Infirmary Health Selected for National March of Dimes Campaign

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mobile, Ala. --- Infirmary Health is the only hospital system in the state of Alabama that has been chosen to participate in the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign to prevent preventable preterm birth, with a focus on reducing elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation.
The national initiative involves an education and awareness campaign, hospital quality improvement and community intervention programs. These strategies are focused on interventions and activities that have the potential to make an immediate, substantial and measurable impact on preterm birth.
“Every week of pregnancy is critical to a baby’s health,” says Scott Berns, M.D., senior vice president and medical director for the March of Dimes. “I commend Thomas Hospital, Mobile Infirmary and North Baldwin Infirmary for being champions for babies and through this partnership will help more babies go full-term if the pregnancy is healthy. Working together on this very important quality initiative, we believe Thomas Hospital will help us make significant strides in eliminating early elective deliveries.”
“We’re proud to partner with the March of Dimes to give more babies a healthy start in life,” said Mark Nix, President and CEO of Infirmary. “We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and the work they are doing to avoid scheduling elective inductions or caesarean deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy.”
Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births.  Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy, when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.
Click here for more information regarding Infirmary Health's maternity and obstetrics program or for more information on the March of Dimes "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait" campaign.