Recognizing chapter excellence

Program Chapter of the Year 2014

Chapter of the Year is a national March of Dimes awards program that recognizes excellence in several areas. The 2014 Chapter of the Year winners  in the program category were Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. Following are a few highlights of the winning chapters’ 2014 program initiatives:

Recognizing chapter of the year winners. Back row: Dr. Ed McCabe, Norm Hess, Kelly Ernst, Dr. Scott Berns, Janis Biermann. Front Row: Diane Daldrup (KS), Sharyn Malatok (TX), Mary Larsen (NE), Judi Gooding


The Greater Kansas Chapter developed a multi-year strategic mission investment plan focused on disparities in birth outcomes, perinatal hospital quality improvement and building sustainable models for MCH program delivery. The chapter established three strong Disparities Community collaboratives, which reached more than 400 pregnant women with prenatal education through the Becoming a mom/Comenzando bien program. Women who completed the program achieved important improvements in knowledge and risk reduction. The preterm birth rate among program participants was 5.8 percent, significantly less than the overall state rate of 11 percent. The chapter deepened its relationships with the state health department, running successful joint media campaigns and co-funding Becoming a mom/Comenzando bien programming in several communities throughout the state.


The Nebraska Chapter achieved two significant milestones in its hospital quality improvement efforts. First, all 10 birthing hospitals in the Omaha metropolitan area implemented a policy to eliminate early elective deliveries. Then, 9 months after implementation, early elective deliveries in these 10 hospitals decreased from a baseline of 55 to two deliveries, resulting in a rate of less than 1 percent. The NICU Family Support program, in the Nebraska Medical Center and Alegent Creighton Bergan Mercy Medical Center, continues to serve families in need. The NICU Family Support Specialist served 936 families at two hospitals, distributing parent care kits to 100 percent of families and reaching families  with parent education and craft activities, including scrap booking. Parent education hour topics included brain development, tummy time and infant CPR.


The Texas Chapter’s strategic mission investment plan focused on health disparities, group prenatal care and quality improvement to reduce early term and late preterm births. More than 4,000 Hispanic women were reached through Becoming a mom/Comenzando bien; 95 percent of participants who reported birth outcomes had a full-term birth and all participants reported that they changed at least one health habit. The chapter continued to have a leading role in a partnership with the Department of State Health Services, hospital association, ACOG and other groups to reduce EEDs. Eight hospitals across the state successfully implemented the March of Dimes 39+ Weeks Quality Improvement Service Package, and approximately 20 hospitals had hard stop policies in place to prevent scheduling of EEDs.

2014 NICU Family Support Project of the Year Award

The NICU Family Support national awards recognize outstanding achievements made by a NICU Family Support program. The Missouri Chapter’s NICU Family Support Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital received the 2014 Project of the Year Award for its success that improved support and education. Through NICU Family Support activities, 98 percent of families received Parent Care Kits; parent participation in medical rounds increased from 10 percent to 42 percent, and 150 nurses were trained in the benefits of kangaroo care.

Lori Goser, Project of the Year winner (l) with Dr. Howse and NICU Nurse Manager Chris Hessler (r)

2014 NICU Family Support Site of the Year Award

The NICU Family Support hospital managed program at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., received the 2014 Site of the Year Award. In partnership with a group of committed volunteers, the program successfully changed the culture of the NICU to encourage skin-to-skin holding for all families. The program also spearheaded initiatives to further involve families in their baby’s care, including implementing daily physician bedside rounding and establishing a system to include parents in the reports between nurses at changes of shift.

Hospital representative Cathy Davenport (l) with Dr. Howse and Barb Raab, Site of the Year winner (r)

NICU Family Support Photo of the Year 

NICU Family Support Photo of the Year taken by: Kristin Powell, March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, Arkansas