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Health Equity

At ZSFG, we want everyone to have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. We have reacted to ongoing reports about poorer health outcomes for San Francisco’s populations of color. Equity is different from equality. People with the greatest needs and least resources require more, not equal, effort and resources to equalize opportunities.

We are working on shifting from asking our patients, “What is wrong with you?” to “What has happened to you?” We have been working on processes that continue to look at health outcomes and racial equity. We are giving our staff the right tools and encourage speaking up to identify and eliminate racial disparities.


Advancing Equity

In 2018, a staff survey showed a big difference in how Black/African American and Latino/a/x frontline staff viewed the working at the hospital compared to White staff, Asian staff, and leadership. The results shaped our current plan that focuses on three priorities:

Understanding Our Patients

We continuously collect and analyze race, gender, and language (REAL) and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data to give our staff the tools to better understand the people we serve and identify priorities.

Over 90% of our patients have completed REAL data.

More than 3500 staff have completed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) training.

Eliminating Disparities

We ask that every department develops an equity performance improvement measurement. It includes looking at race, ethnicity, and language to develop a plan for improvement. These measurements are reported to the Health Commission monthly and with the community every 3 months through the equity newsletter.

Currently, over 70% of departments on campus have at least one way to measure equity

Developing Our People

We provide staff with tools to see and lower racial disparities. We are building a more inclusive work culture. We offer training in racial humility, relationship-centered communication, and help make conversations about race, gender, immigration, and sexuality more comfortable.

In quarterly newsletters, we report on equity improvement projects and highlight staff who are equity champions.

Taking Action at ZSFG

Equity is one of our core values at ZSFG. We are looking fundamentally at how we do things so we can apply the right resources, provide the right education, adjust hiring policies, and facilitate open and honest dialogue. We also need to be accountable for progress toward health equity. These are just some of the measures we are taking:

  • Pop-up equity lounges for night staff to facilitate conversation
  • Collecting Race, Ethnicity and Identity (REAL) data to track performance improvements and health outcomes
  • ZSFG Equity Guide and Quarterly newsletter
  • Create programs to engage and support the professional development of Black African American and Latinx staff
  • Better match staff representation with patient population through hiring practices

The ZSFG Equity Council

To make sure we respond to both patient and staff needs, ZSFG created an Equity Council with 17 members from different levels of the hospital – executives, managers, and frontline staff. The Council oversees the hospital’s overall equity efforts to eliminate disparities and promote inclusion.

  • Consulting on equity related initiatives and issues
  • Ensuring measurable progress in achieving ZSFG’s goals
  • Communicating with executive leadership, department and unit leaders, clinicians, frontline staff, patients, and our community about equity efforts

Equity Council Co-Chairs

Elizabeth Lynch

Positive Health Nurse

Andrea Turner

Chief Operating Officer
Health Equity

The state of health equity in San Francisco


Trevor Lindsay, Nurse Educator

Trevor is responsible for enhancing cultural sensitivity and health equity at ZSFG. He leads training sessions with staff to help them better understand cultural differences and relate with our patients on their terms. So far, he has led over 50 sessions and has helped complete the training of 3,500 staff members. He is also one of the pioneers and an integral member of BERT, Behavioral Emergency Response Team, which is now considered the main entity for violence prevention and de-escalation at ZSFG.

Our vision, mission, and values

Equity Council Members

Aiyana Johnson
Aiyana Johnson
Patient Experience Officer
Alicia Fernandez
Director of UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence
Ana Delgado
Assistant Director, Inpatient Obstetrics
Andrea Turner
Chief Operating Officer
Bilal Chaney
Radiology Care Navigator
Brenda Barros
Senior Clerk
Byron Decuire
Respiratory Therapist
Cristina Padilla
Public Relations Officer
Elizabeth Lynch
Positive Health Nurse
Gabriel Ortiz
Medical Director, Med/Surg Care
Jeff Critchfield
Medical Director, Risk Management
Lydia Leung
Medical Director, Family Health center
Marlene Martin
Monica Bien
Physician Assistant
Rosaly Ferrer
Nursing Director, Specialty Care
Will Huen
Medical Director, Quality Management and Kaizen