means assisting individuals with Medi-Cal enrollment, appointment scheduling, and working together to overcome the barriers that might otherwise deter a homeless patient from accessing quality medical care.
Tell us about yourself. I am a San Francisco Bay Area native, and I recently graduated from UC Berkeley, where I studied Public Health and Global Poverty. In Berkeley, my experiences working at a homeless clinic helped me realize that this was the population I wanted to serve. I hope to continue working in this community and in global communities serving others.
Tom Waddell Urban Health Center (TWUHC) provides quality comprehensive health and social services to homeless and/or marginally housed persons particularly in the Tenderloin, South of Market, and Civic Center neighborhoods. With integrated primary care and mental health services, its purpose is to alleviate the suffering of homeless people, promote their self-sufficiency, advocate for their re-integration into society, and work toward the ultimate elimination of homelessness.
What do you do at your site? As HIV quality improvement coordinator, I outreach to people living with HIV who are virally unsuppressed and/or have not recently visited clinic. I also provide naloxone trainings, share HIV/HCV prevention techniques, and assist with urgent care at needle exchanges. A highlight of my week is when I co-facilitate an HCV treatment support group dedicated to making delicious snacks and discussing relevant health topics.
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Sacramento but spent most of my life growing up in Thailand with my missionary parents. In my free time, I enjoy flying my kite, running, eating at hawker stalls, and taking amateur photos of street artwork. My AmeriCorps experience has solidified my desire to work with marginalized people who are at risk for devastating, infectious diseases.
New Generation Health Center provides free and confidential reproductive health services to patients of all ages. Also a UCSF research and training facility, “New Gen’s” goal is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among high-risk youth in San Francisco.
What do you do at your site? As Health Educators we spend almost all our time working directly with patients. Our main duties consist of patient intakes, contraceptive and sexual health counseling, Spanish translation, HIV & pregnancy testing, and performing outreach activities at local school districts. We are a small and collaborative group and work closely with the clinicians, clinic coordinator, and research team to make sure our patients are best served.
Tell us about yourself. I am an East Coast native with a West Coast soul. I found my way to the field of community health through my studies in International Development and later my reproductive health work in Kenya and Guatemala. My position at New Generation Health Center has further solidified my commitment to women’s health in marginalized communities. After my service year, I hope to start my Masters in Public Health and cross some items off my bucket list starting with camping in Yosemite and learning to play an instrument.
The Mission Neighborhood Health Center is a local community clinic dedicated to providing culturally sensitive healthcare services to residents of the Mission Neighborhood. Founded in 1967, MNHC began in a trailer and has now expanded to have four separate locations in San Francisco.
What do you do at your site? My main role is that of a pediatric health coach working with overweight and obese children and their families to help them achieve a healthier lifestyle. I also serve at MNHC’s Valencia Clinic and help expand access to developmental screenings. My new projects include administering a satisfaction survey to our patients experiencing homelessness and partnering with the Alero Project, a nonprofit entity within MNHC dedicated to addressing the mental health and well being of unaccompanied immigrant minors.
Tell us about yourself. I am originally from Texas, but am finding that I am much more suited to life in the Bay Area. I am currently adjusting to the “real world” after recently graduating from Vanderbilt with a Biology and Spanish double major and Art History minor. While not serving with AmeriCorps, I can likely be found waitressing, searching for free food, or dancing. My eventual dream is to end up in medical school (wish me luck!)
San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)/Shelter Health combines street outreach services with emergency shelter services to provide resources and support to people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. The multidisciplinary team within HOT and Shelter Health aim to give culturally sensitive, trauma-informed care with long-term housing and physical and mental well-being as its top priorities.
What do you do at your site? My role is ever-changing and varies every day, but mostly involves offering practical support to street outreach workers, preparing and providing hygiene kits, and clinical support to nurses and nurse practitioners both at shelters and in the field. I am also responsible for linking clients to primary care, sorting out insurance issues, and directing clients to appropriate resources, such as case management, mental health services, and benefits information.
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from University of San Francisco in 2015 with a BA in psychology. Before starting my Americorps experience, I worked in residential substance abuse treatment as a counselor and volunteered at a resource center for people looking to obtain housing assistance and their GED. After Americorps I will continue my journey to become a nurse practitioner within the public health field. When I’m not Americorps-ing you can find me cooking up a new recipe, fretting about student loans, or of course, binge-watching Netflix!
SFDPH Dental Services runs a series of dental clinics and programs promoting oral health and hygiene in San Francisco. This includes a city-wide kindergarten dental screening program at all public elementary schools in coordination with the San Francisco Dental Society. We also provide free preventative dental sealants on-site at some elementary schools.
What do you do at your site? I spend half the time coordinating and managing a dental screening program with volunteer dentists and elementary schools. The other half of the time is spent assisting in providing dental sealants on-site at elementary schools. I also run a garage sale, if there is free time, in order to raise funds to get fun stuff like stickers for the kids that we see.
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in the Bay Area and went to college at UC Riverside where I majored in Microbiology and did research on fungi and bacteria. I also volunteered and interned at a non-profit kids clinic where I learned the importance of public health and universal access to health care. In my free time, I enjoy reading and listening to music and have just recently started a goal of exercising every week.
Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health is a division of the San Francisco Department of Public Health that contains a variety of projects that provide services to women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families who are at increased risk of adverse health outcomes by virtue of financial, language or cultural barriers, or mental or physical disabilities.
What do you do at your site? I serve primarily with the Child Care Health Project doing dental screenings and health education for 0-5 year olds at preschools around the city. I apply fluoride varnish and provide trainings for staff, children, and parents about midday toothbrushing and oral health topics. I also help plan the CCHP and Child Health and Disability Prevention Program’s 8th annual Give Kids a Smile Day, which provides free dental screenings to children at high risk for dental decay.
Tell us about yourself. I’m a 4th generation San Francisco native with a love for all that the city has to offer (burritos, dim sum, fog, and most importantly, my family). I attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where I majored in Biology and the Science in Society Program and coordinated a sexual health education program for public high schoolers. I’m looking forward to applying to medical school during the coming year, and I hope to eventually work in primary care! In the meantime I’m enjoying taking a Spanish class and spending time with my cat, Maggie.
St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic stands in the heart of the Tenderloin and serves a community that faces high rates of poverty, homelessness, and drug abuse. The clinic sees a diverse patient panel and offers various services including psychotherapy, podiatry, and ophthalmology. As part of the St. Anthony Foundation, patients also have access to the Dining Room, Free Clothing Program, Tech Lab, and Social Work Center.
What do you do at your site? As part of the Diabetes Care Team, I host individual diabetes self-management appointments and help with programming of events such as Diabetes Day and Outlier Day. Additionally I have the opportunity to engage with patients through smoking cessation or nutrition counseling. My most rewarding responsibility, however, has been hosting a cooking class where I get to cook healthy meals with my patients!
Tell us about yourself. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and grew up in Riverside, California. As a first generation college student, graduating from UCLA has been one of my most humbling accomplishments and I am even more humbled to say I will be beginning medical school Fall 2016. When I finally find free time, I like checking out different coffee shops, trying different beers, and going on a run!
Silver Avenue Family Health Center is a full-spectrum family medicine clinic within the SF Department of Public Health. We have a very diverse patient population, largely spanish and cantonese speaking. Our goal is to provide the community with affordable, comprehensive, and quality health care services.
What do you do at your site? At Silver, I am a health coach for patients with diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. I provide education, support, and motivation to help patients manage their chronic conditions. I also do patient outreach to increase the percentage of patients who receive routine preventive and chronic care in a timely manner. As a patient experience coordinator, I am the liaison for our patient advisory council and manage patient experience data.
Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Washington, DC, where I spent most of my childhood playing soccer and inventing delicious new cereal combinations. I just graduated from Claremont McKenna in May with majors in Public Health and Spanish. I am so excited to get to know this beautiful city and gain a holistic sense of its public health system!