MEDIA ADVISORY: City of San Francisco, UCSF to Bring Attention to Community Issue of Preterm Birth

What: To bring attention to the health consequences of preterm birth, and the disproportionately high rates among African-American/Black women and infants in San Francisco, City leaders and UCSF physicians are coming together to recognize community efforts to turn the curve on this epidemic and the need for more attention on it.

  • On Wednesday, Nov. 8, elected officials and UCSF physician leaders will hold a press conference at City Hall in recognition of Prematurity Awareness Month.
  • On Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16 and 17, in recognition of Prematurity Awareness Month, City Hall will be lit in purple.
  • On Friday, Nov. 17, UCSF in partnership with community members will host a Rally for Equity at City Hall, following the Preterm Birth Initiative Annual Symposium at the Commonwealth Club. The rally will be held at City Hall at 6 p.m.

When and Where: The press conference will be held:

  • 11:00 to 11:30 am, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017
  • Room 278, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., San Francisco, CA 94102


  • President London Breed, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 5
  • Senator Scott Wiener, California Senate District 11
  • Assemblymember David Chiu, Assembly District 17
  • Mike Anderson, MD, MBA, President, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals
  • Larry Rand, MD, Principal Investigator, California Preterm Birth Initiative
  • Brianne Taylor, Benioff Community Innovator, California Preterm Birth Initiative
  • Curtis Chan, MD, MPH, Maternal Child Adolescent Heath Medical Director, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Why: The U.S. preterm birth rate rose in 2017, for the second consecutive year, to 9.8 percent. Significant disparities in birth outcomes persist among women of different ethnic backgrounds, even after accounting for differences in income, education, alcohol and tobacco use. Black women are nearly 50 percent more likely than women of other ethnic groups to deliver prematurely. In San Francisco, one in seven black babies is born prematurely, which is nearly double the rate for white babies.

The UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, a multi-year research effort working to reduce the burden of prematurity in California and East Africa, is working in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to address the causes of preterm birth and bring greater awareness of the problem.

On Friday, Nov. 17, the Preterm Birth Initiative Annual Symposium, uniting representatives from the PTBi’s California and East Africa geographies, will be held at the Commonwealth Club, featuring Lateefah Simon, MacArthur Fellow, president of the Akonadi Foundation and member of the San Francisco BART Board of Directors. The symposium will culminate in a rally at City Hall advocating for health equity.

About PTBi-CA: The University of California, San Francisco Preterm Birth Initiative is a multi-year, transdisciplinary research effort generously funded by Marc and Lynne Benioff in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates. The Preterm Birth Initiative unites researchers, clinicians, public health experts, and communities to approach the epidemic of prematurity. The Initiative is geographically focused, comprised of a domestic arm in California and a global arm in East Africa. 

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.