Equity and Innovation Grant Application



The Equity and Innovation Grants (EIG), formerly Hearts Grants, embodies impactful philanthropy through dynamic partnerships. Since 2004, this program has blossomed into a “high leverage” force. By fortifying partnerships between ZSFG and the SFGHF, it has not only distributed over $13.5 million, but also catalyzed trailblazing initiatives at ZSFG that improve the health and well-being of all San Franciscans. 


In its growth, this grant program has become a pivotal nexus, fostering collaboration that extends far beyond its initial scope. The flexible funding and support provided over the years continue to evolve, addressing the diverse needs of patients and providers at ZSFG.  



2024 Priorities


The EIG priorities invest in the people and projects at the center of ZSFG’s foundational tenets of bringing innovation and compassion to all who walk through its doors. With a deeper understanding of the patients and each other, the SFGHF, alongside subject matter experts at ZSFG, fosters new ways of tackling the city’s toughest health challenges.   


Care for All: Equity and Inclusion 

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation strengthens the city’s public safety net by nurturing cross-sector community partnerships and supporting Zuckerberg San Francisco General with the integration of social determinants of health into its clinical care. We aim to apply the lens of equity to purposefully address those most impacted by structural inequities in our community and meet them where they are. 


Transforming Health Care: Innovation and Leadership 

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation invests in ZSFG’s efforts to test, innovate, and incubate new and transformative models of care, emphasizing whole-person care, team-based approaches, and continuous quality improvements. 

Grantmaking Goals:

Promote Health Equity: Ensure that all members of the community have access to high-quality healthcare services and resources, regardless of their socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, or other demographic factors. 


Foster Innovation: Support innovative approaches and projects that address public health challenges and contribute to improving healthcare outcomes and delivery systems. 


Build Community Partnerships: Strengthen partnerships within ZSFG, and between departments for multidisciplinary solutions and implement effective solutions.  

Equity and Innovation 2021 Grantee - Improving Care for Patients with Substance Use Disorders

Request for Proposals:

Pre-Application Form

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation – Equity and Innovation Grants (EIG) 


2024 Grant Request for Proposals (RFP) Instructions  


The Equity and Innovation Grants program will be centered around supporting the staff and patients at ZSFG through a seed funding grant to plan or scale new ideas and models of care. Please see the priorities and criteria to learn more about the new focus area of our annual grants cycle. There will be two grants awarded at $100,000 each over 18 months (1.5 years). Please plan accordingly and anticipate the project start date for January 1, 2025, and ending on June 31, 2026.  


Equity and Innovation Grant Pre-Applications and Budgets must be submitted directly to San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (the Foundation) through the submission link,  and NOT through the UCSF Contract and Grants Office or other hospital departments. This is the initial phase of the application process.  

Requirements prior to submission:  

  • Two leads (one UCSF employee and one DPH employee) 
  • Direct clinical supervisor approval (UCSF service Chief if UCSF employee, DPH manager if a DPH employee) 
  • DPH sponsor 
  • ZSFG Executive Sponsor 
  • DPH IT approval ( (if technology dependent)
  • Materials management approval (If you have an idea of what to spend, please check if the vendor is a compliant city registered vendor by DPH) (  

*If unsure about your project specific approvals, please reach out to your DPH sponsor for clarification or reference our FAQ.  


If eligible and invited after the pre-application phase, the two project leads will be notified by the Foundation (via to complete the full application by the end of July.


For a preview of the application, click here.

Watch the Equity and Innovation Grants webinar to learn more about this year’s cycle.

The Grants team will be holding office hours on June 3, 2024, 2-3 pm. Please join with this link: EIG Office Hours

Zoom Link for Office Hours
  • No hiring new staff for DPH and UCSF. 
  • Any fraction of time for short term projects can be applied for an individual’s time. No staff time included can exceed 50% FTE. All approval of time must be approved by DPH clinical manager if DPH employee or UCSF Chief if a UCSF employee.  
  • Only include Physician time or UC staff already working at ZSFG and on the Affiliation Agreement. For example, there are no UC Data Analysts or other UC positions that are not already working on campus. This is because ZSFG is not supposed to pay contractors that DPH employees can perform. Also, within the Affiliation Agreement, it should only be paying medical and clinical positions. Quality and Administrative positions shouldn’t be paid for through the Affiliation Agreement. 
  • For DPH staff time, manager/supervisors’ approval is required. The approval will depend on the staff and department needs. The department may not allow if a temp is needed to offset the need to cover the time that might be dedicated to an EIG project.
  • For UCSF staff time, Chief’s approval is needed. The approval will depend on the staff and department needs. There should not be the hiring of an additional temp to offset the need to cover the time that might be dedicated to an EIG project.  
  • Requests for capital equipment (except ambulatory care equipment that are END OF LIFE in Building 5 only), EHR, LCR, or IT system change requests 
  • Basic scientific and/or clinical research will NOT be considered for funding.   
Grant Selection Criteria:
  • Aligns with ZSFG True North 
  • Alignment with Goals and Objectives: Projects must directly promote health equity, foster innovation, and build community partnerships as outlined in the fund’s priorities. 
  • Impact on Health Equity: Preference will be given to initiatives that demonstrate a clear commitment to ensuring equitable access to healthcare services and resources for all members of the community, particularly those in underserved areas. 
  • Innovation Impact: Assess the potential impact of the proposed innovation on patient care, operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall healthcare outcomes. Consider whether the innovation addresses a critical need or challenge within the hospital setting.  
  • Feasibility and Sustainability: Evaluate the feasibility of implementing the innovation within the hospital’s infrastructure, resources, and regulatory requirements. Consider the scalability and long-term sustainability of the innovation beyond the grant period. 
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Assess how much the proposed innovation promotes collaboration within the hospital community, including interdisciplinary teams, external stakeholders, and community organizations. 
  • Patient Centered: Consider the extent to which the innovation prioritizes patient-centered care, including patient satisfaction, engagement, safety, and health outcomes. 
  • Innovation and Creativity: Evaluate the level of innovation and creativity demonstrated in the proposal, including the uniqueness of the approach, and novel solutions to existing healthcare challenges. Innovation defined as introducing new ideas, methods, technologies, or approaches to improve patient care, enhance operational efficiency, and address healthcare challenges  
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Assess the extent to which the proposed innovation is grounded in evidence-based practice, scientific research, and best practices in healthcare delivery. 
  • Scalability and Replicability: Consider the potential for scaling the innovation to other departments or healthcare settings within the hospital, as well as its replicability in other healthcare institutions. 
  • Resource Utilization: Assess the efficient use of resources, including budgetary considerations, resource allocation, and cost-effectiveness of the proposed innovation. 
  • Risk Management and Mitigation: Identify potential risks associated with the implementation of the innovation and evaluate the strategies proposed to mitigate these risks effectively. 
Important Dates:
  • June 3, 2024, 2-3pmEIG Office Hours*
  • June 10, 2024 at 11:59 pm – Pre-Application with Approvals Due
  • June 28, 2024 – Invitation for full application sent
  • July 22, 2024 – 12pm – Invite-Only Full Application Due 
  • August 2024 – Invite-Only Presentation to EIG Committee
  • August 2024 – Award Notification
  • October 2024 – EIG Award Ceremony
*Office Hours will be held as an opportunity for applicants to ask questions and gain clarity in the application process.  
Frequently Asked Questions

For additional questions, please contact, with subject line: EIG 2024.


A Furry Companion

A new pilot program at ZSFG provides patients with cognitive decline a friendly companion during their stay.

Health care Equity

Backpacks After the Check-up

Big smiles for school supplies to get kids ready for distance learning during COVID-19.