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March of Dimes Holds Day of Gratitude

The local March of Dimes recently held a Day of Gratitude event at Meritus Medical Center’s Special Care Nursery.

It was an opportunity for the March of Dimes staff to express thanks to the doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals for all that they do each day as they care for the babies and families in the community.

Hospital staff was presented with a plaque to commemorate their efforts to support the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies, and Meritus Health was also honored as the second highest March for Babies fundraising team in Washington County and the Western Maryland Division in 2014. In addition, baby clothes and other items were donated on behalf of the Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter March of Dimes staff. Also, March of Dimes and its partner, Angel Gowns of Virginia, donated two “angel gowns,” which are bereavement gowns sewn from donated wedding dresses, for families who have suffered the devastating loss of an infant.

“We wanted to show our gratitude for these talented, compassionate caregivers who dedicate themselves and their time to the delicate mission we are also passionate about,” said Jessica Wagoner, March of Dimes Western Maryland Division director. “It was a meaningful experience to honor the dedicated staff of Meritus Health.”

Although the nation’s preterm birth rate has dropped for the sixth consecutive year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S. In Maryland, more than 1,402 babies are born each week, and 171 of these are born preterm (before 37 weeks completed weeks of gestation). These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complications and life-long disabilities. Some might not reach their first birthday. In addition to the physical and emotional effects, a preterm birth can cost 12 times more than an uncomplicated birth and costs the U.S. health care system more than $26 billion each year.

With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes helps moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. And, if something goes wrong, it offers information and comfort to families. It researchs the problems that threaten babies and works on preventing them. Since the organization was established in 1938, March of Dimes work has led to discoveries that shape today’s standards of a healthy pregnancy. For the latest resources and information, go to marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org, or join March for Babies in Hagerstown on Saturday, April 25, by registering at marchforbabies.org.

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TDD: 1-800-735-2258
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