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ROOTS: Roles Outside Of Traditional Systems

Safety net clinics have long played a role in addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH). The origins of this effort can be traced back to the pioneering work on community-oriented primary care developed over a generation ago. This work emerged in conjunction with the development of clinics in the U.S., and made strong links between clinical practice and community action. Today efforts to transform the healthcare system are increasingly moving beyond clinical walls to address the SDOH. This move has also broadened the focus from providing health care services to addressing overall health and equity of communities.

The shift in payment from fee-based services reimbursed by volume to a system that rewards value (defined by improvements in health and outcomes) has created opportunities and interest in focusing on population health. At the same time, in the age of big data and an increased development of health care oriented data tools, there is new call for clinics to collect and find ways to use data to improve health at both the individual and population-level. But clinics cannot address SDOH alone. There is a need to develop innovative partnerships and long-term solutions using data to address medical, behavioral and social needs and address the upstream factors impacting health.

The Center for Care Innovations (CCI), in partnership with the Blue Shield of California Foundation, is launching the Roles Outside Of Traditional Systems (or ROOTS) program to provide a renewed focus and opportunity to test and adapt this approach in today’s healthcare environment, building on activities already underway in clinics across California. It provides a route for clinics to apply their assets, expertise, and credibility to the challenge of creating environments that support health and equity. It also provides a forum to experiment and begin to clarify the role of clinics in addressing SDOH.

How to Apply

Review the RFA

Learn about the full details of the program and get the application questions by downloading the Request for Applications here:


Interested organizations are encouraged to participate in an informational webinar at May 30, 2017. Please register at:


Your application and budget must be submitted online to CCI by 5:00pm Tuesday, June 27, 2017 using the application submission form here:

Applications should include the following:

CCI and our program partners will review applications. Our intent is to select an engaged group of 5-7 clinics that are already collecting SDOH data and have begun to experiment with using that data to address social determinants of health. Awards will be announced via email on July 28, 2017.


  • Informational Webinar – May 30, 2017 at 1:00pm
  • Applications Due – June 27, 2017
  • Grant Awards Recommendations Announced – By July 28, 2017
  • Kickoff Webinar (Save the Date): Thursday, September 14, 2017