Monthly Archives: March 2009

Why March of Dimes?

During a time when finances are tight for so many, and giving isn’t as easy, many are limiting who they are able to give to.  So, why the March of Dimes?   For parents of preemies it’s obvious, but so many others don’t even realize they have been touched by the March of Dimes.  Did or will your child receive medical benefits from State Children’s Health Insurance Program?  The March of Dimes urged this funding and the SCHIP Bill was passed.  Did your baby receive their newborn screening test?  The March of Dimes testified before congress supporting the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act, which explains the importance of every baby having a full newborn screening test so that disorders can be found before a child’s life is lost.  Was your child born with Respitory Distress Syndrome?  Surfactant was developed by March of Dimes grantee T. Allen Merritt, MD.  Surfactant has saved tens of thousands of babies lives.  Molly is one of them!

This is why the March of Dimes!


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Want a Wii bundle for just $5?

Our Coach raffle went so well to raise money for the March for Babies that we’re going to have one more!  This time we’re going to give away an awesome wii bundle to one lucky donor!

Here’s how it works:

Click on our March for Babies banner to purchase your tickets.  Type in your amount and click on donate (you’ll see this on the right hand side of the page).  Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10. Best of all your tickets are tax deductible (we can all appreciate that). Be sure to fill in all of the fields when paying/donating so that we’re able to reach you in a timely fashion. You can purchase as many tickets as you like – Remember it’s for a great cause!

The drawing will be held on April 26, 2009.  The winner will be chosen by and we’ll post screen shots of the results so that everyone can see them. We’ll contact the winner and get their wii bundle out to them right away!

Now for the prize info:


  • Wii Console with Wii Sports game
  • Wii Fit & balance board game system
  • Wii Mario Kart game with 2 wheels
  • Wii Play game with remote

Valued at more than $470

All of this shipped directly to your door!

A Big THANK YOU to our wonderful sponsor who donated these awesome Wii items!

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And the WINNER is………………

Congratulations C. Elliott!
A huge Thank you to everyone who participated in this raffle as well as to our awesome Coach bag donor!  Thanks to you all we raised $880 for the March of Dimes!  Woo Hoo!  Keep watching, we have a few local fundraisers and we may have yet another raffle!  We’re trying to meet our goal of $2700. 


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The cost of prematurity costs us all

Medical Costs for One Premature Baby Could Cover A Dozen Healthy Births

March of Dimes Releases New Report About the Cost of Preterm Birth at U.S. Chamber of Commerce       WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 17, 2009 – The medical costs that businesses pay to care for one premature baby for a year could cover the costs for nearly a dozen healthy, full-term infants, according to new statistics from the March of Dimes.

      The average medical cost for healthy full-term babies from birth through their first birthday was $4,551 in 2007 dollars, of which more than $3,800 is paid for by health plans, according to the new data. For premature and/or low birthweight babies (less than 37 completed weeks gestation and/or less than 2500 grams), the average cost was nearly $50,000, of which more than $46,000 was borne by the health plan.

      “Preventing preterm birth is one way we can begin to rein in our nation’s skyrocketing health care costs and help businesses protect their bottom line,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.  “The best prevention of prematurity is good maternity care.”

       Dr. Howse spoke today at a luncheon titled, “Healthy Babies, Healthy Business: Cutting Costs and Reducing Premature Birth Rates,” co-hosted by the March of Dimes with the National Chamber Foundation, a think-tank affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

      The March of Dimes offers businesses “Healthy Babies, Healthy Business®” a Web-based pregnancy and newborn health information portal that helps improve employee health as well as the health of the bottom line.   “HBHB” provides a secure and easy way for employers to deliver important accurate, up-to-date health information directly to their employees and dependents and reduce corporate health care costs. More information is available at:

      Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the nation more than $26 billion annually, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. Nearly 543,000 babies – one out of every eight – are born too soon each year in the United States and the rate has risen more than 36 percent since the early 1980s. Preterm birth is a leading cause of newborn death and babies who do survive face the risk of lifelong health conditions.

      Other speakers at the luncheon included the Acting U.S. Surgeon General, RADM Steven K. Galson, M.D., MPH, and:

      • Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce;

      • Alan R. Fleischman, M.D., March of Dimes senior vice president and medical director;

      • Deborah Campbell, M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine; American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Perinatal Pediatrics;

      • Hal C. Lawrence, III, MD, vice president of practice activities, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;

      • Jeffrey Kang, MD, chief medical officer, CIGNA Corporation.

      • Anthony Wisniewski, executive director of healthcare policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

      “CIGNA has seen a savings of more than $6,000 per pregnancy for our employees enrolled in our Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies program,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kang, CIGNA’s chief medical officer. “Cost is a universal concern for all employers, big or small. Many small businesses today may not have the maternity care program that a company like CIGNA has, yet the financial impact to a small company is enormous when just one employee’s baby is born too soon.”

      The March of Dimes contracted with Thomson Reuters to estimate the cost of prematurity and complicated deliveries to large employer-based health plans for infants born in 2005.  Analyses of medical costs included inpatient and outpatient medical care and prescription drugs for infants from birth through the first year of life and for mothers including the delivery, prenatal services during the nine months prior, and three months postpartum. Costs have been adjusted to 2007 dollars.

     The analyses also found that premature infants spent on average more than 14 days hospitalized before their first birthday, compared to just over 2 days for healthy, full-term infants and that they averaged more than 21 outpatient medical visits compared to just 14 for full-term infants.

    When combined, infants and maternity costs for a premature infant were four times as high as those for an infant born without any complications, $64,713 and $15,047 respectively, with health plans paying over 90 percent of those costs. 
A separate analysis showed that maternity care costs for complicated deliveries, independent of the infant status and costs, were also significantly higher than the costs for uncomplicated deliveries — $14,667 compared to $10,652.

      Read the new March of Dimes report online at:

     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 or


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2009 March of Dimes National Ambassador

This past Wednesday was the 2009 Baltimore Area March for Babies Kick-off Breakfast for team captains.  I attended for Molly’s Mission, and I’m so glad I did.  Jennifer Gilbert from Fox 45 News was the emcee for the morning.  There were a few speakers from the March of Dimes Maryland chapter and Women’s & Children Health Services.  One Gentleman received an award for 50 years of volunteer service with the Baltimore chapter.  Wow!  50 years!  There was a video of how the March of Dimes has affected local families.  It was very touching to hear from the older preemies.  The highlight of the morning for me was listening to the Hall family speak and meeting with them afterwards. 

Katelyn Marie Hall has been chosen as the 2009 March of Dimes National Ambassador.  Her story is amazing.  Born at just 25 weeks gestation, 15.5 ounces and 11 inches long, she wasn’t expected to survive.  She remained in the NICU for 5 months before coming home.  Now at the age of 5 she continues to face hurdles due to prematurity, yet she’s beating all the odds!  She is such a sweet girl and a joy to be around!

You can read more of Katelyn’s Journey

Enjoying time with the Hall family


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