West Oakland Health and BabyLiveAdvice Unite to Provide Virtual Maternal and Infant Support in Alameda County’s Black and Brown Communities

West Oakland Health and BabyLiveAdvice Unite to Provide Virtual Maternal and Infant Support in Alameda County's
Black and Brown Communities

April 4, 2024

 Oakland, California – April 4, 2024 – In celebration of Black Maternal Health Week, West Oakland Health, a trusted pillar in the community since 1967, is proud to announce its partnership with BabyLiveAdvice. This alliance marks a significant step forward in addressing the pressing needs of Black and Brown communities in Alameda County by providing accessible virtual maternal and infant support. The virtual maternal and infant support program will officially launch on April 8, 2024.

“We’re thrilled to partner with BabyLiveAdvice to expand our reach and provide comprehensive support to Black and Brown mothers and their infants in Alameda County,” said Kevin Smith, MD,Director of Gynecology and Reproductive Health at West Oakland Health. “This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to addressing disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes and promoting holistic well-being within our community.”

The timing of the partnership is perfectly aligned with West Oakland Health’s recent expansion of services offered by its Gynecology and Reproductive Health Department, and providers are very happy about what it will mean for patients. “I am excited about our ability to bring a center of perinatal excellence to our patients to close gaps in their care and their experience,” said Lasha Pierce, MD, an OB/GYN physician at West Oakland Health. “Black women deserve to have wrap around care, to be centered in our consciousness and to be the beneficiaries of all our resources, expertise, and dedication.”

With a shared commitment to equity and excellence in healthcare, West Oakland Health and BabyLiveAdvice aim to bridge gaps in healthcare access and ensure that all mothers and infants receive the care and support they deserve.

The virtual maternal and infant support program will offer a range of services, including:

  • 24-hour access to high-risk pregnancy specialists
  • Prenatal and postnatal education
  • Breastfeeding support and lactation consulting
  • Mental health resources for mothers
  • Infant care guidance and parenting advice
  • Access to community resources and referrals

By leveraging technology and telehealth solutions, West Oakland Health and BabyLiveAdvice strive to overcome barriers to healthcare access, particularly prevalent in marginalized communities. The virtual platform will enable individuals to seek guidance, connect with healthcare professionals, and access resources from the comfort of their homes.

“As advocates for equitable healthcare, BabyLiveAdvice is honored to join forces with West Oakland Health to empower mothers and families with the tools and resources they need to thrive,” said Sigi Marmorstein, CEO of BabyLiveAdvice. “Together, we will work tirelessly to ensure that every mother receives the care and support she deserves, regardless of her background or circumstances.”

West Oakland Health patients can begin accessing the program on April 8, 2024.

To learn more about the services offered or to register, please visit:

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Cheo Tyehimba Taylor, Director of Communications, West Oakland Health, (510) 901-1583 ext. 94305;


About West Oakland Health:

West Oakland Health is a community-based health center dedicated to providing high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services to individuals and families in Oakland and surrounding areas since 1967. With a focus on addressing health disparities and promoting wellness, West Oakland Health offers a range of medical, dental, behavioral health, and support services to meet the diverse needs of the community. Our purpose is to be the trusted hub 

About BabyLiveAdvice:

BabyLiveAdvice is a leading telehealth platform specializing in maternal and infant care. Through innovative technology and a network of experienced healthcare professionals, BabyLiveAdvice provides accessible and personalized support to mothers and families during pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. Committed to promoting maternal and infant health equity, BabyLiveAdvice strives to empower all individuals with the knowledge and resources to navigate their unique healthcare journeys.

Training Partnership Of Community Clinics & SEIU Awarded More Than $13 Million to Increase Access to Care & Invest in the Recruitment, Retention & Training Of Healthcare Workers

Training Partnership Of Community Clinics & SEIU Awarded More Than $13 Million to Increase Access to Care & Invest in the Recruitment, Retention & Training Of Healthcare Workers

March 14, 2024

Grant from California Workforce Development Board Recognizes Success of Partnership of Community Clinics and SEIU Unions Dedicated to Expanding Access to Care for Historically Underserved Communities

SACRAMENTO, CA – Multiple community clinics that provide essential health care services to vulnerable populations and Locals of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) were awarded $13.3 million as part of California’s multi-year High-Road Training Partnership initiative. The grant from the California Workforce Development Board’s High-Road Training Partnership Resilient Workforce Program focuses on addressing issues of income inequality and economic competitiveness in critical industries.

“One out of every six Californians receives care at a community clinic, and this funding will support increased access, reduced wait times, and more continuity in care.” said Robert Phillips, President and CEO of West Oakland Health Center that serves a diverse patient population throughout Alameda County. “This grant expands High-Road partnerships into low-income, immigrant and historically disadvantaged communities, deepening equity and resiliency across the state and allows us to expand our collaborative work with partner labor unions and training providers to ensure the community health centers have sufficient staff to meet demand for services.” 

The grant was awarded by the California Workforce Development Board to the Shirley Ware Education Fund (SWEC), an existing High-Road Training Partnership with decades of experience providing education and training for healthcare workers that is working with the SEIU-Clinics Partnership and the Workforce Education & Resource Center (WERC) to expand workforce development strategies to meet the unique needs of community clinics and the communities they serve.

The joint efforts being funded include the SEIU Community Clinic Workers Union, comprised of SEIU Locals 521, 721, 1021 and United Healthcare Workers West (UHW), who are working collaboratively with Federally Qualified Community Health Centers including Asian Health Services, Clínica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero, Gardner Health Services, HealthRight 360, St. John’s Community Health, and West Oakland Health Center.

“We appreciate the State’s commitment to develop a cohesive statewide approach to workforce development strategies, allowing us to share successful existing programs and innovate new ones with labor partners and community clinics committed to high road principles,” said Rebecca Hanson, Executive Director of SWEC and its training and education arm at The Education Fund

This increased investment in the training and development of clinic workers is an increased investment in California’s promise of equitable access to care,” said David Green, President and Executive Director of SEIU Local 721 and Co-Chair of the joint SEIU-Clinics Trust Fund. Through high-road partnerships, we are tackling and solving the greatest public health challenges, increasing access and quality of care for clinic patients,  and ensuring community clinic jobs are career-track, family-sustaining jobs.” 

“It’s heartening to see the California Workforce Development Board recognize successful partnerships between our clinics and our union,” said Khyla Wilson-Junior, a member of SEIU Community Clinic Workers United and an Administrative Clerk at West Oakland Health. “When workers have a seat at the table and are treated as partners in improving care to our patients by our employers, we can overcome any challenges together.  We’re not just making a difference in the lives of the patients that come to our clinics but working together to make sure that clinic jobs are quality jobs with quality healthcare, and that we receive training and career-track opportunities in healthcare.”

“What’s particularly exciting about this grant funding is that it both reinforces the essential role that community centers play in our overall healthcare system and values the power of labor-management partnerships that give workers a powerful voice in jointly shaping how we can best meet the needs of both our workforce and our communities,” said Jim Mangia, President and CEO of St. John’s Community Health, a network of 20 nonprofit federally qualified health centers and three mobile clinics providing free and low-cost medical, dental, and behavioral health in the Los Angeles area.


About Shirley Ware Education Center:

The Shirley Ware Education Center (SWEC) has been providing education and training to community members and health care workers since its formation in 1998 by SEIU-UHW West with initial funding from the City of Oakland. SWEC integrates its work with the SEIU-UHW West & Joint Employer Education Fund (the Education Fund). From its inception through to today, SWEC raises grants from public and private foundation sources to further this purpose.

About The Education Fund:

The SEIU-UHW & Joint Employer Education Fund is a multi-employer labor-management partnership serving 105,000 SEIU healthcare workers across 20 employers and six states to advance their careers through innovative education and training solutions.

About the Worker Education & Resource Center (WERC):

WERC is a nonprofit organization based in Southern California that aims to support workers experiencing barriers to employment in connecting to and retaining good, stable, and permanent jobs and improving quality of life. WERC’s training programs take a holistic approach to learning and instruction that includes academic learning, life skills, and confidence-building integrated into a contextualized curriculum.

About SEIU Community Clinic Workers United

Community clinic workers at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in California are uniting in SEIU Community Clinic Workers United to fight for higher wages, better benefits, improved patient care and a voice at work.  Tens of thousands of workers across the entire state are coming together in an unprecedented campaign to win real gains for our essential frontline service providers.  These essential health care workers are represented by SEIU Locals 521, 721, 1021 and UHW.