Take charge of your health: A learning session with Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) and Benioff Children’s Hospitals honored World Prematurity Day by hosting a sold-out learning session at the Oberndorf Auditorium at UCSF Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Moderated by Drs. Larry Rand and Linda Franck, principal investigator and co-principal investigator for PTBi-CA, the session featured a keynote presentation, Putting People at the Center of Healthcare, by Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of 23andMe.

During the keynote, Anne discussed the beauty of human diversity, and how best to capture and teach people about it. She explained that one's own genetics, data and risk factors are fascinating, and can empower people to take charge of their own health. 

The session also featured Dr. Barbara Koenig, director of UCSF Bioethics; Dr. Patience Afulani, PTBi post-doctoral fellow; and mothers who had experienced preterm birth, Davina Countee and Tanisha Fuller. The interactive program focused on newly available tests that predict risk, but may also cause stress in light of uncertain treatment options – touching on the clinician-patient relationship and the ethical challenges posed by communicating this data.

Below: Tanisha Fuller and Davina Countee participating on the Risk Communication panel; Panel participants and members of PTBi.