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    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Teams Up with March of Dimes to Tell Moms that Healthy Babies Are Worth The Wait

    Westborough, MA, April 19, 2012 —

    Babies need a full-term pregnancy to get their best chance at a healthy start in life and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is making sure that moms across Massachusetts know that the last few weeks of pregnancy are crucial to a newborn’s health.

    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is working with the March of Dimes on a public health awareness campaign to let women and health care providers know that if a pregnancy is healthy, it is best to wait for labor to begin on its own, rather than scheduling an induction of labor or a cesarean section. Through television and print advertising, and patient education materials, moms are getting the message that “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait.”

    “We believe that every baby deserves a healthy start in life,” said Eric H. Schultz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “At Harvard Pilgrim, we recognize our responsibility to support innovative campaigns, such as ‘Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait’ that inform, educate and engage mothers, families and those on the front lines of health care to help change behaviors and improve people’s lives.”

    The effort is part of the March of Dimes multi-pronged approach to achieving the goals of its Prematurity Campaign and lowering the national preterm birth rate to 9.6 percent of all births by 2020. In Massachusetts, 10.9 percent of babies are born preterm and nationally nearly half a million babies are born too soon.

    “Every week of pregnancy is crucial to a baby’s health” said Ed Doherty, March of Dimes State Director. “Important development of the brain, lungs and other organs occur during the last few weeks or pregnancy. Women should talk to their doctors about the importance of a full-term pregnancy. ”

    This announcement comes as the March of Dimes gets ready for several local events to help support the campaign including the Lowell March for Babies on April 22, the Worcester March for Babies on April 29, the Pioneer Valley March for Babies on May 5, and the Boston March for Babies on May 12. For more information on upcoming events visit: www.marchofdimes.com/massachusetts/events.

    More detailed information about how babies’ development continues during the final weeks of pregnancy can be found at www.marchofdimes.com/39weeks.

    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.

    About Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

    In September, Harvard Pilgrim was ranked the #1 private health plan* in America again according to an annual ranking of the nation’s best health plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)**. Harvard Pilgrim is the only private health plan in the nation to be named #1 for member satisfaction and quality of care for eight consecutive years***. ****. For more information, visit harvardpilgrim.org.

    -end-

    HMO/POS ** NCQA’s Private Health Insurance Plan Rankings, 2011-12*** NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2010-11 – Private. U.S. News/NCQA America’s Best Health Insurance Plans 2005-2009 (annual). America’s Best Health Insurance Plans is a trademark of U.S. News & World Report. NCQA The State of Health Care Quality 2004.

    ****

     

     

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