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Scripps Collaborative for Health Equity

Focusing on research, access and community programs

People of various ethnic backgrounds in a group setting represent the Scripps Collaborative for Health Equity..

Focusing on research, access and community programs

As one of the largest health care networks in Southern California, Scripps Health is committed to fostering multicultural diversity and promoting health equity as both a provider and an employer. Health equity is important because it allows everyone the opportunity to be as healthy as possible regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, location, socioeconomic status or other demographic factors. 

The Scripps Collaborative for Healthcare Equity is one initiative among our regional and local efforts that seeks to fulfill this commitment. It is designed to promote equity in health care through initiatives and key programs that are focused on workforce diversity, inclusion in research, and access to high-quality, culturally competent health care for patients from all backgrounds. 

Strategic priorities

The Scripps Collaborative for Healthcare Equity is dedicated to establishing excellence in community health equity and its outcomes in our vulnerable populations through three strategic priorities: 

1. Focus and expand research efforts on health care disparities

2. Improve access to culturally appropriate health care resources

3. Expand community interventions and programs for multicultural populations

Focus and expand research efforts on health care disparities

A black person looks through a microscope, representing revised research efforts on health care disparities.

Focus and expand research efforts on health care disparities

The collaborative is committed to studying diversity and inclusion in health care and identifying improvements to promote community health equity through the following initiatives:

  • Establish an annual $75,000 peer-reviewed research grant to address disparity in health care delivery systems
  • Host an annual symposium on health disparities research for Scripps researchers and providers 
  • Establish a health care disparities research program to provide resources for disparities researchers and trainees
  • Explore potential partnerships with similar organizations

Improve access to culturally appropriate health care resources

An Asian health care worker and black person represent improved access to culturally appropriate health care resources.

Improve access to culturally appropriate health care resources

Through the following approach, we strive to promote health equity programs and policies that include diversity and inclusion in the workplace, in our health care facilities and throughout the community:

  • Recruit and retain a diverse community of physicians and staff
  • Develop culturally and linguistically appropriate health care resources and programs for underserved and minority populations  
  • Support patients with accessing culturally linguistic and appropriate services after they leave our care

Expand community interventions and programs for multicultural populations

A black person in a group setting represents expanded community interventions and programs for multicultural populations.

Expand community interventions and programs for multicultural populations

With a focus on achieving community health equity, the collaborative utilizes the following strategies to establish resources founded on diversity and inclusion for all:

  • Develop and expand culturally tailored community programs on cancer and cardiovascular health 
  • Enhance youth programs focused on building a pipeline of diverse students pursuing health careers 
  • Develop an undergraduate pipeline program for transition into medical school

Steering Committee 

Scripps Collaborative for Health Equity Steering Committee

Director: Juan Tovar, MD

Co-Director: Kendra Brandstein, Director, Community Benefit Services

Steering Committee members

Juan Tovar, MD, a Hispanic/Latino male doctor, smiles in a white lab coat, proud of the SCHE's focus on health equity.

“Addressing disparities and working to achieve equity in health care means more effective and efficient care for everyone. Healthier individuals create healthier communities, and healthier communities require less medical care.”

– Juan Tovar, MD, Scripps Collaborative for Healthcare Equity Director and Emergency Medicine Physician

Scripps Collaborative for Healthcare Equity programs

Annual research grant

In San Diego, there are limited healthcare resources to meet the unique cultural and linguistic needs of the diverse local populations. As one of the largest healthcare networks in the region, Scripps Health is committed to fostering multicultural diversity as both an employer and a provider.

As more researchers focus on precision medicine, it is vital to ensure that the research studies and populations reflect true population diversity. The Scripps Health Collaborative for Health Equity has dedicated funding to support projects that address the causes and propose interventions to end healthcare disparities in underserved populations.

The 2022 research grant awardees include:

  • Nathaniel Brown - Development of the Health Equity Information Center: A Scripps Data and Analytics System to Foster Meaningful Improvements in Regional Health Equity 
  • Juan Carlos Lozano - Integration of Home Visits in Vulnerable Communities: Impact of bedside outpatient care on hemoglobin A1C and diabetes management in a multicultural patient population 
  • Arienne Malekmadani - Understanding Disparities in Substance Screening: A closer look at how racial bias affects screening for substance use in labor and delivery 
  • Christina Mansour - Health Care Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease amongst Women: Chest pain and Acute Coronary Syndrome 
  • Natalia Orendain - Role of Allostatic Load in Risk Factors and Outcomes of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy 
  • Danika Scott - Identifying racial and ethnic disparities within the provision and utilization of genetic counseling and testing among women with breast cancer at high genetic risk

Student programs

Camp Scripps

Designed to introduce youth to health careers, this three-week camp experience educates participants about the roles and responsibilities of health care professionals in various medical fields. Scripps Family Medicine residents provide a variety of opportunities for participants, such as hands-on activities with health professionals, tours of hospital departments, and presentations on specific health careers and issues. 

HCOP Camp Scripps

This six-week camp exposes high school sophomores and juniors to health careers and fosters leadership skills and college preparedness. Weekly themes include Primary Care, Health and Wellness, Public Health, Disease and Prevention, Leaders of Tomorrow and College Readiness. Activities include opportunities for hands-on interactions with health professionals, mentoring and clinical shadowing, tours of hospitals and community health clinics, and theme-related workshops. The camp is a collaborative effort with Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program in partnership with UCSD School of Medicine.

Mentoring Program

Designed to help high school students set a course for a successful health care career, the program pairs participants with various health and social service professionals for hourly sessions twice weekly for five weeks in the hospital setting. Students experience a variety of roles and responsibilities in various departments and learn first-hand about various career paths. Family Medicine residents are mentors for this program and meet with students weekly. Students also shadow residents during rounds and throughout the experience. 

Health Profession Overview 101

Family Medicine residents help pique student interest in pursuing a health care career by exposing them to 80 or more health professions and tours of hospital departments. 

Health Professionals in the Classroom

Health care professionals — such as medical residents, dietitians, nurses and doctors — enlighten students on health care careers and health-related topics. Interactive sessions include Nursing 101, Doc 101, Health and Nutrition, Stroke Prevention, Breast Health, Teen Pregnancy, Substance Abuse, STDs, Health Professions 101 and Mental Health Issues that Impact High School Students. Students receive health career resources that include information on education requirements, scholarships and financing for college. 

Surgery Viewing

Students have an opportunity to observe such elective surgeries as total knee and hip replacements, interact with the surgeons and other operating room staff members and ask on-the-spot questions during the surgery. 

School-Based Clinics

Two health clinics established at Palomar and Southwest High School allow medical residents to gain additional skills in adolescent medicine and for youth to gain the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to pursue health careers. At the clinics — designed by students, Family Medicine residents and faculty based on youth needs assessment surveys — residents and students interact twice per week.

5210 Wellness Message

The message is to promote a Healthy Lifestyle (5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables, 2 Hours or less of Screen Time, 1 Hour of Physical Activity and 0 Sugary Drinks per day). This five-session series is designed to increase knowledge and behaviors regarding a healthy lifestyle and includes hands-on activities and demonstrations.