Our Partner CAPH

Seven Public Health Care Systems Earn Awards for Advancements in Equity, Population Health, Care Redesign, and Innovation


OAKLAND – Today, the California Health Care Safety Net Institute (SNI) and our partner the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) recognized seven public health care systems with the Quality Leaders Awards (QLA) for their outstanding and innovative efforts to advance high quality equitable care.

The 2021 QLA winners were announced at the CAPH/SNI 2021 Annual Conference, which brings together leaders from across California’s public health care systems to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and learn from other experts in the field.

“For the second year in a row, public health care systems have demonstrated how vital they are to serving and protecting our communities in the face of a global pandemic,” said Giovanna Giuliani, Executive Director, SNI. “They have been leaders in California’s vaccination efforts, helping to reach those most at-risk. I am honored to recognize and celebrate this work.”

Top Honor – Contra Costa Health Services

Vaccine Equity Initiatives

Through novel engagement and outreach strategies, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) expanded access to the COVID vaccine in communities and neighborhoods that have been historically disadvantaged. CCHS built relationships with hundreds of community-based organizations and faith-based communities to reach residents and provide reliable vaccine information from trusted messengers. Through brick-and-mortar sites and mobile clinics, CCHS provided over 27,000 mobile vaccine doses at nearly 300 unique locations throughout their County.

Innovation – San Francisco Department of Public Health

San Francisco’s Safe Return to In-Person Learning

In March 2020, when San Francisco schools transitioned to distance learning, many students became at risk for falling behind educationally, physically, and psychosocially. To chart a path to return to in-person learning, the San Francisco Department of Public Health developed evidence-based guidance, policies, and procedures that facilitated the reopening of K-12 schools for the 2020-2021 school year and influenced school reopenings across the State.

Care Redesign – Ventura County Health Care Agency

Encampment Outreach

Leading a unique network of organizations – including cities, state parks, fire, law enforcement, and numerous county agencies – and working outside the scope of the traditional health care system, Ventura County Health Care Agency (VCHCA) is addressing the challenges experienced by vulnerable persons living in encampments. VCHCA has established a successful network to address its most at-risk patients’ complex social, political, environmental, and health equity concerns through these partnerships.

Population Health – Los Angeles County Department of Health Services

ACEs-LA Initiative

Identifying and reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – stressful or traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 – creates opportunities to prevent toxic stress’s long-term health and psychosocial impacts. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services launched the innovative ACEs-LA initiative, consisting of three comprehensive, high-touch programs that effectively screen for and respond to families impacted by adversity and toxic stress.

Health Equity – Kern Medical

Mobilizing Health Equity by Vaccinating the Most Vulnerable

Kern County is the third-largest county in California, with nearly all of its population living in medically underserved areas. To vaccinate vulnerable populations in the community, Kern Medical created fully functioning clinics, which provide comfort and privacy, in remote areas of the County, where there are limited resources and access to care. Through these efforts, the majority of vaccines provided by Kern Medical have gone to at-risk populations and they’ve built trust and connected previously unengaged patients to care.

Honorable Mention – UC San Diego Health

Mobile Vaccination Units: Providing COVID-19 Vaccinations to Populations in Need

San Diego is home to a large international community, connecting communities between Mexico and the United States, and serves as a hub for refugees and asylum-seekers from around the world. In a multi-pronged and large-scale effort using mobile vaccination units, UC San Diego Health partnered with the San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition to vaccinate refugee communities in San Diego and with the County, the Consulate of Mexico and multiple US companies to vaccinate over 10,000 workers employed in Baja California, Mexico.

Honorable Mention – Riverside University Health System

Controlling High Blood Pressure in the Midst of a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on chronic disease outcomes. Riverside University Health System (RUHS) saw the challenges their patient population faced in dealing with the social and economic costs of the pandemic, while also trying to manage their own health care needs. Focused on improving the rate of blood pressure control, RUHS implemented a multidisciplinary approach that resulted in an increase in blood pressure rechecks and subsequent improvement in overall blood pressure control.


About California Health Care Safety Net Institute 

California Health Care Safety Net Institute (SNI) and its partner, the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), represent California’s 21 public health care systems, which form the core of the state’s health care safety net. They primarily serve individuals from underrepresented communities, including persons of color, individuals experiencing financial hardship or homelessness, and individuals with complex social and medical needs. SNI supports California’s public health care systems by informing and shaping policy, providing performance measurement and reporting expertise, and accelerating decision-making and learning, within and across member systems.