WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, VADM, MD, MPH, will give the keynote address at the March of Dimes Prematurity Prevention Summit to be held May 21-22 in Arlington, Virginia.
National thought leaders in maternal and child health, including 300 members of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign Collaborative, parents, and community groups, will convene at this meeting to advance policy and practice, mobilize community leadership, share emerging ideas and best practices, and energize stakeholders to achieve equity and reduce the U.S. preterm birth rate.
Among the other distinguished speakers at the meeting will be Wanda D Barfield, RADM, MD, MPH, FAAP, Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service Director, Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a co-chair of the Collaborative Steering Committee; Paula Braveman, MD, MPH, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco; and Stacey D. Stewart, MBA, president of March of Dimes.
Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and its complications are the largest contributor to the death of babies in the United States. Babies who survive an early birth often have lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities. Even babies born just a few weeks early have a greater risk of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), feeding difficulties, temperature instability (hypothermia), jaundice, and delayed brain development.
The rate of preterm birth in the U.S. increased for the second year in a row in 2016, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Across the country, mothers of color are 20 percent more likely to give birth prematurely and their children face a 40 percent higher infant death rate.
On May 22, attendees will participate in work groups in the five critical strategies that are now being pursued by the Prematurity Campaign Collaborative:
promoting health equity;
improving clinical and public health practice;
expanding research and translating findings to new forms of prevention and treatment;
developing effective messaging to raise awareness about the urgent problem of prematurity; and
identifying and advancing public policies to improve maternal health equity.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we stand up for every mom and every baby. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.