Community Health Systems

The Department of Community Health Systems promotes and sustains health in the community and workplace, with particular emphasis on communities and vulnerable populations. The department is committed to improving health and health care for those served by community-based health care systems through educating nurses whose foci include the individual, community and health system, conducting research, and providing services in the community to address the health issues of those who are not well-served by the traditional institution-based health care system.

Community Health Systems (CHS) is a department in the School of Nursing. 


The Department of Community Health Systems prepares students from diverse backgrounds to assume leadership roles in advanced nursing clinical practice, systems-based care, education and research.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) assess, diagnose, and treat patients across the lifespan who seek mental healthcare. They work in a variety of settings and roles including outpatient clinics, hospitals, and residential mental health and substance use treatment centers. Key elements of the PMHNP identity include a biopsychosocialstructural perspective, recognition of the importance of healing relationships and of ongoing self-reflection, and emphasis on symptom management and self-care.

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialty

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (AGPCNPs) are advanced practice nurses who diagnose and manage common acute and chronic health care problems.  The AGPCNP competencies span the patient population from adolescence and young adulthood in one spectrum to the frail and the elderly in the opposite spectrum. The main emphasis of the AGPCNP program is primary care, including preventative, comprehensive, and continuous care of their patient population. In addition, the AGPCNP learner will have opportunities to integrate additional competencies such as leadership skills and interprofessional team practice during their time at the School.

Advanced Public Health Nursing

Provides a foundation for planning and evaluating community/public health programs; learning about community/public health concepts, health promotion, population-level interventions, grant writing, health care systems, leadership, and health policy; addressing health disparities of vulnerable and diverse populations; understanding and applying complex public health/population-level data; advancing health equity in public health through a social justice frame; and practicing and consulting in diverse and multicultural settings.


Faculty research focuses on vulnerable populations and their communities as well as on health care systems and the workforce. Research conducted by CHS faculty aims to:

  • Advance knowledge and theory through research
  • Design and evaluate the organization, financing and delivery of health care
  • Generate and test innovative professional educational models

Faculty research contributes to our understanding of the effect of disease or conditions on vulnerable populations including homeless and disadvantaged people and communities; individuals with psychiatric disorders and issues of trauma and abuse; high-risk infants and children; workers at risk for or living with injury or disability; individuals with chronic diseases like asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and HIV; and ethnic and immigrant minorities.

The International Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Clinical Training in Nursing is an inter-departmental and multi-disciplinary effort, committed to research, education and care of individuals with HIV.

Patient Care

CHS faculty practice sites provide care and services for many people in our community who are underserved by more mainstream health care systems. These include unhoused individuals, children and youth with mental health problems, people living with HIV and frail older adults. These practices also serve as vital educational placements for students to gain clinical experience in complex community environments.

What is a Faculty Practice?

Faculty practice includes aspects of the delivery of health care that include the roles of clinician, educator, researcher, consultant, and clinical leader. Faculty practice activities encompass direct care to individuals and groups as well as technical assistance and consultation to individuals, families, groups, and communities. Student clinical practica and research opportunities for faculty and students are established components of faculty practice. Teaching, research, practice, and service must be closely integrated to achieve excellence and faculty practice provides the vehicle through which faculty implement these missions.

Faculty Practice Sites

Interprofessional Primary Care Outreach for Persons with Mental Illness (IPCOM) is a faculty practice operated by the Department of Community Health Systems that involves multiple faculty members. IPCOM is a nurse-managed practice that delivers primary care clinical services in residential mental health treatment programs located in San Francisco and Napa. Established in 1995 as a partnership with Progress Foundation, IPCOM is an innovative, nationally recognized outreach model that is a member of the National Nursing Center Consortium.

Other sites where multiple CHS faculty practice include UCSF Health (primary care, HIV care, home-based primary care for frail elders and the Office of Population Health); the San Francisco Veterans Administration Health System (behavioral health and primary care); and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (mental health and specialty medical care). CHS faculty members also practice in a variety of community-based and occupational health settings including the Center for Elders Independence, Roots Community Health Center, and school-based mental health sites in Oakland, and Pixar Studios Employee Health.


Emeriti Faculty

Mary Blegen
Barbara Burgel
Linda Chafetz
Anne Davis
Julia Faucett
Jane Hirsch
William Holzemer
Susan Janson

Deborah Johnson
Henry Kahn
Juliene Lipson
Afaf Meleis
Barbara Newlin
Jane Norbeck
Dorothy Oda
Carmen Portillo

Barbara Resnik
JoAnne Saxe
Jean Ann Seago
Suzan Stringari-Murray
David Vlahov
Mary White
Scott Ziehm


Nina Ahlers
Judy Alonzo
Faiza Azgui
Matthew Beld
Phyllis Blackwell
Sandra Blanco

Alexis Ceja
Yvette Cuca
Melissa Delaney-Khan
Pamela Dudzik
Sunder Gowri
Emily Huang
Shanil Kumar

Michele Keating
Mayka Lay
Micah Lubensky
Kelly Lee
Bora Nam
Yan "Marian" Tzuang
Peter Wright

Contact Us

Community Health Systems
UCSF School of Nursing
2 Koret Way, N505
San Francisco, CA 94143-0608