MARCH OF DIMES RECEIVES $94,800 GRANT FROM ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD FOUNDATION
Funds will expand access to birth spacing focused on reducing preterm births and improving maternal and infant health in Colorado
Denver, CO | Wednesday, October 24, 2018
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 aimed at reducing preterm births and improving maternal and infant health in Colorado. 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 funding is part of a $1.5 million grant provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s parent foundation to support programs and interventions 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 wellness of the residents of Colorado and helping to ensure greater access to critical programs that can have a positive impact on our state.” said Jeff Sepich, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. “Together with the March of Dimes we are working to ensure at-risk mothers in Colorado have access to programs and services that encourage and facilitate healthy prenatal practices, reduce the number of preterm births and help create a healthier generations of Americans.”
The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation’s grant will support March of Dimes’ effort to address the urgent health crisis facing mothers and babies in Colorado and provide vital resources to proven interventions that can assist in preventing premature births and maternal and infant mortality.
The grant will support programs focusing on birth spacing and pregnancy intentionality. Spacing pregnancies less than 18 months apart increases the risk of preterm birth and low birthweight. Programs in Colorado will focus on providing reproductive health services to improve birth spacing and manage maternal health.
In addition to the grant support, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation also engages with Colorado’s local March of Dimes chapters throughout the year with sponsorships and associate engagement programs, bringing the total support to more than $100,000.
The new grant continues a longstanding relationship between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and its parent foundation and March of Dimes to improve maternal and infant health. Since 2011 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield 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.
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.