Statement of Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President, March of Dimes on Discontinuation of the National Children's Study

Washington, District of Columbia | Saturday, December 13, 2014

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The March of Dimes released today the following statement from President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse regarding the National Institutes of Health’s determination that the National Children’s Study is not feasible, leading to the closure of the study:

“The March of Dimes is deeply disappointed that the tremendous investment represented by the National Children’s Study has been determined not to be feasible as currently designed, and therefore will be discontinued.  It is now the urgent duty of everyone who cares about child health to ensure that the transformative vision of this project not be abandoned, but pursued through other avenues.

“The National Children’s Study was originally conceived over a decade ago to explore and yield insights into some of the most challenging and fundamental questions that exist about child health and development, as articulated in the Children’s Health Act of 2000.  In proposing to investigate those issues, the Study galvanized the entire pediatric and policymaking communities with a vision of transforming our understanding of child health and development, and developing new therapies and interventions for both common and rare disorders of childhood.

“Today, those questions persist, and it remains just as urgent that we address them.  If the National Children’s Study is not going to be the vehicle for exploring these issues, then alternatives must be developed without delay.  The March of Dimes maintains its steadfast commitment to the fundamental questions the National Children’s Study sought to answer.  We stand ready to partner with the National Institutes of Health and all other stakeholders in developing new approaches to examine the full range of influences on child health, including environmental factors.

“The entire child health community must recommit ourselves to mobilizing the very best science has to offer in service to pediatric research.  We expect continued unflagging scientific and financial commitment from both Congress and the National Institutes of Health to achieve the goals of the National Children’s Study through other methods.  In our view, the greatest tragedy of all would be if the Study’s vision of transformative change in child health were abandoned.  Together, the pediatric research community must rededicate ourselves to this goal, and redouble our efforts to achieve it through innovative science.”

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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