News for New Parents in the Bay Area

New Hospital Opens in San Francisco

The new California Pacific Medical Center Van Ness Campus in San Francisco, which opens March 2, features a focus on maternity care, advanced seismic technology and an eco-friendly design.

Formerly the site of the Cathedral Hill Hotel, the new state-of-the-art facility includes 11 floors and 274 acute-care beds and inpatient services with an emphasis on maternity care for "mature moms" who are over 35. It occupies an entire city block between Geary and Post streets.

It’s equipped to care for multiple births at once and high-risk pregnancies. There are 64 labor/delivery and postpartum beds, 35 neonatal intensive care unit beds and 16 operating rooms, including three dedicated to obstetrics. 

The hospital also includes 60 medical/surgical beds, 36 intensive care unit beds, six antepartum beds, 25 pediatric beds, eight pediatric intensive care unit beds, 30 post-anesthesia care unit beds and 38 exam/treatment room in the 24-hour emergency department.

All 274 patient rooms are private and feature exterior city or garden views and a lot of natural light. There are five living roof gardens, including a public outdoor terrace.

The hospital was built to meet or exceed California’s seismic laws and it is the first in North America to incorporate innovative viscous wall dampers. Used extensively in Japan, viscous wall dampers are designed to absorb strong movement during an earthquake, which helps reduce overall stress on the building. The hope is that the hospital will be able to remain fully operational in case of a strong seismic event.

It was designed and constructed to operate in an environmentally conscious way. There are water-saving features that capture rain water for the hospital’s rooftop gardens and high-efficiency, low-flow plumbing fixtures designed to save more than three million gallons of water per year. 

The hospital will also use 14 percent less power than the average United States hospital in part because 80 percent of the rooms receive direct natural sunlight. 

The $2.1 billion project was led by general contractor HerreroBOLDT, which broke ground in 2013.


 Hospital Gives Early Literacy Campaign a Boost

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital expanded the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail initiative’s "Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing" early literacy campaign by providing materials to every family who gives birth at the hospital.

Last October, the hospital began giving each newborn and family discharged from the hospital literacy materials including books, tip sheets and tote bags with prompts that encourage parents to engage in quality interactions from birth. The expansion is funded through the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s Hearts Grant program, which funds innovative hospital projects and initiatives. 

In 2016, the Too Small to Fail initiative partnered with Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, First 5 San Francisco and San Francisco Public Library system on the local campaign.

In the first year of the partnership, materials were provided to families of young children who receive primary care at the Children’s Health Center, the hospital’s pediatric clinic. These materials encouraged pediatricians and nurse practitioners to talk with families during well-baby visits about the importance of quality early engagement with their children.

Research shows that during a children’s first years of life, brains form one million new neural connections every second. That is why everyday interaction with young children is so important.


 Infants are Affected by Mother’s Perinatal Depression

Maternal depression can affect a baby’s health before and after birth, according to a report recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report says it’s one of the most common and costly obstetric complications in the United States when left undiagnosed and untreated.

In the statement, the AAP renews its call for physicians to screen women for depression during and after pregnancy. It also details the health problems for children.

Approximately 50 percent of women who are depressed during and after pregnancy are undiagnosed and untreated, according to research cited in the report. If depression is left untreated, it can delay bonding and healthy attachment, distort perception of the infant’s behavior and impair the mother’s attention to and judgement concerning safety, the report says.

Symptoms of perinatal depression typically happen anytime during pregnancy or within four weeks of delivery. Recently, some organizations have extended the time period to include the full 12 months after delivery. An estimated 15 to 20 percent of new mothers are affected by perinatal depression, which is an umbrella term that includes forms of prenatal and postpartum depression, according to the report.

AAP recommends mothers be screened for depression once during pregnancy, and pediatricians screen mothers during the infant’s well visits at one, two, four and six months of age.