The Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition of San Francisco Honors UCSF

Published on November 13, 2017


The San Francisco Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition recently honored UC San Francisco with the 2017 Healthy Mothers Workplace Award.

The Healthy Mothers Workplace Award recognizes organizations with policies and practices that support lactation accommodation, work-family balance and pregnancy and parenting leave. UCSF has received the award four consecutive years and this is the third year the university has received the Silver Standard award.

“Witnessing the year-over-year increase in the number of organizations vying for and receiving these awards, we are delighted that more and more people are recognizing the importance of ‘Healthy Mothers Workplaces’ not only for the health of women and their children, but also for the health and success of their enterprises,” said Nancy Milliken, director of the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

The university’s lactation program has been operating under Campus Life Services Family Services for more than two years. It supports nursing mothers who continue to breastfeed after returning to work or school by providing a network of more than 47 lactation rooms on nine campuses along with web-based information.

At least 10 more rooms will be developed in new and renovated UCSF buildings by 2020. All of the UCSF campus rooms have hospital-grade Ameda Elite breast pumps. Supplies and accessories are available at Women’s Health Resource Centers at Mt. Zion and Mission Bay and select Walgreens serving UCSF campuses.

“The Healthy Mothers Workplace Award recognizes the ongoing efforts of a multidisciplinary team dedicated to supporting working mothers at UCSF,” said Nerissa Ko, MD, professor of neurology at UCSF and faculty co-chair of the Committee on the Status of Women. “By raising the standard of lactation facilities on all of our campuses, we can better support our nursing mothers in their workplace. Ongoing support of family-friendly policies at UCSF will continue to benefit all members of our community.”

Caroline Wick, Lactation Program coordinator at UCSF, said the program has achieved much progress over the past two years.

Prior to being administered by Campus Life Services, the lactation rooms were voluntarily supported by a network of people across campus, primarily the UCSF Women’s Health Resource Center, Wick said. Working closely with UCSF Facilities Services, Wick developed a standard for cleaning lactation rooms that is now included in the Facilities Services Guide to Services and she’s seeing the results.

“What Women’s Health, with the Committee on the Status of Women, accomplished over the past decade in providing support to nursing mothers here at UCSF is remarkable,” said Suzie Kirrane, UCSF Family Services manager. “Their advice will continue to be invaluable as we improve and grow the program.”

Kirrane said UCSF is elevating the standard for how great employers provide services to working mothers. “UCSF is a leader in creating accommodations for nursing mothers and these awards reflect the commitment we have to our employees and students.”

Photographed above, from left to right, are: San Francisco City Supervisor Katy Tang; Emily Murase, the executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women; and UCSF employees Bertina Lee, Renee Tavares, Ian Navarro, Irene Flores, Caroline Wick, Suzie Kirrane, and Verndean Tortorelli. All of the UCSF representatives are from the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and Women’s Health Resource Center, with the exception of Kirrane and Wick, who represent the Campus Life Services Lactation Accommodation Program.

For more information, visit the Lactation Accommodation Program.