EMD Serono to Collaborate with March of Dimes to Improve Health of Mothers and Babies

March 22, 2018
  • Three-year collaboration to focus on working mothers as a part of EMD Serono’s support of the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative

EMD Serono, Inc., the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the U.S. and Canada, today announced that it will collaborate with March of Dimes to launch the March of Dimes Center for Social Science Research to inform evidence-based policymaking promoting the health of all mothers and babies.

Together – as part of EMD Serono’s commitment to the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative – EMD Serono and March of Dimes will conduct six research studies over the course of three years to better understand the relationship among economic and employer policies, women’s health and productivity, and childbirth. The Center aims to create a greater capacity to better understand the influence of social determinants of health through social science research and to identify potential policy and program solutions that can lead to improved outcomes and increased equity.

Additionally, with EMD Serono’s help, March of Dimes will expand its Healthy Babies Healthy Business® workplace wellness program, which supports health benefits and policies for strong mothers and babies.

 “Our March of Dimes collaboration is highly complementary to the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative,” said Belén Garijo, M.D., CEO Healthcare and member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Both aim to support the health of women and their families, and at the same time, help create professional ecosystems that allow women to thrive.”

The collaboration aims to advance the understanding that for many women, trying to balance caregiving responsibilities with workplace responsibilities has significant impacts on their own health and well-being.

Caregiving responsibilities also have an impact on economic success; over one in five unpaid caregivers have had to reduce their paid hours at work to care for a family member. And, in line with the collaboration, government policies that support working mothers have been shown to improve both maternal health, including one study that found that women who took leaves longer than 12 weeks had fewer depressive symptoms. By finding ways to alleviate this problem, March of Dimes and EMD Serono hope to promote maternal health and healthy pregnancies, which in turn will help women achieve leadership positions and drive economic and social gains.

“It’s crucial that we support mothers throughout every stage of their pregnancy and beyond,” said Stacey D. Stewart, president of March of Dimes. “For 80 years, March of Dimes has helped millions of babies survive and thrive, and supporting mothers is integral to fulfilling our mission. As we build upon our legacy of impact and innovation, EMD Serono is a natural partner to help us advocate for policies that prioritize health.”

The collaboration was announced at a panel event hosted by The Wilson Center titled “Balancing the Burden of Care.” The event featured Belén Garijo and Stacey D. Stewart as panelists, as well as Grace Whiting, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, and Gary Barker, President and CEO of Promundo.


About EMD Serono, Inc.

EMD Serono is the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the U.S. and Canada - a leading science and technology company - focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, the business has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology as R&D focus areas. Today, the business has 1,300 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts. www.emdserono.com

About Healthy Women, Healthy Economies

Healthy Women, Healthy Economies strives to unleash the economic power of women by bringing governments, employers and other interested stakeholders together to help to improve women’s health so women - and by extension their families - can join, thrive, rise in their communities and live better lives. Originally conceived in 2015 within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and in collaboration with the governments of the United States and the Philippines, Healthy Women, Healthy Economies aims to identify and implement policies that advance women’s health and well-being to support their economic participation. Merck is the founding private sector partner in Healthy Women, Healthy Economies and is expanding and making it part of our core commitment by supporting research to quantify the impact and forming collaborations to advocate for change. To learn more, please visit: https://www.emdgroup.com/en/company/responsibility/our-strategy/health/hwhe.html.


i Caregiving: The Impact on the Workplace, Health Advocate, 2010: http://bit.ly/1yjpqHV.

ii Family Leave After Childbirth and the Mental Health of New Mothers. 23 April 2012. http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/10/28/15-061_text.pdf.

Lisa Buffington (781-681-2340)
[email protected]