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Structural Competency Working Group

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Structural competency is the capacity for health professionals to recognize and respond to health and illness as the downstream effects of broad social, political, and economic structures.


This site is dedicated to sharing training materials developed by the Structural Competency Working Group. For more on the definition of structural competency and related resources, please visit


The Structural Competency Working Group is comprised of healthcare workers, scholars, public health professionals, students, educators, and other community members. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014, our goal is to help promote the training of health professionals in structural competency around the country and beyond. Toward this end, we develop and disseminate open-use structural competency curricula.

We offer a half-day structural competency training that has been implemented dozens of times with diverse health profession audiences, including students and practitioners of medicine, nursing, social work, and public health among other professions. ​We are currently developing adaptations of the training tailored for specific audiences, including reproductive health and mental health professionals and trainees, RNs and nursing students, and pre-health students.

To learn more about our group, please read this chapter from Structural Competency in Mental Health and Medicine. A special thank you to the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and Berkeley Center for Social Medicine for their ongoing support and contributions.

To read about an early version of our training, please see our article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, "Teaching Structure: A Qualitative Evaluation of a Structural Competency Training for Resident Physicians."


  1. Recognize the influences of social structures on patient health

  2. Recognize the influences of social structures on the practice of healthcare

  3. Develop strategies for responding to structures in clinical settings

  4. Develop strategies for responding to structures beyond the clinic

  5. Understand & practice structural humility


Please use the links below to access recordings of an early version of our training, conducted at Samuel Merritt University in January 2016. Embedded below is an introduction to this training from SCWG co-coordinator Shirley Strong (previous Chief Diversity Officer at Samuel Merritt University). 

For a more recent version, led by coordinators Shirley and Josh, click here. The training starts at 20 minutes; unfortunately, the sound quality is suboptimal.

For an abbreviated version of the training, please see the following videos from UC Riverside's How We Heal conference.

Please click here to find our recommended reading list. 


SCWG Members


  • Shirley Strong – Co-Coordinator 2016 to present, Trainer

  • Ariana Thompson-Lastad – Training Capacitation, Trainer

  • Felix Pan – Co-Coordinator 2020 to present, Webmaster, Training Scheduler

  • Cara McGuinness – Trainer, Financial Manager


  • Jayinee Basu – Trainer

  • Lea Marcotrigiano – Trainer

  • Deena Mallareddy – Trainer

  • Jen Matthews – Trainer

  • Jenni Lee – Trainer

  • Kelly Knight – Trainer

  • Laura Duncan – Trainer, Co-Coordinator 2016-17

  • Nancy Kang -- Assistant Trainer

  • Nimish Saxena – Co-Coordinator 2019 to 2020, Trainer

  • Josh Neff – Trainer, Co-Coordinator 2014 to 2018​

  • Lily Walkover – Trainer

  • Marjorie Hammer

  • Michael Harvey – Trainer, Co-Coordinator 2016-17

  • Nicholas Nelson – Trainer, Co-Coordinator 2015-16

  • Sara Minahan – Trainer

  • Seth Holmes – Trainer, Co-Coordinator 2014-15

​Former Members:


  • Alice Langford – Communications, Scribe 2016-2019

  • Adam Bazari

  • Alan Elbaum

  • Ambri Pukhraj

  • Brett Lewis

  • Carlos Martinez

  • Chiara Rosenbaum

  • Christa Morris

  • Daniel Morberg

  • Elaine Lemay

  • Emmanuel Williams

  • Giulia Leggett

  • Gregory Chin – Membership Coordinator 2018

  • Heidi Hoechst

  • Jade Regalado

  • Jorge Luis De Avila – Website Coordinator 2018

  • Joseph Domingo

  • Kala Ghooray

  • Katiana Carey-Simms – Funds 2017-2019

  • Lindsey Simard – Website Coordinator 2017

  • Matthew Musselman

  • Maya Florsheim

  • Michael McAvoy

  • Michelle Tong

  • Miriam Eisenhardt

  • Raveena Toor

  • Sabine Flick

  • Sam Dubal – Co-Coordinator 2014

  • Sarah Schear

  • Shannon Satterwhite – Trainer, Co-Coordinator 2016-17

  • Sri Shamasunder

  • Thu Dao – Scribe 2018

  • Colin Buzza

  • Melinda Cuthbert

  • Mark Fleming


News & Events

COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings and trainings will be conducted virtually until further notice

Position Statement - 06/15/2020

The SCWG has published a position statement regarding the current situation of police brutality, structural racism, and COVID-19. We also discuss several actions individuals can take at various levels of intervention. Read the statement here.

Structural Competency Innovations & Opportunities In the Era of COVID-19 - Basic Needs and First Response

A series of webinars discussing the role of structural competency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please find the recorded webinars below. 

Part 1: Basic Needs and First Response

Part 2: Medically Marginalized Populations

Part 3: Global Responses

April 18, 2020 - Webinar: COVID-19 and Incarceration: What is Happening/What are the Key Questions/What is to Be Done?

This webinar was hosted by the Center for Social Medicine and Humanities (CSMH) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Please find the recorded webinar here.

For links to additional resources relating to incarceration, mental illness, and the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the CSMH here.

COVID Webinars
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Interested in scheduling a training?


We offer a half-day structural competency training that has been implemented numerous times with diverse health profession audiences, including students and practitioners of medicine, nursing, social work, and public health, among other professions. Our training includes didactic, participatory, and reflective modules discussing the core concepts of structural competency and their implications for healthcare training and practice.


We ask organizations that are able to pay $2000 for each 3-4 hour training session. The training fees help support our group’s ongoing work developing and disseminating curricula across disciplines and across the country. If your group does not have a budget capable of covering our fees, please inquire about sliding scale options. We believe that training in social structures is essential for the training of health professionals, as well as necessary - if not sufficient - for addressing our society’s disparities in health and healthcare. As such, we certainly do not want cost to be a barrier to accessing our training. 


If this training sounds like something your group/institution may be interested in, please email us at, subject line “SC Training Inquiry.” Please allow up to one week for response.

Interested in Joining the SCWG?


Thanks for your interest in structural competency. 

If you are interested in becoming a structural competency trainer: We are currently adapting our train-the-trainer process and accepting applications for new potential trainers. All potential trainers should first attend an in-person structural competency training and/or watch our training videos (located on our website under the "Training Resources" tab). Once you are familiar with our trainings, please complete our online application here AND email the “receipt” from the form to and **Unfortunately, we can only accept trainer applications for group members who are located in the Bay Area due to meeting capacity and scheduling conflicts. However, we are working on creating a platform for interested individuals to engage with each other on topics regarding structural competency.

For any other inquiries or information, please do not hesitate to reach out via email. As we are a group of volunteers juggling our participation in the SCWG with various other commitments, please allow up to four weeks for a response.

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