Integrated Health Clinic and Laboratory

The USF Integrated Health Clinic & Laboratory, which is now a dream but which we are working to make a reality, will improve the quality of life for members of the Western Addition neighborhood through an innovative and integrated approach to health. Delivering a full spectrum of services including primary care, behavioral health, environmental health outreach, and promotion and disease prevention. The clinic will tap the potential of technology in healthcare and foster a community-academic partnership.

The USF iHealth Clinic & Laboratory will...

  • Increase access to high-quality integrated care
  • Provide interprofessional team-based clinical education
  • Address the impact of environmental factors on health
  • Facilitate community-based scholarship and participatory research
  • Establish a platform for testing new technology to support healthcare
  • Foster clinic-to-lab and lab-to-clinic exchange and innovation
  • Promote health policy based on enterprise evidence

The iHealth Clinic & Lab will be the health portion of a larger community-academic partnership that leverages the intellectual and outreach capital of the university to address a myriad of social issues in the Western Addition, an underserved and under-resourced neighborhood in San Francisco. An ongoing relationship, led by the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at USF, has paved the way for the USF School of Nursing and Health Professions to serve the health needs of the community. Because the services provided are directed by the community and also remain part of USF’s academic commitment, members of the neighborhood, faculty, and students all benefit.

iHealth Delivery Model

The iHealth Clinic & Lab will be an extension of the School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP), in which every provider is a faculty member and each clinical encounter is a learning experience for students. Full- and part-time clinician faculty will provide the integrated services while supervising and mentoring SONHP students focused on acquiring knowledge and skills. SONHP faculty — primary care providers (Family Nurse Practitioners & Physicians) and behavioral and mental health care providers (Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatrists) — will be embedded across service lines. Clinical Nurse Leader, Registered Nurse, and Public and Behavioral Health faculty will focus on system issues, populations, environmental factors, chronic disease management, and health promotion activities as well as research and policy development.

iHealth Lab Model

Health Informatics faculty will pioneer a new approach to technology transfer with an emphasis on social impact, especially among underserved populations. An initial focus is on mental, neurological, and substance use disorders, drawing from the unique integration of interprofessional faculty providers in SONHP. Developing and maintaining a secure, HIPPA-compliant electronic health record based on OpenMRS, and supervision of the development and evaluation of new technologies consistent with the needs of the clinic constituency, are key lab endeavors.

To simultaneously serve the community and serve its academic mission, the iHealth Clinic & Lab will maintain a reciprocal relationship among needs of the clinic patients and providers, populations of interest, and students’ learning requirements. Central to the iHealth Lab vision is the Learning Health System. The idea is simple: harness the power of data and analytics to learn from every patient, form a holistic view of the patient, and feed the knowledge of “what works best” back to clinicians, public health professionals, patients, and researchers. By working together, the iHealth Lab and the iHealth Clinic create virtuous cycles of continuous improvement.

Scope of the Project

At the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions, we have developed our inter-professional programs as a prerequisite to opening an integrated clinic. We have implemented several successful “tests of concept” in partner facilities throughout the Bay Area. Now is the time for us to launch our own clinic where important work can continue uninterrupted by issues of time, funding, space allocation, or shifting partner priorities. The USF iHealth Clinic & Lab will demonstrate that an academic-community partnership — in which all parties take part in planning, implementing, and evaluating services — can greatly enhance the health and resiliency of an underserved community. It also will establish the integrated clinic-and-lab model as the standard for 
educating our next generation of health professionals, with an expanding use of technology and informatics, plus USF’s unwavering commitment to cur personalis, or care for the whole person — or, in this case, care for the whole patient and community.