PTBi Research Continues During COVID-19

Our flagship research studies have been working hard to ensure the health and safety of our teams and research participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, our research leads share an update from their studies and how they are adapting within these uncertain times. The situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly and some of the information in this update may change. Please contact the respective study representatives listed below to check for any changes; we will keep our website updated w the most recent information.


Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the “Shelter in Place” restrictions, SOLARS will be pausing active recruitment and specimen collection visits until Wednesday, April 15, 2020. We will continue to follow-up with participants who are currently enrolled in the study via surveys only and mail incentives for completion. 

We will continue to have our monthly CAB meetings via Zoom to strengthen our community and strategize on ways to come back even stronger. If you have any questions or concerns about this pause please reach out to the SOLARS Program Manager, Bri Taylor, at [email protected]

We will continue to work together while centering and uplifting Black and Latino communities across the Bay Area. Together we have the potential to flatten the curve on the spread of COVID-19.

- Dr. Brittany Chambers, SOLARS Principal Investigator


We believe that the mFICare intervention has even greater importance for families of preterm or sick newborns during this uncertain time, providing them with alternate ways of keeping involved in their baby’s care and shared decision-making, even if they not able to be there in person, as well as ensuring that the in-person time parents spend in the NICU is maximally focused on their involvement in their baby’s care.

We have adjusted mFICare program to adapt to hospital COVID19 policies at each of our study sites – and to extend mFICare support to non-study families.
Connect and Learn classes are now offered remotely, where possible. Classes are held using a video conferencing platform and are open to all NICU families, even if they not participating in the study.

Parent-to-Parent Peer Mentoring is continuing remotely. All parent mentoring interactions are now remote (text, phone, video, etc). We have extended the Parent Mentor program to non-study families with support from NICU social workers who are able to connect parents with a peer Parent Mentor.

Parent participation in clinical rounds. If the parent is at their baby’s bedside, in accordance with hospital policies, they are encouraged to participate in mFICare rounds as normal. If parents are not able to be at the bedside, they can notify their baby’s nurse that they would like to be called into rounds and can participate remotely by phone.

We3HealthTM App: The parent support app provides information, encouragement and self-tracking to support mFICare-enrolled families. This coming week, we will be making the We3healthTM app available to non-study other parents in the unit. More information coming soon!!

We send our thanks for all that the NICU teams are doing to maintain the principles and best practices of family-integrated care during this public health crisis and our best wishes for the continued good health and safety of all the babies, families, staff and communities we serve.

- Linda Franck, mFICare Principal Investigator


EMBRACE (Engaging Mothers and Babies – Reimagining Antenatal Care for Everyone) has enrolled 101 participants in the PCORI-funded Study.  Congratulations to Lauren Lessard, Andrea Weimann, Erica Martinez and the rest of the Fresno team for having reached this landmark! This is a comparative effectiveness study of two enhanced prenatal care programs in Fresno: Glow! Group Prenatal Care and individual care with CPSP services. 

To protect the health and safety of study participants and our research team during the COVID-19 pandemic, EMBRACE is temporarily stopping recruitment until further notice. Our team will continue to conduct third trimester and postpartum interviews with enrolled participants by Zoom. All study participants should follow the advice of their prenatal care provider regarding accessing medical care. EMBRACE participants can contact Erica Martinez, EMBRACE Recruitment and Retention Coordinator at [email protected] or (559) 549-4977 with questions about the study.

- Kim Coleman-Phox, Co-Investigator

PRIORITY: Pregnancy CoRonavIrus Outcomes RegIsTrY

In other research news, the UCSF ObGynRS Dept. launched a National Registry of pregnant or post-partum patients who have COVID19. The registry is called PRIORITY: Pregnancy CoRonavIrus Outcomes RegIsTrY. Also, check out our PRIORITY crowdfunding web page - you can contribute!