Community Engagement | UC Davis Health

Community engagement

UC Davis Health in the community

Doctor and kids play

We're proud to be actively involved in advancing health and health care throughout the Sacramento region. Every year, UC Davis Health participates in, partners with or sponsors over 200 community events and programs focused on:

  • Investing resources in the community
  • Educating future health professionals who will serve the region
  • Supporting a variety of health improvement services and projects
  • Conducting research that improves lives
  • Contributing to the region’s economy and vitality through a talented workforce

Read the most recent community investment highlights (PDF)

Community Health Needs Assessment

Every three years, UC Davis Health collaborates with other local health systems on a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report, which identifies and prioritizes the significant health needs of people living in the Sacramento region.

Review the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (PDF)

Review the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment Implementation Strategy (PDF)

Review the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment Technical Report (PDF)

The 2019 (PDF)2016 (PDF) and 2013 (PDF) CHNA reports and the 2019 Implementation Plan (PDF) also are available for review.

UC Davis Health contributes expertise and funding to programs that elevate the health of our entire community. Read about some of this work in our inaugural Community Benefit Report (PDF).

More information about our community engagement activities is below.

Employees standing in front of UC Davis sign

Pediatric and Primary Care Services at Community Health Centers

UC Davis Health supports primary care services in partnership with the region's community health centers. The health centers are committed to providing comprehensive and patient-centered care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries, underserved communities, and many others in the region.

Family medicine physicians provide clinical care to Yolo County residents at the CommuniCare clinic in West Sacramento, where patients receive primary care, pediatric, and other care services. Pediatricians serve children at Sacramento Native American Health Center and the Sacramento County Health Center. Internal medicine and psychiatry providers also offer preventive medicine, acute care, and behavioral health services at the County's Health Center and One Community Health.

In 2018, UC Davis Health partnered with Elica Health for behavioral health services. In addition to psychiatric intake, evaluation, and treatment services, providers are working with Elica to develop integrated behavioral health models in all of their clinics.

UC Davis School of Medicine Student-Run Clinics

UC Davis medical students operate free community health clinics, including several in neighborhoods around the medical center. Each clinic is overseen by volunteer physicians and emphasizes care to specific populations, including ethnic groups, intravenous drug users, sex industry workers, the undocumented, and the LGBTQ community.

Communities and Health Professionals Together

The Communities and Health Professionals Together program brings UC Davis Health pediatricians and physicians-in-training to disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Sacramento region, where they can help meet the health needs of children while also learning how to be effective child advocates.

Sacramento Covered

UC Davis Medical Center partners with Sacramento Covered to employ a patient navigator in its emergency department, where they provide on-site assistance and help ensure continuity of care after patients leave the hospital. The navigator assists in determining health insurance eligibility and retention of coverage for patients, as well as assisting with other public benefits, which helps children and their families each year. In addition, UC Davis Health provides funding to Sacramento Covered to provide education, outreach and navigation services to families throughout Sacramento County.

Sacramento Physicians' Initiative to Reach Out, Innovate and Teach (SPIRIT)

UC Davis Health is part of a community collaborative through the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society called SPIRIT. SPIRIT helps provide case management for patients, including specialty services and surgical procedures at local hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, all free of charge. UC Davis Health provides direct operating support for the SPIRIT program.

Healthy Partners

In 2016, the SPIRIT program collaborated with Sacramento County Health and Human Services to launch the Healthy Partners Program, Sacramento County's health coverage program for undocumented residents. With the support of the Medical Society and the region's health systems, Healthy Partners has enrolled 3,000 undocumented Sacramento County residents and provided them with a medical home, access to specialty care, prescriptions, interpreting services and other basic services.

UC Davis Health-HALO Partnership

In 2018, a unique collaboration spearheaded by UC Davis Health cancer specialists, was launched to enhance cancer prevention, screening, detection and specialty oncology care for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Sacramento. In partnership with Health and Life Organization (HALO), the initiative seeks to identify Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders ages 11-75 at risk for cancers, particularly those associated with infections, so patients can receive the expert care they need.

Sacramento Citywide Oncology Program (SCOPE)

Providing the capabilities necessary to translate emerging medications from the laboratory to the patient, the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in the Sacramento region with the infrastructure necessary to conduct rigorous early-phase clinical trials. To fulfill its mission of reducing mortality from advanced cancer, UC Davis Health launched SCOPE, a community alliance of physicians providing leading edge cancer treatments in the region. With physicians from Kaiser Permanente, Sierra Hematology Oncology, Sutter Medical Foundation, and other patient advocates, the collaborative seeks to improve advanced cancer care and bring novel therapies directly to patients who need them.

Elmhurst-Med Center Community Garden

In collaboration with the City of Sacramento and elected officials, the health system supports a community garden for the Oak Park, Elmhurst and Tahoe Park neighborhoods. The garden's 24 plots, herb garden and fruit trees help enable residents to grow healthy food.

Food Literacy Education for Elementary Students

UC Davis Health supports the Food Literacy Center, a community organization that fills a critical need for quality nutrition education and increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables. With assistance from UC Davis Health, the center promotes food literacy child nutrition education programs, which serve low-income, pre-kindergarten through 6th graders – those youngsters most at risk due to their lack of access to healthy food. Since 2016, over 1,500 students have benefitted from the program.

Oak Park Farmers Market

Oak Park farmers market

The Oak Park Farmers Market features a diverse group of vendors selling locally produced and delicious fruits and vegetables, specialty plants and sprouts, breads, cheese, tamales, fresh flowers and more. In addition, the market also provides a variety of interactive activities each week, including live music from local bands, activities for children (story-telling, face painting, and art projects), and information and giveaways from area non-profits and other organizations. UC Davis Health provides financial support for the market's general operating budget.

UC Davis Health Farmers Market

The health system's Farmers Market provides weekly access to local, fresh fruits and vegetables for neighbors living around UC Davis Medical Center. The seasonal market offers farm-fresh fruits and vegetables as well as many other specialty items.

UC Davis Trauma Prevention Program

UC Davis Trauma Prevention Program

UC Davis Health's Trauma Prevention and Outreach program supports child and adolescent injury prevention efforts throughout the Sacramento region. The program offers education to prevent the most common childhood injuries and provides free car seats, bike helmets and life jackets for children from underserved families. Since 2016, UC Davis Health has provided more than 6,000 car and booster seats, 7,500 bike helmets, conducted more than 6,000 car seat classes and provided over 20,000 students and families with helmet safety education.

Every 15 Minutes

This two-day program for high school juniors and seniors teaches the risks associated with underage drinking. The program challenges them to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, the responsibility of making mature decisions, and the impact their decisions might have on family and friends. UC Davis Health has been actively involved since 1997 and provides in-kind support through volunteer nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and clinical pastoral services.

Project ADAM Sacramento

Project ADAM Sacramento

Care team members from UC Davis Health participate in Project ADAM as a way to help eradicate sudden cardiac death in children through research, education and prevention initiatives. UC Davis Children's Hospital became the first California affiliate for the program when it launched the initiative at Sacramento High School in in 2015.

Nutrition Outreach and Education

The UC Davis Health nutrition program participates in a number of activities and events that encourage and promote healthy eating habits throughout the Sacramento region. This year, UC Davis Health dieticians attended 37 events and provided educational classes and presentations on a variety of topics including children with Type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and nutrition seminars, bariatric support group meetings, and diet and Parkinson's disease.

WayUp Field Lesson

WayUp Field Lesson

UC Davis Health has hosted more than 500 Oak Park fourth-grade students for career exploration days over the past five years. Created by Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer, the WayUp Sacramento Field Lesson is part of a partnership to engage underserved elementary students and build their awareness about careers in health care.

Cristo Rey Work Study Program

UC Davis Health partners with the Cristo Rey High School Work Study Program. This program provides a means for students to break down the financial and social barriers that exist for socio-economic challenged youth wishing to obtain a college education. Each student, beginning freshman year, works five days per month in UC Davis Health's Center for Virtual Care. Students have the opportunity to work closely with UC Davis Health physicians and nursing staff to support training programs using human patient simulators.

Thousand Strong Internship Program

Thousand Strong Internship Program

UC Davis Health partners with the City of Sacramento's Thousand Strong Internship Program, a workforce initiative developed by Mayor Darrell Steinberg. The program offers professional, paid internships that allow high school students to explore health care careers while gaining experiential learning of the profession. Prior to placement, all Thousand Strong interns complete 40 hours of soft skills and professional skills training to prepare them for the workplace.

Triage Navigator Program (TNP)

UC Davis Health participates in the Triage Navigator Program. The program works to reduce unnecessary incarceration and inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Navigators are located in six Sacramento county emergency departments, including UC Davis Health, who work with peer navigators to support after care upon discharge and continue to support participants for up to 60 days after the first face-to-face meeting with clients experiencing a mental health crisis.

Interim Care Program

In 2005, a collaborative of hospital systems, community based organizations, and Sacramento County created a respite care shelter for homeless patients discharged from Sacramento hospitals. To ensure patients have a safe, clean place to recover from their hospitalizations, the Interim Care Program (ICP) places patients in a nurse-managed unit maintained and operated by WellSpace Health, an organization that provides meals, bed rest, on-site nursing care, self-care, and case managers who provide transportation to ongoing health and other treatment services, assist with housing placement, and other assertive community treatment supports. UC Davis Medical Center provides ongoing operational funding and support for the Interim Care Program (ICP).

SMART Medical Clearance Form

The regional's medical community came together to successfully create and implement the SSVMS SMART Medical Clearance Form (PDF), and UC Davis Medical Center is one of several area hospitals to exclusively use the SMART medical clearance tool. SMART allows the region's health systems and physicians to collaborate, standardize, promote patient safety, reduce unnecessary testing, reduce costs and reduce delays for patients experiencing mental health crises. The tool is now being used in communities throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Some examples of other community engagement efforts at UC Davis Health.

Staff Offering Service (SOS) Program

Staff Offering Service (SOS) Program is the health system's employee volunteer program, which has provided tens of thousands of hours of assistance to community and nonprofit organizations since 1992. Employees have given their time and energy to entities such as the Sacramento Food Bank, NextMove, Ronald McDonald House, River City Food Bank and Sacramento Children's Home.

Pathways to Health + Home Whole Person Care program

The Pathways to Health + Home Whole Person Care pilot (WPC) is an opportunity for the City of Sacramento to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing the health, social and housing needs of its most vulnerable populations, with a specific focus on those with significant unmet health care needs and who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Led by the City of Sacramento in partnership with a broad range of community and health care stakeholders, the program has developed an integrated system of care that supports people with a variety of services around outreach, case management, physical health, behavioral health, substance abuse and housing. UC Davis Health participates in the program.

Volunteer for Research

Breakthroughs that address the health challenges facing our world are at the core of UC Davis Health's mission to discover and share knowledge to advance health. Volunteer for research at UC Davis Health to contribute to discoveries that may improve health care for you, your family, and your community.

Athletics partnerships 

Health screening

UC Davis Health's partnerships with wellness-related community organizations and events also include athletics programs such as UC Davis Aggies Athletics, the California International Marathon (CIM) and the popular Sacramento Republic FC professional soccer club.

The health system is a founding and ongoing season-presenting partner of the Republic FC, for instance, and serves as the official medical provider for the club's players. UC Davis Health's kit (jersey) sponsorship of the team helps to emphasize and normalize health and outdoor activity for youth, and the partnership also creates opportunities for joint community activities, such as Make-A-Wish.

UC Davis registered dietitians provide nutritional information to runners at the CIM's pre-race Expo, where participants pick up their registration packets. Some 20,000 people attend the Expo each year. UC Davis medical volunteers also provide care at the run itself.

Community Financial Support

UC Davis Health has a formal sponsorship process in place to accept, review, and award funding to local non-profit organizations that meet the institutions criteria. UC Davis Health has provided direct financial support to over 250 organizations that provide health and social services programs to underserved communities.