Health care Equity

Carr Auditorium was full for the inaugural Equity Awards at ZSFG, an event recognizing diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders.

Hosted by the Equity Council and Director of DE&I, Sophia Lai, the event was filled with recognition for the important work happening behind the scenes to ensure health equity and DEI are central to ZSFG.

Dr. Susan Ehrlich touched upon the importance of this work – both in results but also in the journey. “We began this work together in 2017, adding Equity to our True North triangle,” Dr. Ehrlich said. “As long as we’re moving forward, as long as we’re making strides, that’s a good thing.”

Nominated by colleagues, the winners of this first year’s awards, both individual practitioners and teams, exemplify the deep understanding of ZSFG’s commitment to infusing equity in all aspects of life on campus.

Meet the 2024 Equity Award Winners:

Dannielle McBride, MD and Ursula Griffiths-Randolph, MD, MPH – 6M, Children’s Health Clinic

Dr. Dannielle McBride and Dr. Ursula Griffiths-Randolph bring an important lens to their work with Black-identified families in the Children’s Health Clinic, completing a listening campaign to better understand their patients’ experiences with racism in health care settings and making real shifts to the ways the clinic operates. The Honeycomb Clinic is a pilot clinic that pairs Black-identified patients with a Black-identified clinician, if they choose, allowing for a commonality not often found in health care settings. Dr. Griffiths-Randolph is also a part of the PLUS: Pediatric Leaders Advancing Health Equity Program at UCSF which brings particular attention to ways that systems change and collaborations can improve community health.

Ana Delgado, RN, MS, CNM – Midwife, Family Birth Center

Ana Delgado and her team in the Family Birth Center play an important first role in many new families’ lives. Noticing disparities in the health of her patients, Ana and the FBC team invested time and resources to listen to community voices and find ways to infuse equity into perinatal care. What resulted was the Equity Task Force, increased resources to address inequity and a new way of caring for patients via a new toolkit.

Sojourn Chaplaincy

Sojourn Chaplaincy has a long history of supporting patients, families, and staff at ZSFG. A commitment to diversity is ever-present with this team, intentionally growing to include diverse perspectives, lived experiences, religions, beliefs, and cultures. As Rev. Monica Moore expressed, “I think the part that makes us effective is that we lean into that which we don’t know.”

The Wraparound Project

The Wraparound Project is an innovative program within the Department of Surgery that works to reduce reinjury and criminal recidivism among clients as they recover at the bedside, truly meeting them where they are. The team of Violence Prevention Professionals brings an essential diverse lens to this work, reflecting the community they serve. During a patient’s most difficult moments, the staff shows respect to all patients and brings a level of care many have not received before in a healthcare setting. By assisting with navigating systems, Wraparound brings equity to each moment of the recovery process and has been “woven into the fabric of the medical field.” A 2016 Equity and Innovation Grantee (formerly Hearts Grants), this team continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

Liseli Mulala, Bpharm, MPH, PhD, CDCES, BCMTMS

As a Black pharmacist, Liseli knew that she was showing her community what a pharmacist could look like by being there. But her deep passion for equity drew her to do so much more, analyzing what diversity and inclusion really mean in her field and how it affects her patients. Focusing on discharge counseling with patients, she deeply understands what they need to heal and what it would take to support her patients to get there. A 2021 Equity and Innovation Grantee, Liseli and her team looked at what education resources they were providing and saw the important need for language and cultural competency to be at the forefront. Through a diabetes education resource translation, her team is now ensuring the medical education they provide patients is the best way. Outside of the Pharmacy, Liseli also trains colleagues at ZSFG through Relationship-Centered Communication for Equity Courses which teach tangible ways each provider at ZSFG can infuse equity into patient and team interactions.

Trauma Surgery Nurse Practitioners

For the Trauma Surgery Advanced Practice team, whole-person care begins the moment a patient enters their unit. On top of providing world-class care, the team intentionally engages with patients to understand what will help with heal after their stay at ZSFG. Whether that is to apply for financial assistance or connect them with partners in the community, this team goes above and beyond. “We provide a real anchor to people,” said Vang Petersen. “We provide that stability.”

Brenda Barros, Chief Clerk, Patient Access

Since 1979, before there was an equity department in the City or the Hospital, Brenda has been working towards equity at ZSFG. She has worked tirelessly to change policies and practices at all levels, even introducing anti-racism into policies through bullying frameworks and lobbying supervisors to start a Department of Equity for the city of San Francisco. “I saw a lot of things that just simply weren’t right,” said Barros. “I left it better than it was when I came. That’s my passion.”

Anthony Anies, Ops Manager, Food and Nutrition Services

Anthony manages a large, complex team that is vital to ZSFG, Food and Nutrition Services. Feeding patients, staff, and community members each day with healthy, fresh food takes a village, and Anthony has dedicated his time to ensuring equity shows up within his team as much as it does on the plate. Through systems work and workforce development changes, Anthony is shifting the culture within his department.

Also recognized were Bilal Chaney, Intern/Volunteer Coordinator, Radiology, and Karen Napitan, RN-BC, PHN, Nurse Manager, Inpatient Psychiatry, for their unwavering commitment to equity work in their own departments.

Andrea Turner, JD, MBA, CNMT, ACHE, Former COO at ZSFG

And in a special moment, Dr. Andre Campbell joined the program to present former COO Andrea Turner the first Dr. Andre Campbell Career Achievement Award for her work in co-founding the ZSFG Equity Council and championing equity throughout ZSFG. Dr. Campbell’s example inspires so many to invest the time and resources needed for a more equitable healthcare system.

Here’s to the next generation of health equity advocates.