Raising Funds for the Fight for Healthy Babies
LONG BEACH and FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., President and CEO of MemorialCare Medical Centers and one of the nation's most prominent and well respected health care executives, was named Southern California chair for the 2009 March for Babies, the March of Dimes largest fundraiser. Known throughout Southern California for his special interest in improving the health and wellness of Southland communities, Dr. Arbuckle will help raise awareness and funds for March for Babies events April 25 in Los Angeles, Riverside and Victorville; April 26 in Newport Beach; and May 16 in Simi Valley.
Dr. Arbuckle, past chair of California Hospital Association, brings added leadership and visibility to March for Babies in its goal to secure $150,000 in new funding. MemorialCare Medical Centers, headquartered in Long Beach and Fountain Valley, California, include six nonprofit hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
"Our children's health is our first priority," explains Dr. Arbuckle. "It's an honor to serve as March for Babies chairperson because I believe all babies should have the chance to be born healthy. I'm asking Southern California businesses, individuals and families to join in these critical efforts on behalf of California's children by participating in one of the March for Babies events." Those interested in participating can register at marchforbabies.org or call 800-525-9255.
The most serious infant health challenge in the U.S. is premature birth, affecting more than half a million babies annually, with numbers growing every day. The March of Dimes Report Card on Premature Births gives the nation a "D" and California a "C." The financial impact is also compelling. The Institute of Medicine estimates the economic cost of prematurity at $26 billion annually, with more than half of these charges billed to employers and private insurers.
Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities. "March of Dimes is committed to reducing this toll by funding research to find the answers to premature birth and providing comfort and information to families who are affected," explains Dr. Arbuckle, whose MemorialCare Medical Centers all include highly respected programs in obstetrical and pediatric care and world renowned pre-natal, high-risk and neonatal intensive care units and the state's largest children's hospital, Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach. "We have a responsibility to ensure the best health care for our children because they are our future."
One of the country's most respected health systems, MemorialCare Medical Centers include Orange Coast Memorial in Fountain Valley, Saddleback Memorial in Laguna Hills and San Clemente, Anaheim Memorial, Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children's Hospital, Long Beach. For information, go to memorialcare.org.
March of Dimes volunteers and staff improve the health of infants and children by preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality and fund programs of research, community services, education and advocacy. For details, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.
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