March of Dimes and Crain Chevrolet have partnered to help Arkansas babies as the non-profit organization celebrates its 75th anniversary in existence this year.
"Raising money to help babies our community is more important than ever," says Janalyn Williams, State Director of the Arkansas March of Dimes. "We’re energized by our goal to help more moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. And we also provide comfort to families with babies in the hospital. Now is the time to show them we care."
Crain Chevrolet off of Interstate 30 in Little Rock has committed to making a donation for each vehicle sold through June 30 to March of Dimes.
"Crain Automotive group has always been a philanthropic organization and active in Arkansas Communities," Williams said.
General Manager, Mike Tinnon, Jr. said he could not be happier about the March of Dimes Partnership. "We are excited about partnering with a great organization in the March of Dimes, their commitment to help families and more specifically babies in Arkansas is something that everyone should get behind and support. The Crain Chevrolet sales staff is completely dedicated to making this month a success for Arkansas Babies."
In an effort to get the Crain Chevrolet campaign jump-started, The Source 93.3 agreed to host the Radio-Thon live on May 31st from the Crain Chevrolet dealership. Listeners were given opportunities to donate by calling 501-663-3100 or visiting www.marchofdimes.com/arkansas, according to Williams.
Williams said the March of Dimes is the champion for all babies, those born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive.
"Moms can rely on March of Dimes for everything they need to know about having a healthy baby and how to recognize the warning signs of premature labor," said Williams.
This year, the March of Dimes is celebrating its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help all babies get a healthy start in life.
"More than four million babies were born in the United States last year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs," said Williams. "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."
Natalie Hedrick, the division director for the March of Dimes, who resides in North Little Rock, said the statewide organization tries to reach out and help babies across Arkansas, including North Little Rock, Sherwood and Jacksonville. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.
One major focus of the March of Dimes is trying to educate the public about factors that increase the likelihood of premature births.
In 2012, the March of Dimes issues its annual Premature Birth Report Card.
"The March of Dimes grades states by comparing each state’s rate of preterm birth to the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent," reads the 2012 report. "Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States. We don’t yet understand all the factors that contribute to the preterm birth."
The report adds, "The nation must continue to make progress in research to identify causes and prevention strategies, and on interventions and quality improvement initiatives and outcomes."
The March of Dimes gave Arkansas grade of "D" for its performance in 2012 where the state had 13.2 percent of its births born prematurely.
The March of Dimes gave some recommendations to lower the rate.
"Health care before and during pregnancy can help identify and manage conditions that contribute to preterm birth," states the report. "We urge policymakers to expand insurance coverage for women of childbearing age and we urge employers to create workplaces that support maternal and infant health."
Rising rates of early induction of labor and C-sections have been linked to increases in the rates of late-preterm births (34-36 weeks).
"We call on hospitals and health care professionals to establish quality improvement programs that ensure consistency with professional guidelines regarding C-sections and inductions prior to 39 weeks gestation."
The report indicates that quitting smoking can reduce a woman’s risk of preterm birth.
We urge policymakers to immediately implement comprehensive coverage of smoking cessation," states the report.
Arkansas has pledged to reduce the preterm birth rate by 8 percent in 2014.
The March of Dimes and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials have adopted an interim goal of an 8 percent reduction in the preterm birth rate by 2014," according to the report. "They have asked state and territorial health departments to pledge to adopt this goal."
In Arkansas, about 38,540 babies are born each year while 4,905 are born prematurely. In addition, 1,170 babies are born with a birth defect.