Community Health Leadership Initiative (CHLI)

The Community Health Leadership Initiative (CHLI) provides free training and mentorship for people who are interested in starting a career in the sexual health or substance use field. We also provide opportunities for experienced workers to mentor the future workforce. Please see information below for how to get involved.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please reach out to Katie Faulkner, CHLI Director, at

Are you or someone you know interested in starting a career in the sexual health or drug-user health field? The next program starts in Summer 2023! Sign up below.

What is the CHLI Workforce Development Program?
This is a 12-week personal and professional development and training program that serves as an entryway into HIV/HCV/STI and drug-user health careers for individuals who may have limited to no experience in the field. It supports San Francisco residents who have lived experience or are from priority populations to enter the sexual and drug user health work field by providing weekly skill-building sessions and connecting them with a professional mentor. Core focus areas are HIV/HCV/STI health, drug use and harm reduction, career development, networking, total-person support and cultural competency. The goal of the CHLI Program is to build a highly skilled, cross-trained workforce that reflects the populations served throughout the community, and who are valued and supported, by offering entry-level professional skill-building activities in the HIV/HCV/STI field.

Who is this program for?
This program is recommended for:
• Participants – people who are interested in starting a career in the HIV/HCV/STI health and drug-user health field, and who identify with one or more of the priority populations
• Mentors – people with professional experience and established careers in HIV/HCV/STI health and/or drug user health field, who are interested in supporting the development of participants who would like to enter this field, and would like to develop/further their skills in mentoring

When will this program take place?
• This program starts in Summer 2023 (exact dates to be announced)

How do I sign-up?
• To sign up as a CHLI mentor, please complete the CHLI Mentor Application and Match-up Assessment Form.
• To sign up as a CHLI participant, or to nominate a participant, please complete the CHLI Participant Sign-Up Form.

What is the Frontline Organizing Group Mentor Program (FMP)?
This is a mentorship program in which new frontline workers will be paired with more experienced frontline workers based on various matching questions. A learning framework will be provided for the more experienced worker to guide the new worker through the program. The learning framework includes three Tiers that build upon each other. These Tiers include information essential for HIV frontline workers to know how to competently and effectively support their clients. There will also be an opportunity to create your own learning goals.

This program is designed to support the key Frontline Organizing Group (FOG) goals of:
• Building the capacity of HIV frontline workers to best support their clients
• Stimulating professional relationships in support of cross-agency collaboration
• Investing in workers’ professional development and career growth

Through this program, mentees will:
1. Develop and utilize their professional resource toolbox to effectively address client needs in collaboration with veteran workers
2. Illustrate how to efficiently and confidently triage a client’s presenting issue to resolution (e.g., resolve medication access barrier; present a client in crisis to behavioral health crisis provider)
3. Develop a network of support that includes key relationships at agencies across San Francisco for ongoing collaboration in support of meeting clients’ needs

Through completion of this program, mentors will:
1. Update their professional resource toolbox to more efficiently address client needs through collaborative mentorship of a newer worker
2. Demonstrate advanced abilities for identifying and triaging clients’ presenting needs to resolution
3. Refresh their current network of support, including key relationships at agencies across San Francisco with whom to collaborate to help meet client needs
4. Identify and respond to the needs of the newer workers in the SF HIV systems of care, in support of macro-level capacity building

Who is this program for?
We recommend this program for:
• New workers who have been in the HIV services field in San Francisco for less than 2 years, who would like to develop their knowledge, skills, and professional network to better assist their clients, and learn from an experienced worker;
• Experienced workers in the HIV services field in San Francisco (in the field for over 2 years) who would like to give back by sharing their wisdom and experience with a new worker, while also furthering their mentoring skills and professional development

How do I sign up?
Once you’ve received initial approval from your supervisor to participate, sign up for the FMP by completing one of the sign-up forms below:
FMP Mentee Sign-up Survey & Matching Assessment Form
FMP Mentor Sign-up Survey & Matching Assessment Form

Interested mentors, mentees, and their supervisors can send questions to Katie Faulkner at Your queries will be responded to promptly.

We look forward to you joining our growing community of mentors and mentees and supporting you on this mentoring journey!

Are you an experienced worker in San Francisco in the HIV/ HCV/STI or substance use health field? Would you like to utilize your knowledge and experience to support people who would like to enter the workforce, or are in their early career? Please get in touch to find out more about the mentoring opportunities available to you.

Please contact Katie Faulkner at

Are you involved with workforce development efforts in San Francisco? Would you like to be connected to other workforce development programs? Come join our network!

Please contact Katie Faulkner at for more information.

Program Courses

30-35 minutes
SF Public Library Resume Building Workshop
In this introductory workshop, participants will explore professional tips and tools necessary...
30-45 minutes
Sexual Health & Sex Positivity Workshop
In this workshop participants will explore sexual health topics through the lens of...
1 hour
Community Health Leadership Initiative Welcome Meeting
The CHLI Welcome Orientation serves as a brief overview of the CHLI Training and mentorship...