UC Davis Health in the community
We're proud to be actively involved in advancing health and health care throughout the Sacramento region via a wide variety of community engagement activities, such as:
- supporting a variety of health improvement services and projects
- educating future health professionals who will serve the region
- conducting research that improves lives
- contributing to the region’s economy and vitality through a talented workforce, and
- reinvesting resources into the community.
In 2016 alone UC Davis participated in, partnered with or sponsored nearly 250 different community events and programs – ranging from an annual Black Physicians Forum and American Cancer Society activities to a Latino Health Conference and the TLCS Mental Health Crisis Respite Center.
To learn more about some of these community engagement activities, please see the highlights below.
Communities and Health Professionals Together
The Communities and Health Professionals Together program brings UC Davis pediatricians and physicians-in-training to disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Sacramento region, where they can help meet the health needs of children while also learning how to be effective child advocates.
WellSpace Oak Park Pediatric Clinic
The health system supports much-needed pediatric services in partnership with WellSpace Health, a regional Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). UC Davis pediatricians provide clinical care to children and youth at the Oak Park Community Health Center, where patients receive integrated services including primary care, pediatric dental services, child and adult psychiatry, as well as counseling and psychotherapy.
Pediatric Clinic at Primary Care Center and Sacramento Native American Health Center
UC Davis physicians manage a pediatric clinic at the Sacramento County Primary Care Center that serves children residing in the county, including many patients on Medi-Cal. UC Davis physicians also provide services for pediatric patients at Sacramento Native American Health Center.
Sacramento Physicians’ Initiative to Reach Out, Innovate and Teach (SPIRIT)
UC Davis Health is part of a community collaborative through the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society called SPIRIT. SPIRIT helps provide case management for patients, including specialty services and surgical procedures at local hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, all free of charge. Local hospitals and physicians have donated thousands of hours through SPIRIT.
In 2016, the SPIRIT program collaborated with Sacramento County Health and Human Services to launch the Healthy Partners Program, Sacramento County's health coverage program for undocumented residents. With the support of the Medical Society and the region’s health systems, Healthy Partners has enrolled 3,000 undocumented Sacramento County residents and provided them with a medical home, access to specialty care, prescriptions, interpreting services and other basic services.
UC Davis Medical Center partners with Sacramento Covered to employ a patient navigator in its emergency department, where they provide on-site assistance and help ensure continuity of care after patients leave the hospital. The navigator assists in determining health insurance eligibility and retention of coverage for patients, as well as assisting with other public benefits, which helps children and their families each year. In addition, funding is provided to Sacramento Covered to provide education, outreach and navigation services to families throughout Sacramento County.
Interim Care Program (ICP)
In 2005, a collaborative of hospital systems, community based organizations, and Sacramento County created a respite care shelter for homeless patients discharged from Sacramento hospitals. UC Davis Medical Center provides ongoing funding for the Interim Care Program (ICP). Volunteers of America provides beds in a designated wing of the shelter, where clients have a safe, clean place to recover from their hospitalizations. WellSpace Health provides on-site nursing and case-management social services to support clients in their recuperation and help them move out of homelessness.
UC Davis School of Medicine Student-Run Clinics
UC Davis medical students operate free community health clinics, including several in neighborhoods around the medical center. Each clinic is overseen by volunteer physicians and emphasizes care to specific populations, including ethnic groups, intravenous drug users, sex industry workers, the undocumented, and the LGBTQ community.
The unique and popular Doctor PE program brings UC Davis family and community medicine residents to rural Walnut Grove Elementary School twice each week to teach physical education. The goal is to encourage the students to do physical activity every day, which can help them do well in academics now and avoid serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease later.
Wellspring Women’s Center Nutritious Meal Program
With support from UC Davis Health, any woman and/or child is eligible to enjoy a healthy meal in the welcoming environment of Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood. Additionally, UC Davis Health is helping to fund Wellspring’s kitchen remodeling project.
Food Literacy Education for Elementary Students
The health system supports Sacramento’s Food Literacy Center to help promote food literacy child nutrition education programs, which serve low-income, pre-kindergarten through 6th graders – those youngsters most at risk due to their lack of access to healthy food. More than 950 students benefitted from the program in the 2016-17 academic school year.
River City Food Bank Most Important Meal and BackSnacks Programs
The health system supports two of River City Food Bank’s programs – the Most Important Meal and BackSnacks programs. The Most Important Meal program provides low-income seniors with a weekly bag of healthy, nutritious breakfast foods. In 2016, 36,000 seniors received 40,000 pounds of food. The BackSnacks program provides children at risk of hunger on weekends and schools days with nutritious snacks and food. The program currently works with six schools, including Rosa Parks, Dyer Kelly and Ethel Baker, and distributed close to 40,000 pounds of food in 2016.
UC Davis Health Farmers Market
The health system’s Farmers Market provides weekly access to local, fresh fruits and vegetables for neighbors living around UC Davis Medical Center. The seasonal market offers farm-fresh fruits and vegetables as well as many other specialty items.
Elmhurst-Med Center Community Garden
In collaboration with the City of Sacramento and elected officials, the health system supports a community garden for the Oak Park, Elmhurst and Tahoe Park neighborhoods. The garden's 24 plots, herb garden and fruit trees help enable residents to grow healthy food.
UC Davis Trauma Prevention Program
UC Davis’ Trauma Prevention and Outreach program supports child and adolescent injury prevention efforts throughout the Sacramento region. The program offers education to prevent the most common childhood injuries and provides free car seats, bike helmets and life jackets for children from underserved families. UC Davis staff gave away more than 3,000 car and booster seats between 2013 and early 2016.
Improving Asthma Diagnosis and Management at School
UC Davis Health partners with Breathe California on its program to improve asthma diagnosis and management at schools. The effort aims to improve asthma awareness, diagnosis, and management among low-income parents whose children are both diagnosed and undiagnosed with asthma. The program also works to improve management of asthmatic children by school-site staff. In addition to providing health care providers as volunteers, UC Davis Health helps fund the programs at three local schools: Ethel Phillips, Father Keith B. Kenney and Pacific.
Project ADAM Sacramento
Care team members from UC Davis participate in Project ADAM as a way to help eradicate sudden cardiac death in children through research, education and prevention initiatives. UC Davis Children’s Hospital became the first California affiliate for the program when it launched the initiative at Sacramento High School in in 2015.
WayUp Field Lesson
UC Davis Health has hosted more than 500 Oak Park fourth-grade students for career exploration days over the past five years. Created by Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer, the WayUp Sacramento Field Lesson is part of a partnership to engage underserved elementary students and build their awareness about careers in health care.
Student Therapy Education Program (STEP)
This weekly program in conjunction with Health Professions High School provides students an opportunity to learn about health-related careers in physical medicine and rehabilitation therapies. Students gain awareness and, potentially, career inspiration by shadowing UC Davis clinicians in both hospital and outpatient settings.
K-14 Outreach Programs
UC Davis School of Medicine's K-14 outreach programs offer a variety of educational opportunities throughout the year that give students a unique opportunity to learn about medicine, science and health-related careers. Students from regional schools participate in the programs, which are designed to encourage young people from economically disadvantaged communities toward advanced education and careers in health.
Pathways to Allied Health Care Careers Program
The Pathways program offers a year-long comprehensive curriculum providing education and exposure for high school students to a variety of allied health care careers, including radiology, pathology, pharmacology and more.
High School Paid Internship Program
UC Davis Health is partnering with the City of Sacramento’s high school paid internship program by hiring several students to work in a variety of departments. Students will learn various skills and about jobs available in the health care arena.
Bender Court Crisis Residential
UC Davis Medical Center supports the Turning Point Bender Court Crisis Residential program, which offers a safe and supportive short-term environment for individuals experiencing mental health challenges with a goal of symptom stabilization. Services include housing assistance, links to primary care providers, assistance with attaining benefits, and connections to resources such as public transportation. Members also attend meetings and therapy to practice learned coping skills, in hopes of increasing harm reduction and preventing ER visits. Bender Court only receives referrals from a select emergency department, UC Davis Medical Center, and offers short-term services to adults within Sacramento County. Average length of stay is between 3-14 days, with a maximum of 30 days.
Mental Health Collaborative Efforts
The four regional health systems have made significant investments to improve the quality of care provided to behavioral health patient populations, both inside and beyond the walls of the local hospitals. In partnership with the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) and first responders in Sacramento, the four health systems collaborated to build a Mental Health Improvement Coalition, focused on working with Sacramento County leaders, making significant progress and resulting in securing County funds for vital services.
Cottage Housing Mindfulness Program
The nonprofit Cottage Housing, Inc. (CHI) provides long-term housing and supportive services for formerly homeless individuals and families who struggle with substance abuse and other disabilities. UC Davis Health is funding a new Mindfulness program at Quinn Cottages designed to help mitigate and control many of the visible effects of mental health issues (illnesses) prevalent among homeless people, such as PTSD, psychosis, schizophrenia and depression. The program includes individual counseling with mental health professionals, yoga classes, art and music programs and anger-management exercises.
SMART Medical Clearance Form
The regional's medical community came together to successfully create and implement the SSVMS SMART Medical Clearance Form, and UC Davis Medical Center is one of several area hospitals to exclusively use the SMART medical clearance tool. SMART allows the region’s health systems and physicians to collaborate, standardize, promote patient safety, reduce unnecessary testing, reduce costs and reduce delays for patients experiencing mental health crises. The tool is now being used in communities throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Some examples of other community engagement efforts at UC Davis Health.
Pathways to Health + Home Whole Person Care pilot program
The Pathways to Health + Home Whole Person Care pilot (WPC) is an opportunity for the City of Sacramento to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing the health, social and housing needs of its most vulnerable populations, with a specific focus on those with significant unmet health care needs and who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The pilot is led by the city in partnership with a broad range of community and health care stakeholders, including all current Medi-Cal managed care plans, all four local hospital systems, FQHCs, homeless organizations, police, fire and other community-based organizations. The pilot will create an integrated system of care that can support people with a variety of services around outreach, case management, physical health, behavioral health, substance abuse and housing. UC Davis Health will participate in the program.
UC Davis Health's partnerships with wellness-related community organizations and events also include athletics programs such as UC Davis Aggies Athletics, the California International Marathon (CIM) and the popular Sacramento Republic FC professional soccer club.
The health system is a founding and ongoing season-presenting partner of the Republic FC, for instance, and serves as the official medical provider for the club’s players. UC Davis Health’s kit (jersey) sponsorship of the team helps to emphasize and normalize health and outdoor activity for youth, and the partnership also creates opportunities for wellness-related community activities such as pre-game health screenings for fans.
At one recent Republic match, UC Davis providers and staffers screened dozens of attendees for head and neck cancers, and educated many more on symptoms and risk factors for the disease.
UC Davis registered dietitians provide nutritional information to runners at the CIM's pre-race Expo, where participants pick up their registration packets. Some 20,000 people attend the Expo each year. UC Davis medical volunteers also provide care at the run itself (including some life-saving efforts at the 2016 event).
Staff Offering Service (SOS) Program
Staff Offering Service (SOS) Program is the health system’s employee volunteer program, which has provided tens of thousands of hours of assistance to community and non-profit organizations since 1992. Employees have given their time and energy to entities such as the Sacramento Food Bank, NextMove, Ronald McDonald House, River City Food Bank and Sacramento Children’s Home.