News

March of Dimes Awards Grant to Day Before Birth for National Conference

Bedford, MA, Jan. 1, 2014—The March of Dimes has awarded the public charity Day Before Birth a grant to be a co-sponsor of the conference "Time for ACTion: Comprehensive Recommendations for Antenatal Corticosteroid Treatment (ACT) for the Next Decade."

"We are delighted to have the financial and organizational backing of the March of Dimes," said Day Before Birth President Russell Ruthen. "And we are happy to see the March of Dimes help us advance antenatal steroids as one of the top national quality initiatives needed to improve the health of infants."

Day Before Birth--with the support of AHRQ, the March of Dimes, ACOG and other partners--is organizing the conference to improve the health and life course of premature infants by stimulating new research, practice and policy to increase appropriate utilization of antenatal corticosteroid treatment (ACT) and by developing comprehensive recommendations for the next decade. In the US, preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death; it is a major determinant of all infant mortality/morbidity; and it is responsible for complications that impact the health of children and their families throughout their lives. Existing quality improvement practices, if applied, could make a difference—the prime motivation of this conference. Through increased appropriate utilization of antenatal corticosteroid treatment, it is estimated that more than 1,000 newborn lives might be saved annually, a 5% reduction in neonatal mortality rates.

On June 2-3, 2014 in Washington, D.C., the conference will convene a multidisciplinary group of 50 leading experts from academia, government and the private sector; and in particular, the event will endeavor to broaden the ACT movement within the public health community and to involve women more consciously and programmatically, utilizing patient-centered care models. Through sharing of best practices, the conference will develop comprehensive recommendations for re-engineering healthcare systems, engaging consumers and accelerating innovation to assure ACT treatment is consistently administered across all geographic regions, in all levels of hospitals and for all racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups.

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About the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The 2014 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy's, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, United Airlines, and Actavis.

About Day Before Birth

The mission of Day Before Birth is to support education and awareness on the opportunities to improve the quality of care in the days before birth and thereby strengthen the health of babies and mothers. Specifically, the organization seeks to identify and disseminate best practices and research opportunities worldwide for enhancing antenatal steroid treatment.