Vice President Kamala Harris made a visit to San Francisco Thursday as part of the administration’s tour through the West Coast.
At UCSF’s Mission Bay campus , Harris got an up-close look at the hospital's EMBRASE program which is aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Black women throughout their pregnancies and after.
"Black women are three times as likely to die from pregnancy related complications. Native women are more than twice as likely to die," said the vice president.
Her visit was in an effort to highlight simple innovations there and at other hospitals, as well as government policies that support mothers.
In California, paid maternity leave has been extended and in San Francisco, new mothers can qualify for $1,000 monthly payments to support the mother and new child's health and safety.
Mothers say having doctors and nurses who empathize with them is key.
Some women at the event said they're often dismissed when they tell health care providers they're in pain or discomfort.
"The years of Black women labeled as angry and lots of negative stereotypes, it silences us in that situation,” said Oakland resident Teresia Oklan.
Harris hopes what’s happening in San Francisco and other parts of the state becomes a national model.