Clinic Leadership Institute - Emerging Leaders

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The Clinic Leadership Institute (CLI) prepares leaders of California community clinics and health centers to be effective and passionate agents of change. With participants ranging from administrative staff to new chief executive officers, CLI includes two programs: Emerging Leaders and New Executive Transitions (nEXt). Graduates of both programs participate in the CLI Network, which provides ongoing professional development and peer support.

The goal of CLI Emerging Leaders is to build the next generation of safety net providers and leaders who will sustain and strengthen the community health field in California.

The Clinic Leadership Institute is a signature project of Blue Shield of California Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of Californians, particularly underserved populations, by making health care accessible, effective, and affordable for all Californians, and by ending domestic violence.


CLI Emerging Leaders’ model for leadership development is comprised of the following elements:

  • Seminars. CLI participants attend six offsite seminars over an 18-month period. The seminars cover a variety of topics that take into account the social justice mission and unique structure of community health centers. Community health center executives and other leaders participate in the development and delivery of course content.
  • Intersessions. Between each seminar, participants complete assignments, carry out leadership projects and experiments, and work with small groups of other participants.
  • Peer groups. Participants are placed in peer groups of four to six participants from their geographic areas. Peer groups carry out intersession work, complete team assignments during seminars, and provide a forum for peer advising on leadership goals and projects. CLI Emerging Leaders program alumni serve as advisors for the peer groups.
  • Clinic Leadership Institute projects. Each participant develops and carries out a leadership project that addresses the unique needs of their organization, as well as the leadership goals they have set.
  • Professional coaching. Each participant receives nine hours of executive coaching over the course of the 18-month institute and six hours of alumni coaching in the year following graduation from the program.
  • Personal learning plan. Each participant creates leadership goals that they work on throughout the program. The plan focuses on participants’ work with guidance from coaches and instructors.
  • CLI network. Participants have access to a network of graduates from all CLI programs. Alumni activities include semi-annual statewide meetings and regional gatherings.


We use a multi-faceted approach to deliver the curriculum, including:

  • Knowledge acquisition (didactics, readings)
  • Experiential learning (role plays, case studies, leadership projects)
  • Ongoing feedback, reflection, and support (small peer groups and executive coaching)

Over the 18 months of seminars and intersession activities, the CLI curriculum will cover the following competencies:

  • Leadership and decision making
  • Strategic thinking and action
  • Business acumen and financial management
  • Interpersonal communication and relationship management
  • Organizational improvement and data driven decision making
  • Project management

Cohort 10 (2017 - 2018)

  • March 28-31, 2017 - Tiburon, CA
  • June 21-25, 2017 - San Francisco, CA
  • Sept. 26-29, 2017 - TBD
  • Dec. 6-8, 2017 - TBD
  • March 6-9, 2018 - Sacramento, CA
  • June 22-24, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA

Cohort 9 (2016-2017)


  • Seminar 1: March 29-April 1, 2016 – Tiburon (plan to arrive in the evening of March 28th)
  • Seminar 2: June 22-26, 2016 – Los Angeles (plan to depart in the morning of June 26th)
  • Seminar 3: September 13-16, 2016 – San Jose
  • Seminar 4: December 7-9, 2016 – Newport Beach
  • Seminar 5: March 7-10, 2017 – Sacramento
  • Seminar 6: June 23-25, 2017  – Bay Area (seminar adjourns in the late morning of June 25th)

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, seminars begin in the early evening and adjourn mid-afternoon. Participants should be prepared to add travel time to the seminar dates listed.

    Apply Now Here.

    To be eligible to apply for CLI Emerging Leaders, applicants MUST BE currently employed by a clinic licensed by the state of California as a Community Clinic, Free Clinic or designated Tribal Clinic or employed by a regional or statewide consortia serving California’s community clinics and health centers.

    View eligibility for Clinic Leadership Institute Emerging Leaders for a list of organizations that meet these criteria. If your organization is not listed and meets the above criteria, please email us to determine eligibility.

    Applicants must also:

    • Have at least three years of employment in the clinic field by the start of the program.
    • Currently work in a management or supervisory capacity, which may include but is not limited to:
      • supervising three or more individuals at the same time,
      • managing a specific program area of the health center, or
      • leading a team of individuals or a project team within a clinic or consortium department.
    • Demonstrate long-term commitment and passion to serve the health care safety net and community clinics.
    • Be open to learning about themselves and their organizations, and to making changes to meet the future needs of the safety net community.
    • Be recognized by others as a leader.
    • Be sponsored by his or her current employer.



    CLI participants agree to fully engage in all aspects of this 18-month program. Specifically, participants agree to:

    • Participate actively in all activities, including attending all six seminars. These two to four day seminars take place on weekdays and on some weekends.
    • Commit to spending an average of three hours each week on further study and learning experiences, which may include reading articles, watching videos, and participating in peer group work.
    • Develop and track leadership development goals.
    • Develop and implement a clinic leadership project.
    • Secure clinic/employer sponsorship to include release time during the workweek for attending seminars.
    • Participate in evaluation of the program.
    • Join the CLI alumni network after completing the program.
    • Permit UCSF and BSCF to include their name, title, organizational information, biosketch, photo, and video image in CLI informational and promotional materials.

    Blue Shield of California Foundation’s sponsorship covers most costs, including educational materials, transportation, lodging, and most meals at seminars. Participants are asked to cover incidental costs for attending seminars and other program events such as tips, food, and beverages on travel days.

    Contact Information

    Clinic Leadership Institute Emerging Leaders
    Healthforce Center at UCSF
    3333 California Street, Suite 410
    San Francisco, CA 94143
    Email the CLI program

    Lauren Hill, MPH
    Senior Manager, Leadership Development
    Email Lauren

    James Koontz
    Leadership Development Assistant
    Email James
    (415) 476-1790

    Marie Hubbard, MSW
    Leadership Development Associate
    Email Marie
    (415) 476-1662

    Amy Quan
    Leadership Development Associate
    Email Amy
    (415) 514-2853

    Sunita Mutha, MD, FACP
    Email Sunita

    Blue Shield of California

    Blue Shield of California Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of all Californians, particularly the underserved, by making health care accessible, effective, and affordable, and by ending domestic violence. Recognizing the importance of cultivating strong leaders within California’s health care safety net, the Foundation created CLI in 2007 through a partnership with Healthforce Center at UCSF.

    Featured Testimonial

    Clinic Leadership Institute provides an incredible opportunity to learn, to grow and to transform both professionally and personally. I emerged a leader from the inside out.
    Sam Fernandez, LCSW
    Assistant Director of Behavioral Health, Mendocino Community Health Clinics
    View All Testimonials »