Community Building

Health improvement advocacy

These activities seek to address the root causes of health problems, such as poverty, homelessness and environmental hazards. They include:


  • Physical improvements and housing
  • Economic development
  • Coalition building
  • Community support
  • Environmental improvements
  • Leadership development and leadership training for community members
  • Advocacy for community health improvement
  • Workforce development

In fiscal year 2016, Scripps invested $1,491,418 in community building activities. To learn more, view the 2017 Community Benefit Report. (PDF, 11 MB)

Community support

These programs include efforts to establish or enhance community support networks, such as:


  • Neighborhood watch groups
  • Child care cooperatives
  • Disaster readiness over and above licensure requirements

Preparing for the worst: statewide disaster drill

Preparing for the worst: statewide disaster drill

When disaster strikes, being ready to act is of utmost importance. Scripps participates in San Diego County and State of California advisory groups to plan, implement and evaluate key disaster preparedness response plans and exercises, including the 2016 Statewide Medical and Health Full Scale Exercise.


The drill is sponsored by the California Department of Public Health and Emergency Medical Service Authority, in collaboration with response partners from local health departments, public safety groups and health care facilities across the state. 


On November 17, 2016, Scripps took part in the exercise — a train derailment resulting in mass casualties. As part of the drill, responders successfully activated the Hospital Incident Command System and Emergency Operations Plan upon notification of a mass casualty incident (MCI).


They also activated the medical surge plan that takes effect when demands exceed normal medical capacity, and ensured that a resource management system was in place to obtain the staff, supplies and equipment needed to respond during an MCI. Scripps also participated in several local drills, and served as an advisor to San Diego County for federal and state grant development and planning.

Improving training safety for SWAT Academy candidates

Improving training safety for SWAT Academy candidates

On a hot, dry summer day, four participants at the San Diego Sheriff’s SWAT team tryouts suffered heat-related illness and were taken to the hospital. All made a full recovery, but the Sheriff’s Dept. reached out to Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder for help.


They wanted a medical professional to sit down with their Special Enforcement Detail (SED) trainers and evaluate their training program and safety plan. 


As a former medic and a member of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Detail, Chris understood the need for a safe, effective training protocol, and asked three members of the Scripps team — Ghazala Sharieff, MD, senior director, patient experience and medical management, Craig Uejo, MD, medical director of the Employee Care Clinic, and Johan Otter, senior director, occupational health and wellness — to meet with the SWAT team.


The team had several meetings with the Sheriff’s Dept., and Dr. Sharieff spent a morning in the field observing a training session. Chris and Dr. Sharieff also visited the final SED training camp, where candidates undergo additional SWAT team training, such as firearm drills, scenario practice and cold water activities. 


“The training can be pretty grueling,” says Dr. Sharieff, who also is an SAR member. “We ended up having to treat some participants during that morning.” 


The Scripps team then developed a formal training protocol that included hydration and dietary recommendations, and physical activity guidelines for various temperatures and conditions. The Sheriff’s Dept. plans to utilize the team’s recommendations during the next SWAT tryouts, and also incorporate them into SAR and other training programs across the department.