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Federal grant to SF State and City College for national model



Denize Springer
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Colleges collaborate on Metropolitan Health Academy, a new way of preparing undergraduate students for careers in health education and policy at the community level

SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, 2007 -- A partnership between San Francisco State University and City College of San Francisco (CCSF) was awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Education grant to create a national model for community health education. The $600,000 grant from the Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) will support curriculum development for the Metropolitan Health Academy, a model program designed to encourage and assist ethnically diverse students to pursue long-term careers in community health.

"We view this support as a show of confidence by the U.S. Department of Education in SF State's and CCSF's 15-years of collaboration on the community health front," said Mary Beth Love, professor and chair of the Health Education Department in SF State's College of Health and Human Services. "FIPSE funds only the top 3 percent of grant applications and only those deemed to have the highest potential for lasting national impact." Love is co-investigator on the project with Vicki Legion, a CCSF faculty member.

Love said the academy's curriculum will focus on finding the most effective ways to improve community health. Although the United States spends twice as much on health care as any other industrialized country, it is only 26th in the world in terms of infant mortality and 30th in life expectancy. The latest research indicates that the most important components to health are not one-on-one visits between patient and health practitioner but community-level interventions. Academy students will study and participate in public health campaigns such as anti-tobacco initiatives and efforts to get junk food off school campuses.

Other important goals of the project are to amend academic policy to allow community college students to transfer 100 percent of the community college credits they earn to four-year universities and establish more hands-on learning experiences in the community.

The project coincides with an upcoming PBS television series, "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick," intended to spark a national conversation about the social determinants of health. SF State and CCSF are part of a consortium committed to incorporating the series into college classroom lessons as well as public discussions on healthcare policy and delivery in the United States.

The SF State Department of Health Education and CCSF's Department of Health Education and Community Health Studies partner on many community-based projects intended to eliminate health inequities and to diversify the public health and primary care workforce. One project, Community Health Works, is a nationally recognized model for community-based centers that focus on public health and primary care for low-income and immigrant communities.


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Last modified April 26, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications