Sacramento, CA | Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. received the Gail Margolis March of Dimes Advocacy & Government Affairs Volunteer Champion Award in a special presentation before more than forty volunteers and staff at the annual March of Dimes day of advocacy and awareness. Volunteers came from across the state to Sacramento to educate legislators about the March of Dimes mission and advocate for key 2018 legislative initiatives.  

The dedicated volunteers of the service organization were recognized by March of Dimes for their significant contributions by supporting numerous advocacy efforts including policies related to newborn screening, health care access and maternal and child health programs. 

“We are honored to be recognized by March of Dimes, an organization which has been making a difference in the health of moms and babies for eighty years,” said Joann Loveless, member of Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority, Inc., and March of Dimes California Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee.

“We are grateful for the support of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.,” said Erric S. Garris, March of Dimes California Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs. “We are delighted to be able to recognize them for their passion and tireless support of key programs and policies that help tackle the biggest health threats to moms and babies.”

March of Dimes renamed the volunteer advocacy award the Gail Margolis March of Dimes Advocacy & Government Affairs Volunteer Champion Award in honor of Gail Margolis, the past Chair of the California Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee.  Gail passed away in September 2016.  She served as Chair of the Advocacy & Government Affairs Committee for ten years.  Her advocacy leadership led to numerous legislative achievements at the State Capitol including several expansions of newborn screening to require testing for cystic fibrosis, hearing loss, severe combined immunodeficiency and critical congenital heart disease, restored funding to key maternal and child health programs and increased access to health care for women and children.

Past March of Dimes California Advocacy & Government Affairs Volunteer Champions 
2017 – Arlene Cullum, (Sutter Health, Sacramento) for her significant contributions to supporting numerous advocacy efforts. In 2016, she was a lead volunteer on March of Dimes top priority issues – to protect the California Children’s Services (CCS) Program and to attempt to restore funding for the Adolescent Family Life Program.   
2016 - Erin Richardson, (Simi Valley) for her support of Senate Bill 277 and Cindy Wyvill (San Francisco Bay Area) for helping to protect newborn screening and testifying in 2015 against Assembly Bill 170 when March of Dimes was opposed to the bill.  
2013 –Dr. Balaji Govindaswami (San Jose), Laura Rothgery (Palmdale) and the Peltier Family (Oceanside) for supporting and testifying their personal experience which helped get signed into law Assembly Bill 1731 in 2012 to require newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD)
2012 – The Mullan Family (San Francisco Bay Area) for supporting and testifying their personal connection which helped enable getting law Assembly Bill 395 (require newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)) signed into law in 2011

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.

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