About the Shape Up SF Coalition
The Shape Up SF Coalition is a multidisciplinary body convened to address the epidemic of chronic disease through primary prevention and environmental strategies, with an emphasis on physical activity and nutrition. Shape Up SF is committed to reducing health disparities in chronic diseases that disproportionately affect African American, Latino and Asian populations.
When considering the root causes of chronic disease, they are ultimately far more widespread than the “poor choices” of an individual. To that end, addressing chronic disease is far more complicated and nuanced than simply asking people to eat their fruits and vegetables and start exercising 30 minutes a day. To ask people to make those “simple” changes, we must consider how their behaviors are shaped by their social, physical and political environments.
To accomplish this work, we welcome partners, existing and new, to help us create the environments that make it easy and fun to eat well and move more.
The Coalition is co-chaired by two individuals who represent the diversity and vision of the Coalition. The Coalition meets on a quarterly schedule (on the second Wednesday of every third month) from 2-4 PM at the YMCA Admin Offices located at 50 California St., Suite 650. Coalition meetings provide opportunities for education, networking and sharing and moving forward the work of the Shape Up Coalition. To read past Coalition Meeting minutes and agendas, please visit the Meeting Information page.
Shape Up SF Coalition Leadership
Shape Up SF Coalition Co-Chairs: Chuck Collins and Roberto Vargas
Charles M. Collins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of San Francisco. The YMCA offers dozens of programs and services for over 183,000 children and adults in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties. Mr. Collins was appointed chair of the Mayor’s Physical Activities Council by Mayor Gavin Newsom; he is currently co-chair of Shape Up SF, and a member of the National Public Policy Committee of the YMCA of the USA. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the California State Alliance of YMCAs.
From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Collins served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Family Service Agency of San Francisco (FSA/SF). From 1983 to 2002, Mr. Collins was President and Chairman of WDG Ventures, Inc., and its affiliated companies which are engaged in the investment and development of commercial and residential real estate. In February 2012, Mr. Collins was appointed by Mayor Edwin Lee to the San Francisco Arts Commission. He is Chairman Emeritus of the San Francisco Art Institute and former Senior Vice Chairman of the National Urban League. He is a board member of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Marketing & Communications Committee.
Mr. Collins received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from Williams College, his Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School.
Roberto A. Vargas, MPH, is a Navigator for the Community Engagement and Health Policy Program of the Clinical Translational Science Institute at UCSF, working to leverage UCSF’s research resources toward health equity, primarily by building multi-sector partnerships between UCSF and local public and community-based health systems and organizations. In 2002, he began partnership-building between UCSF and communities in southeast San Francisco where the greatest burden of health disparities exist in SF and where he was a third generation resident. Since 2005, Vargas has lectured, provided mentorship and helped develop partnerships between UCSF researchers, faculty and learners and off-campus partners including policymakers, city departments and community organizations to strengthen policy and community-based interventions. Since 2010, Vargas has focused on reduction of obesity-related disease disparities by way of these efforts, with place-based focus in the Bayview Hunters Point, and via citywide health education and policy development.
Vargas served as Program Manager for the Community Partnerships Program of the Stanford Cancer Institute, between 2010 and 2013, focused on identifying barriers and opportunities to providing comprehensive cancer care for Latinos in Salinas Valley via health systems and research partnerships. In 2015 he was appointed to the National Council of Research Advocates, advising the Director of the National Cancer Institute.
Prior to joining UCSF, he was the Director of a multi-service center for high-risk teens in the Mission. In the past, he created and directed peer health education programs and taught social studies in several middle and high schools in San Francisco. He taught art and poetry with incarcerated youth in SF and worked as a street outreach worker with youth gangs in the Mission. He continues to volunteer for community-based organizations protecting immigrant rights, building bridges to Central America and against police violence.
Vargas received the UCSF Achievement Award for Excellence in University-Community Partnership in 2009, and in May 2015 received the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for University Service.
Shape Up SF Ambassador and Development Chair: Bea Cardenas-Duncan
Beatrice Cardenas-Duncan served as Co-Chair of the Coalition from 2012-2015. Bea immigrated to the US at the age of fifteen where she has worked with community organizations, nonprofits, and local and state governments for over 30 years. An active retiree, she currently serves as co-chair to Shape Up SF as well as a Legislative Ambassador for the American Cancer Society. Bea is a passionate and persuasive speaker who is well-respected and adds a certain flair of credibility. As a retired political community organizer, she knows dozens of powerful politicos. She also is a mother and grandmother and childhood obesity, physical activity/education and healthy eating public policies especially resonate with her.From 1974 through 1981, Beatrice worked for politician Milton Marks, who represented San Francisco in the California Assembly and California state Senate. Recently, Cardenas-Duncan earned her BA from the University of San Francisco. She serves as a board of director for a Single Fatherhood organization.
The Steering Committee meets monthly and is composed of staff and Coalition partners, representing the diversity of our Coalition members. The Steering Committee provides overall guidance to the Coalition, sets meeting agendas, establishes project priorities, and ensures communication and collaboration among members. Meet the Steering Committee.