UCSF Opens IVF Fertility Clinic in Marin County

October 08, 2007
News Office: Kristen Bole (415) 502-6397

UCSF will begin offering its world-class fertility services in Marin County this month to enable North Bay and East Bay patients to receive consultations and screenings, as well as the daily tests required for some fertility care, closer to home.

The agreement for the satellite office, which was formalized October 1, involved Marin Reproductive Medical Associates, in Greenbrae, whose practice will now be incorporated into UCSF services.

The practice will be open to new UCSF patients on October 22 and will include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility services, as well as counseling about reproductive options for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Dr. Sae H. Sohn, who was medical director of Marin Reproductive, joined the faculty of the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health this month. The appointment makes it possible for Sohn's patients to receive support from the world-class laboratory, clinical and research services at UCSF. It also enables UCSF physicians to offer more convenient services to North Bay patients.

"This is an opportunity for Marin patients to gain access to the quality and expertise at UCSF in a more convenient location," said Dr. Marcelle I. Cedars, director of the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health, in the Center of Excellence in Women's Health. "For UCSF, the ability to expand the number of patients we care for will also improve our ability to conduct the research needed to improve the outcomes of this care worldwide."

Cedars said the new practice will augment current UCSF fertility services by approximately 100 new IVF "cycles" of care per year. Each patient might receive one or multiple cycles of care before achieving a successful pregnancy.

These new patients add to the already rapidly growing fertility practice at UCSF, which Cedars said has grown from about 150 cycles per year in 2001, when she joined the practice, to about 700 per year currently. The UCSF Center for Reproductive Health staff also has grown from 12 to more than 70.

The additional cases will help UCSF reach the numbers of patients and reproductive cycles needed to conduct statistically significant research, Cedars said. That is one of the founding premises of the UCSF women's health program and one of the key elements in its achieving the NIH status of a National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. UCSF was among the first institutions to receive that designation, which it has held since 1997.

UCSF currently has several studies in progress, including research into markers of ovarian aging, the disparity of outcomes across ethnic groups, markers to assess the healthiest embryos before transplant, pregnancy outcomes from fertility treatments and the health impact of the procedure on offspring following assisted reproduction.

For current UCSF patients from the North Bay, Marin or northern East Bay, the satellite office can make the process much easier, according to Patricia Marshall, practice manager in the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health, who will also be overseeing the UCSF practice in Marin.

"This will allow patients in the North Bay to have the same quality of care they would have in an academic setting, but in a more convenient and smaller, more casual environment," Marshall said. "For someone who has to visit the doctor every day before a procedure, being able to drive a shorter distance and park easily can make a big difference."

The UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health is recognized by the National Institutes of Health for providing comprehensive health care, education and woman-focused research for women in San Francisco and beyond. The Center is distinguished by its level of excellence across its mission, combining world-class clinical care with a focus on community care and education, physician training and women-centered medical research.

UCSF is a leading university that advances health worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and health professions, and providing complex patient care. For more information on UCSF fertility services, visit www.ucsfivf.org.

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