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Lowering the Preterm Birth Rate in Nevada

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    Nevada Health Officials Help March of Dimes Reduce the State's Preterm Birth Rate 8% by 2014

    March of Dimes Nevada Chapter and the Nevada Department of Health Services have partnered with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers and other states to commit to reducing prematurity and infant mortality. The goal is to reduce Nevada’s preterm birth rate 8 percent by 2014.

    “We proudly accept the challenge to lower our preterm birth rate,” said Tracey D. Green, MD, State Health Officer.  “We know that Nevada’s babies will benefit from our efforts.”

    The challenge, issued by Association of State and Territorial Health Officers President David Lakey, MD, Texas’ commissioner of Health Services and endorsed by the March of Dimes, would lower Nevada’s preterm birth rate  percent to 12.7 percent. According to the most recent March of Dimes Report Card, Nevada’s premature birth rate in 2010 was 13.8 percent. A long-term target of a premature birth rate of 9.6 percent would mean a 30.4 percent reduction in prematurity by 2020.

    “There is no single answer to the problem of premature birth, but accepting this challenge is the first step.  We applaud the Nevada Department of Health Services for taking the initiative to implement proven strategies to address preterm birth,” said Michelle Gorelow, MEd, State Director of Program Services, Advocacy and Government Affairs, March of Dimes Nevada Chapter. “We know there are steps states can take that will make a difference in the lives of babies -- improving maternal access to health care, lowering maternal smoking rates, and ending early elective deliveries are three areas that can contribute significantly to declined in preterm birth rates.”

    Nevada’s initiative will focus on:

    Continued support and utilization of the March of Dimes 39 Weeks Toolkit from Nevada’s hospitals

    The March of Dimes Nevada Chapter has distributed the March of Dimes 39 Weeks Toolkit to eight hospitals throughout Nevada, and will be distributing to the remaining hospitals by the end of 2012.  

    The March of Dimes Nevada Chapter has worked closely with five local hospitals to eliminate non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks through policy change.  These hospitals (University Medical Center, Valley Hospital, Spring Valley Medical Center, Summerlin Medical Center, and Centenniel Medical Center) each received the March of Dimes 39+ Weeks Quality Improvement Service Package, which provides suports hospital data collection, charts month-to-month progress, webinars, grand rounds, and access to interact with experts.  It is anticipated that five additional hospitals will receive the Service Package in 2013.   

    Expansion of Centering Pregnancy

    March of Dimes Nevada Chapter has supported the implementation and expansion of Centering Pregnancy through its Community Grant program to increase awareness of preconception health and access to preconception health care.  Centering Pregnancy is a evidence-based group prenatal care model, which has shown to decrease preterm birth as much as 40%.  March of Dimes Nevada Chapter will continue to fund community-based projects targeting the improvement of preconception health and birth outcomes.

    Activating a consumer awareness campaign entitled “Don’t Rush Your Baby’s Birth Day”

    March of Dimes Nevada Chapter will distribute co-branded “Don’t Rush Your Baby’s Birth Day” public service announcements to all media outlets in Nevada.

    Preterm birth, birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and one million babies worldwide die each year as a result of their early birth. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others.

    For more information, please contact Michelle Gorelow at 702-690-0717 or mgorelow@marchofdimes.com

    About March of Dimes:

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, 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. For free access to national, state, county and city-level maternal and infant health data visit marchofdimes.com/PeriStats.


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