San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (The General) was recently highlighted in The New York Times as the safest place in California to have a baby.  Practicing evidence-based medicine, The General supports both mother and baby by encouraging vaginal delivery rather than the increasingly popular cesarean sections.

C-sections often put the mother at greater risk and are more expensive to perform. Yet, according the article, America’s C-section rate has risen 50 percent over the last 10 years and is now used in a third of all births. In contrast, The General performs a low rate of C-sections on low-risk patients, just 10.1% compared with 62.7% at Los Angeles Community Hospital.

As noted in the article, C-sections are often scheduled for a doctor’s convenience rather than necessity.  This is not the case at The General, where all doctors are salaried and available around the clock.  As Juan Vargas, chief of obstetrics is quoted in the New York Times article, “We’re here no matter what.  There’s no time that a woman needs to be delivered by.”

The Foundation is so proud of our colleagues at The General for this well-deserved acknowledgement of the great work that they do.

More than 1,200 babies are born at The General annually and thanks to our wonderful donors, the Foundation is able to support the full spectrum of services for pre-natal and birthing care, funding space renovation, equipment purchases and parent education initiatives.  Hearts Grants from the Foundation have supported:

  • A Newborn Hearing Machine which allows The General to offer hearing screenings to 100 percent of newborns.  Significant hearing loss is one of the most common abnormalities present at birth, and if undetected, can negatively impact speech and language acquisition, academic achievement and social and emotional development.
  • The creation of the Breastfeeding Center, now celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The establishment of the Breastfeeding Center was instrumental in helping The General achieve a Baby-Friendly designation from UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
  • The Expectant Parents Club, an education program offered in three languages that provides the tools for parents to become more proactive both during and after pregnancy. The program is so successful, that health centers throughout the City have been increasingly referring patients to this program, thus increasing the number of patients served at The General.  Providers from these different clinics have also reported an increasing number of breastfeeding mothers.

Read the full NY Times article here: