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Home > Mercy News > Mercy awarded March of Dimes partnership to give newborns healthier start to life
Published on January 16, 2013
Mercy Medical Center’s Birthplace has been awarded a partnership with the March of Dimes aimed at reducing the number of medically unnecessary early deliveries in our community.
Mercy was one of only 100 hospitals in the nation, three in Iowa, and the only one in the Corridor, to receive the March of Dimes “39+ Weeks Quality Improvement Service Package,” valued at $10,000. The package is part of the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait®” campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of a full-term pregnancy.
“We want to do everything we can to give our babies the healthiest start possible,” said Laura Reed, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy Medical Center. “Sometimes, babies less than 39 weeks gestation aren’t ready to be delivered. Their lungs, brains and other organs may not be fully developed. This partnership will give our staff access to information and processes that will improve the health of newborns in the Corridor.”
According to the March of Dimes, more than 15 million babies worldwide are born too soon each year, and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization, illness and lifelong health challenges than full-term infants.
“Every week of pregnancy is critical to a baby’s health,” said Scott Berns, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Deputy Medical Director for the March of Dimes. “I commend Mercy Medical Center for being a champion for babies. Through this partnership, we will reduce the number of early elective deliveries and give more babies a healthy start in life.”
Also included in the award package is a special presentation by Ronald Gibbs, MD, OB/GYN professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The April presentation, at Mercy, will be open to hospital staff as well as the general public.
Mercy’s Birthplace will launch its program with an open house from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 in Hallagan Education Center at Mercy. The public is invited to attend to learn more about the award, visit with staff from the Mercy’s Birthplace and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and register for door prizes. The state director from the March of Dimes will officially present the award to Mercy at 12:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.