By Jon Cronin
In their decades long battle to prevent premature birth, the March of Dimes has brought its successful national program aimed at providing vital healthcare to expecting bothers to reduce premature birth, Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, to Queens.
Dr. Sandra McCalla, chairwoman of the March of Dimes’ New York Division Program Services Committee, announced at York College in Jamaica on Thursday, July 16 that this program will aid in bridging the, “disparity in economic circumstances.”
She pressed three pillars of the program; partnership with the community, public education and progress measurement. She noted, “There is a mechanism for measurement.”
The program will be implemented at Elmhurst Hospital Center and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Karen Lockworth, director of the Women and Children’s Division at Elmhurst Hospital Center, said her hospital has the community relationship that would, “allow the program to flourish in an ethnically diverse community.”
Bruce Flanz, president and CEO of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. said, “This initiative is very important,” adding that its, “model has proven effective.” He’s happy to read about the program’s success in the other five states and feels the implementation of the program in Queens will provide a forum for expectant mothers in need of prenatal care and share their experiences with one another.
Dr. Scott D. Berns, who travels the country as part of the March of Dimes National Prematurity Campaign promoting the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait program said, “Everyone told us we wanted to start with these two hospitals.”
Berns noted with this program, health care providers do not have to “re-invent the wheel” to care for women with high risk for premature birth. “This is a proven program that will make a difference.”
He said among the 30 sites across the five states – Kentucky, Texas, New Jersey, New York and Kansas – they have made significant progress in getting women earlier prenatal care in their first trimester.