Our Approach

The PTBi-California uses precision health and interventions research strategies and the collective impact process to achieve breakthroughs that will reduce preterm birth and improve birth outcomes in San Francisco, Oakland, and Fresno. Read our full research portfolio, here

Research on Chronic stress

Chronic stress plays an important role in the everyday life of these women, from lack of access to healthy foods, education, and trusted care to economic stressors and racism. Our research aims to learn how different stressors affect pregnancy and how we may be best poised to combat them.

We take a cell-to-society approach to research—that is, conduct both basic science research and research into social determinants of health—to deliver precision solutions to achieve sustained improvement in birth outcomes.

We also implement innovative solutions—and determine which ones are most effective—to reduce the personal and societal costs of preterm birth.  Our mission is to close the gap in preterm birth disparities so women and babies have equally good birth outcomes, regardless of racial or ethnic background or socioeconomic status.

Read our full research portfolio, here


Collective Impact in Fresno: PTBi-CA is mobilizing diverse groups from health, government, and community sectors to collaboratively tackle prematurity at the population level.

Health care organizations, community-based organizations, and governments often implement changes to their systems, policies, and programs in isolation. Collective impact is a collaborative, cross-sector strategy that engages multiple academic, governmental, and community stakeholders to work together under a shared framework to achieve a well-defined health-related or social change.

As the County with the highest population-adjusted rate of preterm birth in California and the highest rate of disparities among African-Americans, Latinas, and Caucasians, Fresno was selected for our first collective impact effort. PTBi-CA is galvanizing coordinated action among representatives from hospitals, public health-funded programs, primary care clinics, government, UCSF-Fresno, education, and community-based organizations to develop strategies that reduce preterm birth in high-risk populations within different Fresno communities. The three primary areas of focus are health and education before pregnancy, care and support for pregnant women, and coordinated care for women.


Benioff Community Innovators Program

This program recruits and trains a cadre of community members with a passion for improving health for mothers and babies. It provides opportunities for them to develop skills in project leadership and  human-centered design — creative problem-solving techniques built on a deep understanding of the needs of the end-users — so that they can work with researchers, healthcare providers, and community groups to prototype innovative approaches to improve health and social-service delivery that can ultimately reduce preterm birth.