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Past Programs & Success Stories

​Since 1999, CCI has been a vital source of ideas, best practices and funding for California’s health care safety net. We’ve focused on the big challenges — the ones that when solved will have huge impacts on health care for California’s underserved communities—and our grants and related programs have built resilient systems of care and treatment.

  • Co-Design for Better Care


    Experience-based co-design builds upon the principles of human-centered design to offer a systematic approach to incorporating the patient perspective and voice in improving care delivery. This strategy is rooted in using real-time, direct observation to understand exactly what patients and families experience while receiving care, identifying key ‘touch points,’ and incorporating patients and family directly in the improvement design process. In partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation and the Patient & Family Centered Care Innovation Center (PFCC), the Co-Design for Better Care program offered four California clinics the opportunity to try this innovative technique. PFCC guided selected health centers through a 10-month program of implementing this methodology, with a goal of engaging patients and families with cross-functional teams of care givers from all levels of the organization to co-design ideal care delivery. After the Co-Design program was complete, program evaluators John Snow, Inc. (JSI) dug deeper with a comprehensive analysis of one part of the PFCC methodology that stood out as particularly useful and impactful for clinics: shadowing, a technique that involves direct, real-time observation of patients and their families as they move through a care experience in any healthcare setting.

  • Cultivate Fund


    Sometimes ideas aren’t the limiting resource. In tackling health care’s biggest challenges, there is a big gap between scattered notions and solutions that take root. To make an impact new approaches need to be nourished with time and resources—cultivated through risk-taking, testing and reiteration. We call this the “seed” stage of driving innovation—when good ideas are allowed to grow. CCI, in partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation, launched the Cultivate Fund to enable innovators in the safety net to make the leaps needed to bring ideas from concept to implementation and develop solutions that can be spread and sustained. With grants and guidance, participating organizations iterated and implemented a waiting room concierge program, various uses of the Tickt digital survey platform, and solutions aimed at tackling social determinants of health.This program also worked to promote a culture of risk-taking among safety net providers and thinking beyond incremental improvement to reimagine how care can be delivered.

  • Advancing Communication Excellence

    2014 - 2015

    For several years CCI partnered with Blue Shield of California Foundation to deliver a unique communication training series to staff and providers at community health centers throughout California. The Treating Patients with CARE curriculum, developed and taught by the Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC), offered a paradigm for staff and providers to communicate with patients (and each other) in ways that appreciate and empower. In 2014 CCI launched its third round of CARE training, the Advancing Communication Excellence Initiative (ACE). ACE also included a second program option for organizations that had already been through CARE training in a previous year. This second training, Coaching for Impressive Care (CFIC), provided the opportunity to train managers and supervisors in coaching skills developed from the CARE curriculum.

  • Building Systems

    2014 - 2015

    In the California safety net, many primary care programs for high-risk, high-cost patients exist or are in early development, as providers and payers focus on the high costs of care and on unmet patient needs for this segment of their patient population. With funding from the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), CCI partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) on the Building Systems of Care in the Safety Net for High-Utilizing Patients to help California safety net healthcare organizations answer critical questions about providing health homes for complex patients. In March 2014, nine primary care clinics in California were selected to join CCI and IHI in developing systems of care for patients with high-cost, complex care needs. In Phase 1 of the program, clinics developed project infrastructure, measurement capacity, and key partnerships to be effective in tailored program design and systematic improvement. Phase 2 began in Summer 2014 and provided clinics with the opportunity to participate in the first national IHI Learning Collaborative on designing sustainable systems of care for population segments that are high-risk and high-cost.

  • Expanding Access Through Team Care

    2014 - 2015

    The best doctors, facilities and equipment can only do so much if there are lines out the door—when demand is so high that waiting patients get sent home at the end of the day without care. For many vulnerable people in California, the biggest stumbling block for their health is accessing the care in a timely and convenient manner. The Expanding Access through Team Care program, funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation, guided clinics to expand access to primary care services by improving the efficiency of team care models. CCI partnered with Coleman Associates, the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation, and independent consultant Carolyn Shepherd, M.D. to provide individualized coaching and a robust curriculum to participants around care team development and appointment access. Thirteen healthcare organizations were selected to participate in this yearlong program, which consisted of monthly webinars, in-person workshops, peer learning network and ongoing measurement and improvement efforts. Expanding Access held six monthly webinars on topics including: Change Concepts and Measuring Success, Task Delegation and Standing Orders, No-Show Reduction, and Optimizing Communication Management. The program held in-person workshop in Los Angeles in October 2014 in Oakland in February 2015. Access the program resources at

  • Texting for Better Care


    Texting has become a ubiquitous communication platform, and one that has particular reach amongst lower income populations. CCI, with support from Blue Shield of California Foundation, sought to empower community health centers to use texting to connect with patients in between office visits—from sending reminders for upcoming appointments to managing referrals to chronic disease home care information and prevention advice. Eight grantees received $30,000 each to develop sustainable, scalable texting solutions, using a variety of different vendors. Explore resources, tools and ideas created by program participants in our Texting for Better Care Toolkit.

  • Engaging Patients to Improve Care

    2013 - 2014

    In healthcare there has long been a separation between patients and the providers and organizations that give them care. But what could we accomplish if we listened more to patients, or even involved them in efforts to improve the care they receive? In partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation, CCI’s Engaging Patients to Improve Care (EPIC) program used three strategies to explore this question. First, with the expertise of of The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care, CCI assisted seven safety net organizations in setting up patient and family advisor councils. Second, we supported three clinics in capturing the patient voice through point-of-care patient experience surveys, working with Quality Data Management to turn verbatim responses into meaningful insights. Finally CCI and The Institute for Healthcare Communication hosted another round of “Treating Patients with C.A.R.E.” train-the-trainer communication workshops for four organizations.

  • Encore Fellows in Community Health Centers

    2013 - 2014

    Encore Fellows are highly experienced professionals with an average of 20+ years of experience, each looking to devote the latter years of their career to helping nonprofits improve our communities. In 2011 the California HealthCare Foundation launched Encore Fellows in Community Health Centers (EFCHC) to connect encore professionals to health centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley and San Diego, seeking to significantly improve operational performance. The fellows brought both targeted skill sets and new perspectives to the challenges faced by health centers. In 2013 CCI took over the EFCHC program until the end of 2014.

  • Patient Experience Action Community

    2012 - 2014

    What defines an exceptional patient experience? Immediate access to care? Personalized service? Compassionate providers? Spiritual and emotional support? A clean environment? All of the above? Launched by The California HealthCare Foundation and managed by CCI, this program partnered with Experia, a nationally recognized patient experience advisory firm, to offer eight community clinics the opportunity to transform their patient experience through the Patient Experience Action Community (PEAC). The two-year PEAC project supported eight clinics with $40,000 for two years; one-on-one coaching sessions with experts from ExperiaHealth; and peer networking and access to national experts.

  • Safety Net Innovation Challenge

    2012 - 2014

    ​CCI’s Innovation Challenge programs started with the idea that the a culture of risk-taking in the safety net can forward new ideas into transformative practice. CCI provided seed funding to investigate new solutions to common problems aligned with our three focus areas: care teams with patients as core team members, improving access to primary care, and transitions from hospital to primary care. Launched in 2012 in partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation, this program engaged safety net organizations in a Rapid Cycle Innovation process involving innovation skills training and an implementation phase with additional coaching to put grantee ideas into action.

  • Regional Information for Shared Excellence

    2012 - 2014

    ​​Businesses monitor a variety of data to ensure quality service and customer satisfaction. Now more community health clinics are investing time and money to increase the quality and efficiency of their own operations. Launched by the California HealthCare Foundation and managed by CCI, Regional Information for Shared Excellence (RISE) was a two-year, $1.6-million project designed to accelerate such efforts in California. Working in regional clusters, with support from outside consultants, teams of clinics tackled issues of data collection, information sharing, benchmarking performance, and sharing best practices.

  • Optimizing Patient Experience

    2012 - 2013

    CCI’s Optimizing Patient Experience program supported clinics and consortia in improving patients’ experience by training staff in the “Treating Patients with C.A.R.E” program, a curriculum by the Institute for Healthcare Communications. Launched in 2012 in partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation, twelve organizations participated in a train-the-trainer program on improving communication and received $25,000 grants to develop creative ways to improve patient experience by encouraging engagement from all levels of staff.

  • Health Home Innovation Fund

    2011 - 2013

    CCI’s Health Home Innovation Fund supported regional efforts to build integrated systems of care among local safety net institutions, connecting consumers and their families with a range of services from preventive and health promotion to specialty care and community supportive services. HHIF aimed to improve the health of underserved communities, provide better care to individuals and their families, and lower the costs of care by leading efforts to advance “health homes.” The fund supported partnerships among safety net institutions to propose policy changes and payment reforms, and position themselves to become providers of choice in the rapidly evolving health care marketplace. Launched in 2011 in partnership with The California Endowment, eight regional efforts and an additional two developmental projects were funded over two years.

  • CCI Voice

    2001 - 2013

    CCI launched this unique community in 2001 as a tool to support our grantmaking, but it quickly grew beyond our grantees. During its long and useful history, the Voice offered connections, collaboration and resources to a wide range of safety net health care professionals and partners from across California as well as other states. CCI is proud to have supported it the Voice over a decade. We have now incorporated the most used and popular Voice features, such as the news service, “Innovation of the Month” and expert discussions into our site.

  • Community Health Center Innovation Challenge

    2011 - 2012

    CCI’s Community Health Center Innovation Challenge program challenged community health centers to take on transformative projects that aligned with IHI’s Triple Aim goals of better health, improved patient experience and lower costs of care. CCI, in partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation granted $455,000 and provided consultation and training from IHI to innovative projects across the state.

  • Networking for Community Health Program

    2008 - 2012

    ​The Networking for Community Health Program supported new and creative ways of promoting health in underserved communities. CCI, through a partnership with The California Endowment, granted nearly $10 million to innovative projects across California that built connections between community health centers and local partners, to bring about real and sustainable community health improvements.

  • Tools for Quality

    2008 - 2010

    ​The Tools for Quality program granted over $3 million to nonprofit clinics and consortia in California to purchase chronic disease management systems that would allow them to improve care and address the needs of their patient population as a whole. CCI managed this innovative funding collaborative that was sponsored jointly by Blue Shield of California Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation, CCI, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region, and The California Endowment.

  • Integrated Behavioral Health Project

    2006 - 2010

    The Integrated Behavioral Health Project granted over $2 million and provided technical assistance to accelerate the integration of behavioral health services and primary care in California. CCI, in partnership with The California Endowment, managed this initiative. The goal of the project was to identify and elevate program elements, strategies, and treatment approaches leading to successful integration of mental and physical care.

  • California Networks for Electronic Health Record Adoption

    2006 - 2009

    ​The California Networks for EHR Adoption program granted over $3 million to develop collaborative strategies for community-based technology models, specifically shared applications and services for EHRs. This funding collaborative was a partnership between the California HealthCare Foundation, Blueshield of California Foundation and CCI in partnership with The California Endowment.

  • Managing Ambulatory Health Care Program and Alumni Activities


    ​The Harvard School of Public Health’s Managing Ambulatory Health Care four-day training program focused on the managerial and leadership responsibilities of community clinic medical directors. CCI brought this leadership program to California and sponsored forty medical directors to attend annually. After the first year of the program, CCI convened an annual alumni gathering to build connections, develop leadership and continue learning together.

  • Building Capacities Program

    2003 – 2007

    ​The Building Capacities program helped clinics strengthen their infrastructures to increase access to care, effectively serve their patients and be powerful change agents in their communities. CCI, through a partnership with the California Endowment, granted over $19 million through three related grant programs – Building Organizational Strength, Major Capital Campaign Gifts and Green Building – and provided in-depth technical assistance and trainings.

  • Information Technology Program

    1999 - 2006

    ​The Information Technology program challenged clinics to build a modern information technology infrastructure and to think as part of a networked world. CCI, in partnership with The California Endowment, granted over $40 million to California community clinics and their consortia to build a solid technology infrastructure and automate core business functions.