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

Seattle, WA | 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 Amerigroup Foundation to reduce preterm births and improve maternal and infant health across the state of Washington. 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 Washington are part of a $1.5 million grant provided by Amerigroup 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 Amerigroup Foundation to expand evidence-based programs to address this alarming trend.” 

“The Amerigroup Foundation is committed to helping improve the health and lives of people across all of Washington by increasing access to critical programs that can have a positive impact on our state,” said Craig Smith, President of Amerigroup Washington. “Together, with March of Dimes, we are working to ensure that at-risk mothers in our communities have access to programs and services that will encourage healthy pregnancies, reduce the number of preterm births and help create healthier generations.” 

The Amerigroup Foundation’s grant will help March of Dimes to address the urgent health crisis facing mothers and babies in Washington by creating and expanding access to CenteringPregnancy® programs across the state. CenteringPregnancy is a group prenatal care model that 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. 

This new grant continues a longstanding relationship between Amerigroup Foundation, its parent foundation, and March of Dimes to improve maternal and infant health. Since 2011 Amerigroup Foundation’s parent 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 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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