San Francisco City and County

San Francisco Department of Public Health

Population Health Division

sfdph phd

Patricia Erwin, MPH
Deputy Director, Community Health Equity & Promotion
San Francisco Department of Public Health
30 Van Ness, Suite 2300
San Francisco, CA 94102
PH: (415) 581-2400
FAX: (415) 581-2490

Department Website

Department Overview
The San Francisco Department of Public Health strives to achieve its mission through the work of two Divisions – the Community Health Network (CHN) and Population Health and Prevention. The CHN is the City’s health system and has locations throughout the City including San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, and over 15 primary care health centers. The Population Health and Prevention Division has a broad focus on the communities of San Francisco and is comprised of the Community Health and Safety Branch, Community Health Promotion and Prevention Branch, and the Community Health Services Branch.

  • Population Health Division:
    • Our Mission: Drawing upon community wisdom and science, we support, develop, and implement evidence-based policies, practices, and partnerships that protect and promote health, prevent disease and injury, and create sustainable environments and resilient communities.
    • Our Vision: To be a community-centered leader in public health practice and innovation.
  • Community Health Equity & Promotion:
    • We are part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Our mission is to promote health and to prevent disease and injury in San Francisco. While a spectrum of prevention programs exists throughout the Department and within our Branch, we are modeling an approach to prevention that changes the societal context in which disease and injury occur (called the “environmental” approach). To be effective, this approach depends upon the active involvement of the community. We also provide ongoing consultation, program planning, professional development, organizational development and mentoring, and our focus is always primary, community based prevention.
    • Our staff consists of supervisory senior health educators, M.P.H.-level health educators, B.A.-level assistant health educators and senior planners. All have years of community service. To complement our health education and planning staff we also employ health workers, an epidemiologist, a clinical consultant, and seasoned secretarial staff.
    • Our Community Health Education Section (CHES) constitutes the main part of the Community Health Promotion & Prevention Branch. CHES staff embrace the mission of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, most clearly articulated in the 2002 Strategic Plan, Goal 2, “Promote Health and Prevent Disease and Injury.” CHES focuses on primary prevention, emphasizing strategies, alliances, and interventions that change the physical and socioeconomic environment in which we live. CHES approaches, theories, and practice are grounded in the core public health functions of prevention and social justice, and involve residents in the diagnosis of problems, assessment of strengths and resources, and the implementation of solutions.

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