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Community Collaboration Process


Community Collaboration Process

Community input and shared-power is vital to sustainable health equity and social justice efforts.

San Mateo County Health division, Public Health, Policy, and Planning (PHPP), received the California Equitable Recovery Initiative (CERI) grant in 2021. PHPP invested these funds in a Community Collaboration Framework Proposal and developed a community-centered collaboration process that honors the needs of the county’s diverse residents.

To create this proposal, PHPP established a working group of 10 community-based organization (CBO) leaders and representatives. PHPP staff met with 28 distinct groups selected by geography and race/ethnicity across the County. Staff engaged with 354 people through community input sessions. PHPP staff interviewed representatives from six regional groups including:

  • Alameda County Public Health
  • Contra Costa Public Health
  • Santa Clara County Public Health
  • Santa Clara County Office of Equity, Diversity, and Belonging
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • King County Public Health
  • San Francisco Latino Task Force

These interviews allowed PHPP to explore existing community engagement structures. The interviews also included best practices to help PHPP develop its own model. See the CCP Jurisdiction One-Pager for more details on the findings.

The CCP Working Group includes representatives from the following organizations. To learn more about our partners, check out their websites below:

  1. El Concilio of San Mateo County 

After this process, the community proposed five (5) recommendations for building trust and five (5) recommendations for a community engagement structure.

 As a result of the community collaboration process, here are some deliverables and activities PHPP is engaged in:

  • In response to the CCP data findings, PHPP will host a free Public Health 101 workshop for our community in early 2024. Paired with the workshop PHPP has created a 3-minute Public Health 101 video English and Spanish and PHPP Overview one-pager English and Spanish for community members to build their understanding of public health.
  • In response to one of the structure-based recommendations from the CCP that stated, “Fund a convening organization to lead a collective impact model whose scope spans the social determinants of health”, HPP released a request for proposals (RFP) for the Get Healthy San Mateo Community Implementation Funding in January 2023. The RFP offered funding for a project that builds a Resident Engagement Collaborative Model modeled by the recommendation made in the CCP proposal.
  • To support future community engagement processes in the County, PHPP will create a Community Collaboration Research Tool that will highlight key takeaways from the CCP including the technical research methodologies. This tool is still in development. This tool it meant for internal institutional use to help build equitable forms of collaboration with the community.
  • The jurisdictions interviewed by PHPP staff for the CCP expressed interest learning about other community collaboration structures and best practices. In response to this feedback, SMC Health worked with one of its partner organizations, BARHII, to host a roundtable for health equity officers and staff from other jurisdictions interested in building community engagement structures and learning about mechanisms to engage communities.
  • The CCP data findings were not limited to only areas within the scope of PHPP. While valuable, this data could not be of use to PHPP as they related to other SMC departments. Therefore, PHPP created 6 (six) separate data summary documents and distributed them to the following units and departments for their situational awareness: Aging and Adult Services, Health Coverage Unit, Family Health Services, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Schools and Youth Partners, and the Medical Center.
  • In response to one of the trust-based recommendations from the CCP that stated, “Staff and employees should reflect the community or be members of the community being served”, PHPP has developed a PHPP workforce demographic report that will be updated annually. Access the 2021-2022 fiscal year report here.

These actions will help build trust, transparency, and a structure for shared decision-making and co-creation with SMC communities.



As San Mateo County moves into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the San Mateo County Health website for the most recent COVID-19 announcements. Refer to State-level guidance for more information on case rates, vaccinations, boosters, and more.