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March of Dimes launches new NICU Family Support Program in Phoenix

Program provides support and education families need, when they need it

PHOENIX (April 18, 2021) – While the U.S. grapples with a maternal and infant health crisis and the rate of preterm births increase in Arizona, March of Dimes is launching a NICU Family Support® Program to support families throughout their pregnancy journey and raise critical funds to improve health outcomes for moms and babies.

Maternal mortality rates are on the rise nationwide and the latest March of Dimes Report Card shows Arizona has a 9.5% preterm birth rate, earning the state a C+ grade. The preterm birth rate for Black women is 41% higher than the rate among all other women.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the maternal and infant health crisis. In Phoenix, 1 in 11 babies is born too sick and too soon and babies of color are disproportionately impacted,” said Deena Bradford, Executive Director, Market Impact for Arizona. “March for Babies is an opportunity for our community to unite to end preventable preterm birth and maternal death so that every mom and baby gets the best start possible.”

March of Dimes is spearheading several initiatives in the state, including a partnership with Banner Health Foundation to bring the NICU Family Support® Program to Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix. The program supports more than 50,000 families each year in more than 70 hospital partner sites by increasing families’ knowledge and confidence to care for their baby while in the NICU.

“We are proud to work with the March of Dimes to help support more families at Banner University – Medical Center Phoenix through the NICU Family Support® Program,” said Andy Kramer Petersen, President & CEO for the Banner Health Foundation. “Together, we can provide much-needed help to ensure families and our littlest patients have access to best-in-class care and resources.”

Additionally, March of Dimes Mobile Health Program is providing free health care to uninsured and underinsured patients in Southern Arizona. To date, over 35,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been provided at 81 events to a largely (86 percent) uninsured patient population. This is in addition to the program’s work in prenatal care, family medicine, acute care for the homeless and more.

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, we support every pregnant person and every family.

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.

About Banner Health Foundation
Established in 2001, the Banner Health Foundation engages the community and stewards charitable contributions to advance Banner Health’s nonprofit mission of making health care easier so life can be better. Contributions are invested locally to support patient care programs and services operated by Banner’s many hospitals and health care facilities across Arizona. For more information, please visit www.bannerhealthfoundation.org.

About Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix
Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is a large teaching hospital that has provided medical care to Arizona and the Southwest since 1911. It is part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. The institution, which has trained thousands of doctors over decades as a teaching hospital, is the academic medical center for The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The hospital, recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best hospitals, specializes in heart care, cancer care, high-risk obstetrics, neurosciences, organ transplants, medical toxicology and emergency care, including a Level I trauma center. Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 30 hospitals in six states. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com/universityphoenix.

Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix Banner Health

For further information contact us at: media@bannerhealth.com

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BUMCP leadership and March of Dimes staff tour NICU
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BUMCP leadership and March of Dimes staff tour NICU
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