Community Health and Engagement

The Department of Community Health and Engagement (DCHE) is the bridge between the hospital and the broader community. DCHE strengthens the hospital's focus on community needs, health equity, disease prevention and promotion of healthy kids in today's rapidly changing environment.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has served as a pillar of the community for over 100 years, and continues to care for all children from all walks of life. The Department of Community Health and Engagement (DCHE) is responsible for community and government relations, the incubation and management of innovative patient-centered programs, research related to social determinants of health, and the meeting of the hospital’s “community benefits” obligations.

To achieve these objectives, DCHE promotes collaboration among other departments and UCSF campuses, and it develops and strengthens partnerships with community organizations, agencies, educational institutions, and local and state governmental bodies. DCHE is both a practical and symbolic step, ensuring that UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland maintains and grows its commitment to the ideals of health promotion, prevention, equity, cultural humility, and community.

Please contact DCHE to explore collaborative opportunities. DCHE is also available for consultation and interviews.


Find Us

5700 Martin Luther King Way 
Oakland, CA 94609
Phone: (510) 450-5816
Mailing Address
747 52nd Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

The Department of Community Health and Engagement Serves Six Primary Functions:

Community Benefits

  • Provide support to and highlight the work UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland’s existing community benefits programs, meet state and federal community benefits reporting requirements, and assist with grant development.

Community Relations

  • Engage in collaborative efforts and communication strategies between UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and its surrounding communities
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships between the hospital and other community organizations, agencies, and educational institutions.
  • Participate in government boards, commissions and steering committees that advance the well-being of children and families.

Health Equity Programs

  • Incubate new and innovative programs, facilitate cross-division and cross-campus initiatives to support sustainability and dissemination of best practices.
  • Serve as local and national thought leader on social factors that affect health in children.

Policy, Advocacy, and Government Relations

  • Advance the hospital’s advocacy efforts through personal visits with local, state and federal elected officials and facilitates on-site hospital tours to create greater awareness of the patient-centered environment.
  • Evaluate legislation and advocate for pediatric healthcare policy that aligns with the needs of our medical center and the needs of the community, and which facilitate engagement of hospital experts.

Workforce Development

  • Provide training and learning opportunities for individuals early in their school and professional careers. DCHE’s workforce development programs include the Community Health & Adolescent Mentoring Program for Success (CHAMPS) and the Community, Advocacy, and Primary Care (CAP) Rotation for physician residents.
  • Increase awareness of multicultural approaches in patient care and promote diversity in the healthcare workforce.

Research to Address the Needs of Children Locally

  • Conduct original research on local health issues and which address health inequity.
  • Facilitate collaboration on research opportunities both internally and externally.
  • Original research led by DCHE includes the Brilliant Babies study on asset building among families to interrupt generational poverty, the Pediatric ACEs Screening and Resiliency Study (PEARLS) which is the first randomized control trial of early childhood adversity in a pediatric safety net clinic, and the Food As Medicine study which examines how reliable access to fresh foods can support children’s health and prevent chronic illness.

Childhood Poverty TEDxGoldenGatePark

DCHE’s founder and former CEO of the Oakland Children's Hospital, Dr. Bert Lubin, discusses childhood poverty and the remarkable correlations between childhood poverty and disease.

UCSF The Campaign

One of the Grand Challenges of the UCSF Campaign is Partnering to Achieve Health Equity.  Explore how DCHE Medical Director, Dayna Long is working to help families overcome barriers to health. She is leading a charge to change conditions for the children most susceptible to social determinants of health. Dr. Long started FIND, a program to help families address non-medical issues like homelessness and food insecurity — issues which often have more impact on a child’s health than medical care does.

Additional Information