Barkley has been proud to be the agency partner for the March of Dimes for over three years now. It is a fantastic organization that has been doing great work for 70 years and counting. The MOD's focus has always been on the health of children. In the past decade, March of Dimes has made prematurity its primary cause. It is sometimes an uphill battle because even though premature births continue to rise and the links between premature births and lifelong health issues become more apparent - most of us still don't see it as a big problem.
It is, however, a big problem. And the persistence of the March of Dimes in focusing our collective attention on it is beginning to pay off. The organization is using many forms of communication to get the word out. Here is the newest Barkley produced PSA that carries a strong message about prematurity.
This weekend is the kickoff for the March for Babies around the country. The signature fund raising events for our client, the March of Dimes, will engage hundreds of thousands of people across the nation over the next couple of months raising important money for programs and research to make sure all babies are born healthy.
It is an important time of year for our client, the March of Dimes. In cities and towns across America, people who imagine a day when all babies are born healthy are organizing their 2009 March for Babies. If you know someone who is thinking about having a baby; getting ready to have a baby; or, just had a baby, you qualify to walk a mile or two in a March for Babies near you. Call your local March of Dimes chapter or go to www.marchforbabies.org to sign up. For additional encouragement, watch this.
Our client, the March of Dimes, delivered its first report card to America yesterday. And we don't have a passing grade when it comes to the number of premature births that occur in this country. Premature births can lead to health issues for those babies for their entire lives. It is a cause that we all need to pay more attention to and we need to do it now. Here is the story from the Washington Post.
That's the sobering conclusion of the March of Dimes' first annual Premature Birth Report Card, released Wednesday. Not a single state earned an "A." Only one -- Vermont -- received a "B," and 23 states were given a "D."
The report card was released on the sixth annual Prematurity Awareness Day, which is meant to draw attention to premature birth, which affects more than 530,000 babies each year in the United States. Premature birth (before 37 weeks' gestation) is the leading cause of newborn deaths and a major cause of lifelong ills such as cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss, learning disabilities, asthma and other chronic conditions.
"It is unacceptable that our nation is failing so many preterm babies. We are determined to find and implement solutions to prevent preterm birth, based on research, best clinical practices, and improved education for moms," March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse said in a news release from the nonprofit organization.
The group urged people to sign the 2008 Petition for Preemies, to send a message to federal and state lawmakers to take action on the issue.
For the report card, the March of Dimes compared actual preterm birth rates to the national Healthy People 2010 objective of lowering the preterm birth rate to 7.6 percent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate was 12.7 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Since 1990, the preterm birth rate in the United States has risen about 20 percent, and preterm births cost the nation more than $26 billion a year, according to a 2006 Institute of Medicine report.
In addition to state rankings, the report card also analyzed several factors that contribute to preterm birth -- including smoking and uninsured women of childbearing age -- and prevention measures.
The report calls for:
Increased federal support for prematurity-related research to learn more about the causes of premature birth and to develop strategies for prevention, along with improved care and outcomes for preterm infants.Voluntary reviews by hospital leaders of all Caesarean-section births and inductions of labor that occur before 39 weeks' gestation, in an effort to reverse the nation's rising preterm birth rate. The review should ensure that all C-sections and inductions meet established professional guidelines.Policymakers to improve access to health coverage for women of childbearing age and to support smoking-cessation programs as part of maternity care.Businesses to create workplaces that support mother and infant health, such as providing private areas to pump breast milk, access to flextime, and information on how to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
"Employers can play a key role in helping their employees and dependents have healthy babies and healthy families. The March of Dimes' Premature Birth Report Card provides guidance on best practices that can help any size business," Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, said in the news release.
We want you to be able to experience the re-brand today and share it with your friends, families, post it on your blogs, etc.
There are so many new things going on with the March of Dimes and here is how you can experience the changes for yourself.
Visit marchofdimesbaby.com to experience our newly created campaign site – a fascinating site geared toward what “mom” or soon to be “mom” is wondering about.
Visit marchforbabies.org to experience the name change and re-brand of WalkAmerica to March for Babies.
Visit the March of Dimes YouTube site to watch the television PSAs, Shoes, Soccer and Dumbbell and forward to all of your friends.
See page 89 of O Magazine for our first print PSA placement for March for Babies..the first time MOD has been included in O.
Google March of Dimes and see all the great media placements that are starting to come in about the re-brand and March of Dimes offering new resources for pregnancy and baby health!
The March of Dimes solved polio; has sponsored Nobel Prize winning research; and is out there fighting everyday for stronger, healthier babies. Every parent to be or parent in the world should turn to the March of Dimes to find out what they need to do to best ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. And every grandparent, uncle, aunt, sister, brother, neighbor or friend of those parents to be and parents should check out the March of Dimes too. It is a deserving and worthwhile cause.