WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The March of Dimes announced today that Watson Pharmaceuticals has become a new national sponsor of the 2012 March for Babies, the March of Dimes number one fundraising event, and will also be a national partner of the Prematurity Campaign. Together, the organizations will also work to raise awareness of risk factors for premature birth.
"Watson employees are participating in March for Babies events around the country as well as supporting us on the national level," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "Their generous support means that we can do more this year to educate women about the risk factors for premature birth and how to avoid them, so more babies can be born full-term and healthy."
Preterm birth affects more than 500,000 babies each year and costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the 2006 Institute of Medicine report. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others.
Women face an increased risk of having a premature baby if they are carrying twins, smoke during pregnancy, are African-American, or have a history of preterm birth. Another potential risk for women, currently being reviewed, is having a short cervix.
"The people of Watson recognize the important work of March of Dimes and the devastating impact of prematurity and we are committed, as a corporation and as teams of employees in each of our plant communities, to doing all we can to support the March for Babies," said Paul Bisaro, President and CEO of Watson. "Watson is proud to join such well-known companies as Kmart, FedEx, Famous Footwear, United Airlines and Farmers Insurance as one of the National Sponsors of this extraordinary fund-raising effort designed to fund the March of Dimes efforts in helping babies begin healthier lives. By supporting March for Babies, Watson has taken a very visible and active role in raising awareness and providing vital funding to help prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality."
About Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leading integrated global pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development and distribution of generic pharmaceuticals and specialized branded pharmaceutical products focused on Urology and Women's Health. Watson has operations in many of the world's established and growing international markets. For press release and other company information, visit Watson Pharmaceuticals' Web site at http://www.watson.com.
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. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
SOURCE March of Dimes