Building on UCSF's mission to advance health worldwide, starting with the city we call home

What is an “anchor institution?”

Anchor institutions are place-based, mission-driven entities such as hospitals, universities, and government agencies that leverage their economic power alongside their human and intellectual resources to improve the long-term health and social welfare of their communities.


Since 2019, UCSF has been a leader throughout the UC system with its early adoption of an anchor mission. Building on the university’s mission to advance health worldwide, UCSF’s Anchor Institution Mission starts with the city we call home. 

While the regional economy has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, this prosperity has not reached all members of all communities. Significant disparities and inequalities in health outcomes exist for the San Francisco Bay Area’s under-resourced communities, placing all residents and families at risk. 

Improving health outcomes requires removing obstacles to good health, including the barriers of poverty and discrimination, which are associated with reduced access to jobs with fair pay, education, housing, safe environments, and quality health care. 

As an anchor institution, UCSF is committed to leveraging its $7 billion budget to advance economic security and opportunity in under-resourced communities to advance health equity. By strategically and intentionally leveraging its business operations, UCSF will strengthen its overall impact on health equity by adding its economic strength – alongside the excellence of its research, education, and patient care missions. 

Through the Anchor Institution Mission, UCSF and community partners collaborate to 
increase the economic security and opportunity for under-resourced San Francisco Bay Area populations by leveraging UCSF’s workforce development, procurement, and community investment resources. 

We focus efforts in geographic communities surrounding UCSF campuses and intentionally engage the most economically under-resourced. Our anchor work has three pillars.   

Collage of an SEP intern, kids outside the SF Opera House and SEP in the classroom

Interns of UCSF EXCEL Program
Workforce Development

Workforce development programming and employment pipelines for under-resourced youth and adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and supporting career advancement for UCSF’s frontline workers.

Staff of San Franciso Chamber of Commerce chatting and enjoying a coffee

Strengthening our relationships with the Bay Area business community and contributing to the overall economic growth and expansion of the region.

Vice Chancellor Francesca embracing a child outside Tallio's Coffee Shop while shop owner looks on
Community Investment

A 3-year pilot program, partnering with local fiscal intermediaries to increase available lendable capital in San Francisco’s under-resourced communities.

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