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About the Center

The Center for Health and Community at UCSF (CHC) was established to assess the challenges of the changing health care delivery environment and identify policies and interventions that will maximize the beneficial impact of the changing health care delivery system.

The Center is comprised of programs and individual faculty from all UCSF Schools who have been at the cutting edge of health services and policy-related research for many years, and includes the basic social and behavioral scientists in epidemiology, health policy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, bioethics, economics, and clinical research.

Under the leadership of CHC, scientists, clinicians and policy analysts collaborate through multidisciplinary groups designed to promote comprehensive approaches to health problems, and to bridge the gap between medicine and social science. These collaborative activities offer new opportunities to delivery systems, community health, research, and population health perspectives that form the Center's academic vision. According to Dr. Nancy Adler, Director of the Center for Health and Community, there is "a good deal of research that shows us we cannot isolate physical diseases from our emotions, behaviors and experiences." More than half of premature deaths can be prevented through changes in behavior, environment, and lifestyle-a fact that has been largely ignored by traditional medicine. The Center places special research emphasis on the human side of health care, on who the patient is rather than what disease the patient has.

The Center also plays a leading role in developing innovative curricula for both pre-clinical and clinical years that will promote an understanding of the contributions of non-biological factors to health, disease, and recovery. Drawing on its strong and diverse faculty from various schools and departments, CHC provides both pre- and postdoctoral students with professional tools to deal with social, psychological and cultural issues in the clinical setting and prepares students to work in a complex socio-political professional environment that crosses traditional boundaries. Through these and other activities, Center members are taking steps to improve care to individuals and communities, shape health care policy, and educate future health care providers.

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