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    March of Dimes Aids Tornado Victims

    Danielle Prenevost, March of Dimes, (612) 326-9444, dprenevost@marchofdimes.com

    Grant awarded for community outreach

    Minneapolis, MN, June 23, 2011 —

    The Minnesota Chapter Board of the March of Dimes approved a $25,000 grant to The Family Partnership to support outreach, education and support work for pregnant women in North Minneapolis who were affected by the May 22 tornado.  

    The grant will be used to provide:  

    • outreach to women the community to assess the health of their pregnancy
    • education and support to heal from the trauma of the storm and its after-effects, and
    • household items like Pack n Plays to provide safe sleeping areas for babies in an effort to reduce infant mortality concerns.  

    “For pregnant women, this tornado has had traumatic effects not only on the mother but for the unborn child,” said Dianne Haulcy, Chief Operating Officer at The Family Partnership in the organization’s application.  “We have noticed an increase fear in these women and stress over basic needs.  Many of these women are forced to live in shelters or double up with friends or relatives.”  

    Very high levels of stress may contribute to preterm birth or low birthweight in full-term babies.  Babies born too small and too soon are at increased risk for health problems during the newborn period, lasting disabilities (such as intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy) and even death.  

    “At the March of Dimes our goal is healthy babies,” said March of Dimes Program Chair Dr. Priscilla Flynn, Mayo Clinic.  “We feel The Family Partnership has a timely plan to support the mental and physical health needs of these women and improve the health of their babies.”  

    The Family Partnership will work with Twin Cities Healthy Start, Northpoint Health and Wellness Center and Broadway clinic to help identify women and provide support.    

    March of Dimes Chapter Board members also approved three other grants on Thursday, June 23.  These grants include:

    • $25,000 for hospitals to develop policies against elective inductions and c-sections before 39 weeks gestation.  This will be distributed in $5,000 increments to help hospitals comply with new Department of Human Services requirements.
    • $25,000 to West Side Community Health Services to increase access to prenatal education, risk assessment, and supportive care for its largely low-income, minority patient population  at its two sites, La Clinica and East Side Family Clinic.
    • $25,000 to ECHO Minnesota to provide prenatal education for immigrant/refugee women through public television programming, website content and activities.  Somali, Latino, Hmong, and White/American Indian women will be reached through programming that is language and culture specific.    

    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. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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