Monday, April 30, 2012
Lubbock Walks for Prematurity
Community members showed up to support the fight against prematurity at the annual March of Dimes March for Babies.
Written by Suzanna Cisneros
March for Babies raises funds for research to find answers to problems that threaten more than half a million babies born each year.
The March of Dimes, with co-chairs President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., and Steven L. Berk, M.D., executive vice president and provost and School of Medicine dean, recently hosted its annual March for Babies.
As the Lubbock community helped raise needed funds, the March of Dimes is helping to reduce the rate of premature birth, Mitchell said.
“More than half a million babies are born prematurely each year across the country,” Mitchell said. “Thanks to companies and community members in West Texas, the March of Dimes is making progress. Still, too many babies are born too soon or sick. We walk together for stronger, healthier babies.”
Berk said everyone should consider supporting the March of Dimes because of its important mission to improve the health of babies.
“Many people may not remember that President Franklin Roosevelt created the March of Dimes to help eradicate polio,” Berk said. “This led to the discovery of a vaccine that ended a polio epidemic in the United States. Now the focus is on preventing birth defects and infant mortality. When you support the March for Babies, you help take steps to end these health issues.”
The March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. A recent folic acid campaign achieved a dramatic reduction in the incidence of birth defects of the brain and spine.
Since 2003, the March of Dimes’ fight to save babies has been strongly characterized by the organization’s prematurity campaign. The rising incidence of premature birth has demanded action, and the March of Dimes has responded by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurity.
More than $29,000 was raised for this year’s event. Patrick, Jill and Benner Jude Ramsey were this year’s ambassador family. Benner has schizencephaly, a rare condition where a portion of the brain is missing.
Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.
School of Medicine
Since 1969, the School of Medicine has graduated more than 3,000 physicians. The school aims to provide quality lab space, recruit creative, innovative research faculty, and develop graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for lifelong careers in medical research.
Today, more than 20 percent of the practicing physicians in West Texas have graduated from the School of Medicine or its residency programs.