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California recognized by March of Dimes for advancements in the health of moms and babies
Date:3/19/2014

Sacramento, CA | March 19, 2014 California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ron Chapman accepted the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Prematurity Campaign Leadership award (FDR Award) today for his agency's work to reduce preterm birth rates in the state to 9.6 percent, down from a high of 10.9 percent in 2007. California with more than 500,000 births each year is the largest state to reach the March of Dimes goal of reducing preterm birthrates to 9.6 percent or less of total births.

"This award reflects the dedication of California state health staff, health care organizations and maternity care providers throughout the state. We congratulate them on the work they have done to help babies," says president of the March of Dimes Dr. Jennifer L. Howse.

The FDR Award is named in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who founded the March of Dimes more than 75 years ago. It is given to states who have met a challenge from the March of Dimes and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to lower their preterm birth rates to 9.6 percent between 2009 and 2014.

Only six states have met the goal to reduce rates to 9.6 percent or less: Alaska, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont. These six states were the only states to receive an "A" on the March of Dimes Preterm Birth Report Card released in November. The nation received a "C".

"We are proud to accept this award today. California is the most populous and diverse state among 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."

Health officials in California a
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Contact: Sheri Lunn
slunn@marchofdimes.com
818-539-2191
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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