Representatives from the March of Dimes’ Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait initiative announced that Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Ky. has been selected as the eighth Kentucky hospital to participate in the statewide program.
The Healthy Babies initiative’;s goal is to decrease the the preterm single-birth rate by 15 percent through measures such as smoking cessation, early prenatal care and avoiding unnecessary deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, according to a news release.
The 300-bed, acute care Hardin Memorial hospital joins Kings Daughter’s Hospital, the University of Kentucky Hospital, Trover Health System, Lake Cumberland Hospital, Norton Hospital, Western Baptist Hospital, and The Medical Center at Bowling Green as a participant in the initiative. according to the release.
Healthy Babies was formed in Kentucky in 2007 by the March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
“We are committed to the work needed to reduce preterm births, and we understand the value of educating patients, families, the public, and providers about the risks and costs of preterm births,” stated Carolyn Bewley, RNC, from Hardin Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd and Katrina Thompson, MSW, made the Hardin Memorial announcement and presented the latest findings on Healthy Babies at the 2011 National Perinatal Association Conference last week at the Galt House.
The presentation included details about how Kentucky used partnerships to leverage consumer, professional andcommunity education to prevent late preterm births, and how “preventable” late preterm birth rates can be improved by quality improvement, according to the release.
“The needle has moved in the right direction according to the data relating to late preterm birth rates in Kentucky,” Thompson stated. “We are seeing major collaboration between Healthy Babies’ sites, health departments, hospitals, community organizations, interagency councils, churches, media outlets, etc. This initiative has contributed to true ‘partnerships’ among those in Kentucky with an interest in maternal and child health.”
About the March of Dimes: The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.