The March of Dimes and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health have partnered to provide services for high-risk pregnant women and families of infants now living in the Baton Rouge area. HHS has awarded the March of Dimes a $500,000 grant to meet these needs.
March of Dimes president Dr. Jennifer L. Howse will take part in a teleconference scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss the grant and the organization's work to help women and babies in the Baton Rouge area. Reporters interested in participating should call toll free: 1-800-230-1093.
More information about the March of Dimes efforts in the hurricane-ravaged region can be found in its online press kit which contains audio, video and written news releases, as well as color photos with captions. The kit can be accessed by visiting: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/marchofdimes/22765/
Under the new $500,000 HHS grant the March of Dimes will reach out to thousands of families with high-risk mothers and babies.
Even before Hurricane Katrina, preterm birth rates in Louisiana were about 25 percent above the national average. The hurricane has exacerbated the risks, and the number of babies born too soon is expected to increase substantially over the next six months.
"Many of these displaced women were already at risk to have their babies born too soon. It is essential that these women be helped now to prevent a catastrophic rise in premature babies," said Dr. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "If we don't help them, babies will die, and many who survive will be left with devastating consequences - such as
Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation