Written by: Center for Care Innovations

How School Success Builds Healthy Communities

The Marin City Health and Wellness Center (MCHWC) was established in 2006 with the goal of creating health equity for African Americans.

As clinic staff treated the residents of Marin City, a town with a large African American population located in wealthy Marin County, California, they began to notice a serious, chronic problem. Large numbers of young people in the community were failing and dropping out of high school. MCHWC staff decided that, in line with the organization’s mission to improve the long term health of Marin City residents, it needed to tackle the education problems as well.

The 2018 cycle of Seeding Innovation (also known as Innovation Lab – “iLab” for short) enabled five teams to pilot and iterate on solutions that reduced upstream barriers to health. Projects included creating transportation access in rural areas, housing for people displaced by destructive wildfires, and collaborative case management models between elementary schools and health providers.

With our seed money and support, MCHWC opened a private high school, the Marin City High School Academy of Health and Wellness, in January 2018.