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March of Dimes Announces Prematurity Campaign Expansion at Surgeon General's Conference on Preterm Birth
Date:6/16/2008

2008 Prematurity Report Card Will Grade Each State and the Nation; Initiative Will Engage Global Partners

BETHESDA, Md., June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The March of Dimes has extended its Prematurity Campaign by 10 years to 2020 and will work to address preterm birth globally. The expansion, announced at the Surgeon General's Conference on Prevention of Preterm Birth, supports the national action plan being created during the two-day conference here to address the growing crisis of preterm birth.

"The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign has stimulated attention and action around the problem of premature birth, and this Surgeon General's Conference puts preterm birth on the national health care agenda," said Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "As we refine our strategies and renew our commitment through our expanded campaign, we are confident we will continue to find solutions and improve the health of babies at home and globally."

A key element of the expanded campaign will be an annual report card that will grade the nation and each state on its preterm birth rate. The grade will be determined by comparing the preterm birth rate of the state and the nation to the Healthy People 2010 goal. The report card also will focus on key contributing factors to preterm birth, including federal and state policies related to improving access to health coverage for women of childbearing age and children.

The first report card will be issued November 12, 2008, as part of March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Day events. More information about the campaign can be found at marchofdimes.com/prematurity.

The goal of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, launched in 2003, is to reduce the U.S. preterm birth rate by 15 percent. The expanded campaign is expected to address three critical areas:

1. Accelerated funding for basic research in the United States and globally

and to translate the findings i
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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