2021 Hearts Grantees

Learn more about the innovation and compassion our team provides each day to patients in need.

Breastfeeding Promoting Incentives

There is a breastfeeding disparity among racial and ethnic minority groups compared to white groups. The proposed project will provide incentives to patients attending ZSFG breastfeeding classes. An increased attendance rate will improve breastfeeding initiation among the BIPOC community.

MHRC Supportive Transitions

The Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC) is a locked 47-bed psychiatric facility providing recovery focused care to persons with severe mental illness (SMI). Treatment focuses on empowering and partnering with the client to reach their goals and gain the skills and supports needed to live a healthy, meaningful life in the community.  This proposed project will provide patients with therapeutic items and resources for coping, discharge, and home supplies to support easy transition. This can decrease anxiety levels during times of transitions empowering them to manage their distress.

Improving Recruitment & Retention of BIPOC Staff

The Division of Trauma Recovery Services seeks a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) recruitment/retention consultant to work within parameters of UCSF and DPH to target a diverse applicant pool in order to identify key areas of concern for the BIPOC staff that impact retention and produce solutions collaboratively with leadership to create action plans to implement. Increasing the workforce awareness of white supremacy yields a more anti-racist environment for the clients, many who have experiences racism and oppression.
The Division of Trauma Recovery Services seeks a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) recruitment/retention consultant to work within parameters of UCSF and DPH to target a diverse applicant pool in order to identify key areas of concern for the BIPOC staff that impact retention and produce solutions collaboratively with leadership to create action plans to implement. Increasing the workforce awareness of white supremacy yields a more anti-racist environment for the clients, many who have experiences racism and oppression.

CHANGE SF and La Borinqueña

ZSFG Department of Psychiatry, ZSFG Latinx Task Force and ZSFG Black Task Force propose a Youth Mental Health Campaign and Ambassadors Program for ZSFG patients and youth in San Francisco communities focused on trauma, resilience, and positive racial identity.

Beyond Medical Care

Care Experience will establish a mechanism to highlight patients in need of comfort items during their hospital stay, supporting them during the transition from hospital to community and supporting them through upsetting experiences while at ZSFG.

Sensory Rooms and Healing Alternatives

The Psychiatry department will create and use sensory rooms to provide a calm, nurturing, safe space to promote healing and recovery. Sensory rooms are a calming space equipped with tools to decrease agitation and prevent use of seclusion and restraints (S/R). The rooms have equipment to facilitate relaxation, including a bubble wall, aromatherapy, plants, relaxing music, rocking chair, weighted stuffed animals/blankets and more.

AHP & Chill HIV Prevention Workshop Series

AHP & Chill offers health information for black and brown men and transgender people who are disproportionately at risk for HIV, STDs and other health disparities. This workshop series is a culturally responsive outreach method developed by people of color from our Sexual Health Services team.

Diabetes Education Materials

Discharge counseling is not reducing readmissions for Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (ANHPI). Most diabetes education videos are in English & Spanish. Translating existing materials into multiple ANHPI languages & culturally appropriate materials in color could reduce ANHPI readmissions.

Messaging Campaign for Colorectal Cancer Screening

The United States Preventive Services Taskforce released new guidelines with Grade B recommendation that all adults ages 45-49 undergo screening for colorectal cancer.  Gastroenterology proposes a low-cost, one-time messaging campaign utilizing mailings and/or text messaging to announce this change to the San Francisco Health Network population.

Culturally Responsive Pharmaceutical Care

People with basic and below basic health literacy skills are at risk for negative health outcomes. “High-risk” population groups at risk for low health literacy include persons with limited education, members of ethnic minorities, and people who spoke a language other than English in their childhood home. The proposed project will provide culturally responsive pharmaceutical care through language, understanding, and compassion. This can ensure ZSFG Pharmacy communicates prescription instructions with cultural relevance to ZSFG patients with limited English proficiency.

Team Engagement to Improve Clinic Workflow, Patient Care, and Access to Care

There are challenges to streamline workflows, motivate team engagement, and timeliness in patient care. There is a disconnect with clinical staff in working collaboratively among each other as a team and understanding underlying causes can improve care at and work culture at Ward 92. The proposed project will provide an opportunity for the team to do a root cause analysis, have staff voice out concerns, discuss barriers, and work together to find solutions to improve workflow, and clinical staff roles. Having a retreat for Ward 92 staff to address current equity disparities in accessing care at Ward 92 for patients, improve team engagement, discuss current workflow on what’s working and what’s not, and to improve collaboration with providers to better serve ZSFG patients.

Addressing Barriers to Colon Cancer Care

Colorectal cancer (CRC) disproportionately burdens underserved populations, including racial minorities and individuals from lower socioeconomic classes. The proposed project aims to gain a better understanding and address barriers encountered by patients diagnosed with colon cancer at ZSFG when orchestrating their medical and surgical cancer care.

Reduce Disparities in Childhood Obesity

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified disparities in childhood obesity due to prolonged closures of schools, playgrounds and recreational activities. Children with obesity require frequent follow-up visits for optimal outcomes. ZSFG has no population management program to identify these patients and ensure regular follow-up. In addition, food insecurity and structural barriers that low-income families face in enrolling children in physical activity programs lead patients at great risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and must be addressed to reduce disparities in health outcomes. The proposed project will bring on an independent contractor to survey areas of improvement in order to track follow up and ensure access to lifestyle education around childhood obesity.

Robotic Pets for Hospitalized Older Adults

About 50% of patients have cognitive impairment in the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) unit, putting them at risk for negative outcomes and exacerbation of dementia behaviors. This can lead to longer hospital stays, higher healthcare costs, and negative care experiences.

This project aims to use an innovative, technological, non-pharmacologic intervention to reduce delirium and agitation in hospitalized older adults with dementia. ACE proposes to purchase 250 robotic pets for patients with dementia who experience behavioral problems or other psychological symptoms.

Community Outreach Spot a Stroke

Rapid identification of stroke is critical to improving patient outcomes. 69% of ischemic stroke patients at ZSFG delay in getting care. A disproportionate number of these patients identify as BIPOC. This project aims to increase stroke awareness and promote healthful habits to decrease stroke risk.

Wet to Dry Improving Urinary Incontinence Care

To improve the care of women with urinary incontinence, OBGYN proposes to buy portable TENS units for patients to do home treatment and purchase a new office-based urodynamic testing machine.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa Support Group

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a high-morbidity dermatologic condition that leads to painful, draining boils, abscesses and sinus tracts in body folds, including the armpits, buttocks and groin/genital area. This debilitating skin disease is strongly linked with other medical co-morbidities, including depression, anxiety, obesity, inflammatory arthritis, and substance use disorder. This project will provide patients an opportunity to join Hope for HS, an established organization that provides a forum for patients to connect with one another, share personal experiences, and coping strategies. Patients who attend Hope for HS will receive incentives for their participation.

BIPOC Nursing Externship

The Nursing department is requesting a two-year grant to pilot a black, indigenous and people (BIPOC) externship program to provide structured learning to students particularly from underserved communities. The program will recruit 10 nursing students each summer to participate in the externship. At the end of the program, the students will receive a letter of recognition for their preceptorship. The department will evaluate whether the program improves BIPOC recruitment at ZSFG.

Care for Immigrant Patients Seeking Asylum

Clinicians are unlikely to be aware of immigrant patients who are seeking asylum. Likewise, people seeking asylum may not be aware of the legal resources needed to successfully pursue their case. This project will train clinicians across disciplines to develop forensic evaluation skills. Clinicians will be able to identify physical injuries sustained form abuse and psychological trauma. Clinicians will partner with Bay Area Legal to help immigrant patients who are afraid for their safety to obtain lawful status in the U.S. through a grant of asylum.

Improving Care for Patients with Substance Use Disorders

Addiction Care Team will provide harm reduction and motivational interviewing training for ACT and partners to improve substance use disorders (SUD) care. The training will be paired with patient incentives to complete hospitalization, improve patient/provider experience, and reduce self-discharge. Contingency management (CM) is evidence-based treatment for stimulant use disorder. CM works by providing a reward for objective behavioral change. Incentives will be rewarded for attendance and stimulant-negative urine toxicology. ACT will refer patients to CM at the Bridge Clinic, ZSFG’s outpatient SUD clinic, and to Heart Plus, an addiction/cardiology CM clinic for patients with heart failure and stimulant use.

Helmets for All in Need

The Neurosurgery Department aims to decrease traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by bike, skateboard, motorized scooter, and similar accidents in San Francisco. The helmet program will provide youth or adult patients in need with access to a helmet and general TBI and helmet safety education.

Hospitalized Patient Education and Communication

Epic and eVideon afford several patient education and communication tools that are currently under-leveraged for purposes of effectively connecting with the diverse population served at ZSFG. The project aims to standardize the use of tools and resources to enhance disease education delivered to patients.

Code Lavender

Code Lavender is a crisis intervention tool that healthcare workers at ZSFG can call in a challenging situation. A team responds within a reasonable time, to perform a rapid assessment and provide wellness resources for healthcare workers during and immediately following a trauma incident.

BIPOC Hair Care

This project will provide specialized hair care products to meet the unique needs of our BIPOC patients. In addition, Intensive Care Unit clinicians will be educated on the cultural significance of hair care and its relation to fostering an inclusive care environment.

Reducing Emergency Department Workplace Violence

The Emergency Department Violence Taskforce address the concerning number of aggressive and violent acts. Using a patient-centric approach, the mission of the Taskforce is to develop best practices for violence reduction. This project will provide alternative activities to help calm behavioral health patients. Patients and staff have conveyed that installing secured televisions in the behavioral health rooms would be an effective distraction technique to calm down and manage anger and anxiety.

Pregnancy Pop-Up Village in Bayview

Pregnancy Pop-Up Village is an innovative model of care building on a 2020 Hearts Grant that supported the planning phase. Request for funding this year will support implementation. Designing Justice + Designing Space will be brought on to build an engagement space and provide facilitation between institutional and community partners. This project illustrates strong community engagement and partnerships as well.

Patient-Centered Approach to Reduce Colon Surgery Infections

Patient education is an area for improvement identified by the Colon Surgical Site Infection task force. The taskforce is requesting funding to create a patient educational program for best practices. Members of perioperative anesthesia and surgery clinics will lead patient education classes focused on bowel preparation, cleansing, hydration, and glucose control before surgery. Educational materials will be translated in Spanish and Cantonese.

Your generosity will have an immediate impact—and a lasting effect—on the equity and efficacy of public health in San Francisco.

Ready to invest in equitable healthcare for every San Franciscan?
Contact Allison Arden, Development Director, Major & Individual Gifts at

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