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California receives 'A' grade on Preterm Birth Report Card
Date:11/4/2013

its to reduce medically unnecessary early elective deliveries and to assess preterm labor that healthcare providers across the country are using. While this grade is a marked improvement, we will continue our work to give all babies a healthy start in life because yearly nearly 50,000 babies in California are still born too soon, before their lungs, brains or other organs are fully developed. Partnerships with our state health officials, local hospitals, and elected representatives have helped us make newborn health a priority in California and made an incredible difference in babies' lives."

The California Chapter of the March of Dimes has been the vanguard in implementing programs, developing educational materials and resources, working closely with state health department officials, co-sponsoring effective legislation, and supporting hospital efforts to end early elective deliveries that will help women have full-term pregnancies and ensure babies get a healthy start in life.

"California is the largest and most diverse state amongst those receiving an 'A' grade on preterm birth rates from the March of Dimes," said Dr. Ron Chapman, California Department of Public Health director and state health officer. "This administration is committed to improving the health of Californians, and we are proud to partner with March of Dimes on quality improvement initiatives and public health interventions that make our state a model in preventing preterm birth nationally."

California is part of a national trend toward improved preterm birth rates. On the 2013 Report Card, 31 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia saw improvement in their preterm birth rates between 2011 and 2012, earning seven of them, including California, better grades. Nationwide, the largest declines in premature birth occurred among babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy (late preterm birth). Nearly every state saw its preterm birth rate decline since 2006, the
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Contact: Sheri A. Lunn
slunn@marchofdimes.com
818-539-2191
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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