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    March of Dimes honors Illinois health care leaders for work in improving health of babies

    Rowena Roxas, Interim State Director of Communications, (312) 596-4725, rroxas@marchofdimes.com

    Chicago, Illinois, September 17, 2013 —

    The March of Dimes will honor Illinois healthcare leaders at the 16th Annual Jonas Salk Health Leadership Awards dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Westin O’Hare, 6100 River Road in Rosemont.  The honorees have shown exemplary leadership in maternal and infant health in the areas of nursing, medicine, research, public and community health, as well as healthcare management. ABC 7 Chicago Anchor Linda Yu will serve as emcee.


    The awardees are:

    • Nursing - Debbie Schy, RNC, Perinatal Outreach Coordinator, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
    • Physician - Dr. Harold Bigger, Rush University/Advocate Illinois Masonic Co-Perinatal Center and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Rush University Medical Center
    • Research - Dr. Michael Msall, Professor of Pediatrics, Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago
    • Public Health and Community Health - Lake County Health Department, Executive Director Antonio Beltran accepting.
    • Company of the Year – Medela, maker of breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories.
    • Healthcare Management – James Skogsbergh, Advocate Health Care President and CEO.

    About the Jonas Salk Health Leadership Awards:

    In an effort to defeat polio, the March of Dimes provided complete funding to Dr. Jonas M. Salk for the development of the Salk vaccine.  After successful field trials in the 1950’s, this vaccine was proven to be safe and effective.  To celebrate his accomplishments, the March of Dimes Illinois Chapter recognizes health care professionals who have made significant contributions and demonstrated excellent leadership.  Honorees were selected by a March of Dimes Advisory Council.   To participate in this event or make a donation in honor of these stellar professionals, contact Jaimie Scherer at jscherer@marchofdimes.com.


    About the March of Dimes:

    The March of Dimes is the champion for all babies, and has protected their health for 75 years, beginning with funding the research that led to the prevention of polio.  The March of Dimes is the first and only organization that has found the cure for which it was established and the first health organization to host a nationwide walk.  Founded in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the organization was originally called the National Infantile Paralysis Foundation.  After funding the research that led to the cure for polio, the organization changed its focus to prematurity.


    Today, more than half a million babies are born too soon, or about 1 in 9 babies. Premature birth is the leading cause of death for infants in the first month of life. 


    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

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