March of Dimes Foundation Receives an Amerigroup Foundation Grant to Reduce Preterm Births in High-Need Areas in Las Vegas

Grant funds group prenatal care program that has shown promising results in reducing preterm birth rates

Las Vegas, NV | Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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March of Dimes Foundation Receives an Amerigroup Foundation Grant to Reduce Preterm Births in High-Need Areas in Las Vegas

Grant funds group prenatal care program that has shown promising results in reducing preterm birth rates

LAS VEGAS, NV (November 15, 2016) – November 17 is World Prematurity Day. Mid-year data from the group prenatal care program that received a March of Dimes community grant shows promising results. Nevada Obstetrical Charity Clinic (NOCC) and Women’s Health Associates of Southern Nevada (WHASN), located in Downtown Las Vegas, were awarded a one-year grant in December 2015 by the March of Dimes, thanks to a nearly $10,000 grant from Amerigroup Foundation. March of Dimes awarded the grant to target communities within Las Vegas with the highest premature birth rates.  

“March of Dimes is taking the lead to end prematurity by reducing the risk factors we know exist so that more Clark County babies get a fair chance for a healthy start in life. We can make an immediate difference in the lives of babies and their moms when we provide funds to community-based projects that have the potential to improve birth outcomes and reduce premature birth rates, especially among high-risk groups,” said Kelly Ernst, March of Dimes Vice President of Maternal Child Health.

The preterm birth rate in Clark County was 10.4 percent in 2014, higher than the national average. One in ten babies is born prematurely -- one in seven African American babies. The United States preterm birth rate was 9.6 percent in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, and ranks among the worst in high-resource countries.

Premature birth, defined as less than 37 weeks gestation, is now the leading global cause of death for children under five years old and the number one killer of babies in the United States. Babies who survive an early birth may have lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and learning disabilities. Babies born even a few weeks early have higher rates of illness and hospitalization compared to full-term newborns.

The one-year grant from March of Dimes funded the group prenatal care program at NOCC and WHASN. Group prenatal care is a proven model in Nevada, improving birth outcomes by bringing women together who are due at the same time and taking them out of exam rooms and into a comfortable setting for group support and learning. The group program still provides one-on-one care, too. Group prenatal care follows the recommended schedule of 10 prenatal visits, but each visit is 90 minutes to two hours long - giving women up to 10x more time with their provider.

Preliminary grant data after six months is encouraging. At the mid-point, 100 percent of the women who completed the program had 100 percent attendance and 100 percent compliance in getting all ordered labs and ultrasounds completed. Of the women who have so far completed the program and taken pre/post surveys, 100 percent indicate improved knowledge.

“In some cases, preterm births can be avoided through effective prenatal care, education and outreach, which can provide better outcomes for moms and babies,” said Eric Lloyd, President of Amerigroup Nevada. “We are proud to support this program, and help ensure Nevada moms have healthy pregnancies and that babies have the best opportunity to be born healthy.”

Amerigroup Foundation is committed to addressing health disparities and improving public health. Through its State Health Index -- a state-by-state compilation of public health measures -- and Healthy Generations program, the Amerigroup Foundation works to identify the issues most in need of attention and directs its charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas. Reducing low birthweight and engaging mothers in prenatal care are major focus areas for the Amerigroup Foundation.

“We are delighted with these preliminary results,” said Theresa E. Chevalier, APRN-BC, Group Prenatal Care Facilitator at Nevada Obstetrical Charity Clinic (NOCC) and Women’s Health Associates of Southern Nevada (WHASN). “We know timely prenatal care and building a mother’s knowledge of pregnancy and self-care improves maternal and infant health.”

The grant runs through Dec 31, 2016. There is continued open enrollment with family friendly groups and “new mommy” orientation every Saturday. If someone would like to take part in group prenatal classes this fall, please contact Nevada Obstetrical Charity Clinic (NOCC) and Women’s Health Associates of Southern Nevada (WHASN at (702) 438-2229.


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About Amerigroup Foundation.
The Amerigroup Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Together, with local, regional and national organizations, the Amerigroup Foundation works to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Amerigroup and its affiliated health plans serve. Amerigroup Foundation funding is focused on strategic initiatives working to address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative with five areas of focus: Healthy Heart, Cancer Prevention, Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, and Healthy Active Lifestyle. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, as well as its’ Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Amerigroup Foundation, please visit www.anthem.foundation.

 

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.