Population Health and
Health Equity at UCSF
Health systems are designed to care for one person at a time, but the COVID-19 pandemic demands a more complex response. It requires a population mindset with strategies to reach entire communities and entire populations, as well as an equity focus to understand that the most marginalized communities are the most affected.

“Linking population health and health equity to address the pandemic is essential,” notes Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, UCSF’s Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity, explaining, “Testing and vaccinations happen one person at a time, but in order for them to have their respective effects, we have to get a large enough proportion of the population tested, and we have to ensure that the populations with the highest transmission have access to vaccines.”
UCSF’s COVID-19 Community Public Health Task Force exemplifies this approach, coupling the population perspective with health equity interventions designed to deliver needed services, resources, and ongoing support to marginalized Bay Area communities hard hit by the pandemic. Central to the Initiative’s success are the partnerships with trusted local leaders – individuals with lived experience and deep familiarity with community needs.  You can read more about the Chancellor’s Community Public Health approach on our website.

Also, please read below about our two upcoming Colloquium series, The Use of Race in Medicine and Implications for Health Equity and Climate Change and Health. And we are hosting more convenings! Something for everyone! 

We are always adding new datasets for your so please read about COVID modeling data and listen to a video by Dr. Rita Hamad about how to locate research resources at UCSF.
UC Health and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have launched an innovative data modeling consortium to ensure public health policy makers have timely, relevant analysis and insights to support pandemic-related decision making in California. The UC Health & CDPH COVID Modeling Consortium aims to: 

  • Facilitate direct, timely engagement and conversation between policymakers and UC investigators, with weekly discussions focused on high-priority topics such as vaccinations, health equity, economic impact, challenges of new variants, and epidemiological forecasting and nowcasting. 
  • Streamline access to CDPH state COVID data and resources. 
The group has grown to over 150 members from all 10 UC campuses plus CDPH modelers and leaders. The Consortium brings health related investigators together that includes UC faculty from economics, statistics, computer science, ecology and CDPH public health experts to ensure we are prepared to address the challenges of the pandemic holistically. 
American Hospital Association and state Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project data
Please see this link for the full list of the data sets along with what years we have available. To request access, please submit a request for Consultation Services.
Population Health and Health Policy Research resources and datasets

There are lots of free and subsidized data sets available at the local, state, and national levels, as well as computational infrastructure.

Check out this video recording that describes these resources, and email us at with any questions.”
Training Opportunity for Social Scientists

The free ICPSR Summer Program provides 2–4 week rigorous, hands-on training in statistical techniques, research methodologies, and data analysis for social scientists. It is a great opportunity for researchers to upgrade their skills and connect with other researchers from around the world. UCSF is a member institution, so we get discounts. Registration is now open.
Chancellor's COVID Community Public Health Task Force
We recently formed a COVID-19 Vaccine Speakers Group under the leadership of Dr. Alicia Fernandez and with support from the Chancellor's Office. 75+ UCSF Clinical Faculty have volunteered to speak with group of people from communities most impacted by the COVID-19 virus in webinars and tele-town halls organized by community-based organizations and unions. The group includes physicians from multiple specialties and boasts that it can do vaccine education in 7 languages.

The goal of the Speakers Group is to provide a venue for essential workers to talk with physicians in a balanced and patient centered way about their questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. “Particularly noteworthy are endemic reports of under-vaccination of the communities most at risk for the virus. This is not only profoundly unjust, it also undermines vaccination as a public health policy, as it permits the coronavirus to circulate unchecked for longer,” said Dr. Fernandez. Each speaker talks for 5-10 minutes with at least 20 minutes for attendees to ask questions.

If you are a clinician interested in joining, please complete this form.

Please share our brochure with community groups who may want to engage a speaker here.
The UCSF Health Atlas, an interactive population health mapping website, recently underwent several key updates. Our team redesigned the Health Atlas interface for a better experience on mobile. COVID-19 data were added to reflect confirmed case and death totals for nursing home and prison populations, and unemployment data were expanded to include more current 2020 data at the county level. Read more

How UCSF Health’s Office of Population Health is collaborating with primary care providers and community ambassadors to increase flu vaccinations for a historically under-vaccinated population.

In a year dominated by concern around COVID-19, the 2020-21 flu season received comparatively little public attention. Yet last year, as fall approached, UCSF Health’s Office of Population Health felt a growing urgency.

“UCSF takes flu immunization very seriously every year,” recalls Gina Intinarelli, UCSF Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer, “but last year there was significant concern about COVID-19 and flu co-infection.” Fear of a “twindemic” was compounded by the knowledge that communities of color hardest hit by COVID-19 – Black/African-American, Pacific Islander, Chinese, Latinx, and Indigenous populations – are also those who have consistently encountered barriers to flu vaccination. Read more on our website.

March 24, 2021

We are hosting a three-session series of rich, cross-disciplinary events that carve out the much-needed dedicated space to discuss the origins of the use of racial categories in medicine, the controversies surrounding its current use and practice, and future directions for incorporating a race-conscious approach into clinical care, medical education, and research in the context of advancing health equity across all of the UC academic medical institutions.

Dates: March 24, April 7, two additional sessions TBD

Official event announcement and online RSVP information to be sent late February to all faculty, staff and learners.

Contact information: Stephanie Belger
Climate Change and Health

March 18, 2021
2:30-4:00 PM
This is the first session of a 3-part Climate Change and Health Speaker Series hosted by the UCSF Office of Population Health and Health Equity and the UCSF Center for Climate Change and Health. See here for information on the full series.
Climate Change and Health

Thursday, April 15
2:30-4:00 PM

Climate change is anticipated to unleash unprecedented threats to global food security and to drive the largest wave of human migration in history. This session will evaluate the intersection of climate change with the social determinants of health, emphasizing the compounding connections between a warming climate, food and water security, and migration.
Climate Change and Health

May 20th
2:30-4:00 PM

There has never been a more critical time for advancing health, equity and social justice while addressing climate change. This session will focus on the synergies between climate and racial justice movements and their promise in improving health, and community-based advocacy and policy initiatives to promote climate and racial justice in California and beyond.