Funding will expand access to CenteringPregnancy and birth spacing programs, which have been proven to reduce preterm births and improve maternal and infant health

Las Vegas, NV | Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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March of Dimes, the leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, today announced its latest collaboration with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to reduce preterm births and improve maternal and infant health across the state of Nevada. Premature birth is the largest contributor to infant death in the U.S., and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years. The funds that have been allocated to Nevada are part of a $1.5 million grant provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s parent foundation to maternal and infant health programs in 19 states across the country.

“According to The National Center for Health Statistics, this year marks the third consecutive increase in preterm births after steady declines over the previous seven years,” says Lisa F. Waddell, MD, MPH March of Dimes deputy medical officer. “Among non-Hispanic black women and Hispanic women, the preterm birth rate increase was even greater. March of Dimes is collaborating with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to expand evidence-based programs to address this alarming trend.” 

“The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation is committed to helping improve the health and lives of people across Nevada by expanding access to critical programs that can have a positive impact on our state,” said Eric Lloyd, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nevada. “Together with March of Dimes, we are diligently working to ensure that at-risk mothers in our communities have access to programs and services that encourage healthy pregnancies, fewer preterm births and the creation of a healthier generation of Americans.” 

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s grant will help March of Dimes’ to address the urgent health crisis facing mothers and babies in Nevada by creating, expanding and sustaining programs that help prevent premature births as well as maternal and infant mortality. These programs include the following: 

• CenteringPregnancy® — A group prenatal care model will be made available to additional women in Nevada. CenteringPregnancy brings together pregnant women with similar due dates for up to 10 group appointments. Each session lasts 90 minutes to two hours, giving women more time with their provider to ask questions and share information. This model has been proven to reduce the incidence of preterm birth, especially among minority women.

• Birth spacing and pregnancy intentionality — Spacing pregnancies less than 18 months apart increases the risk of preterm birth and low birthweight. Funded programs in Nevada will focus on providing reproductive health services to improve birth spacing and manage maternal health. 

The new grant continues a longstanding relationship between Anthem Foundation and March of Dimes to improve maternal and infant health. Since 2011, Anthem Foundation has provided more than $5 million in funding, which has supported programs reaching more than 36,000 pregnant women across the country. More than 17,000 of these women were helped through CenteringPregnancy programs.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These 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’ pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ANTHEM® is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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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