March of Dimes, whose mission is to improve the health of babies, is pleased to advance maternal and infant health by supporting Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) Health, Research and Educational Foundation, Inc. with a $25,000 community service grant. The program will reduce and or prevent Early Elective Deliveries (EED) in 13 birthing hospitals in Mississippi. The objectives of this project will be to support hospitals and physicians as they adopt and implement hard stop policies preventing early delivery without medical reason. We will provide education to patients, families, and health care workers on the potential risks of EED and provide technical assistance for data collection, reporting and analysis of data.
The March of Dimes funds programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. This includes financial support to research and education that will help moms before and during their pregnancies. It also includes working with local medical groups and organizations to improve prenatal care and newborn screening. In 2016, March of Dimes awarded $45,000 to community agencies throughout Mississippi.
“LaNelle Weems, Director, Mississippi Center for Quality and Workforce (MCQW), will spearhead this project within the MHA Foundation. We will use the March of Dimes grant as seed money to educate and support hospitals to eliminate Early Elective Deliveries in Mississippi. MCQW has relevant experience in this important EED reduction work and is pleased to partner with the March of Dimes to expand its impact. With the highest premature birth rate in the nation, Mississippi must focus on high-impact improvements for the health of babies born in the State” said Dr. Marcella McKay, President and CEO of the MHA Health, Research and Educational Foundation, Inc.
“The potential impact of MHA Health, Research and Educational Foundation, Inc. will help us prevent premature births, birth defects and infant mortality,” said Marilyn Johnson, State Department of Health Maternal Child Health Block Grant manager and March of Dimes MCH Committee Chair. "We are pleased that our successful fundraising efforts, such as March for Babies, make it possible for us to support this new, locally focused effort to help give every baby a fighting chance."