March of Dimes Foundation, Southern New Mexico Division - Nonprofit of the Month April 2015

Apr 27th, 2015



Reduce the incidence of premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality through research, public and Two-year-old Ryder was born premature at 23 weeks. The March of Dimes works to help children like Ryder as well as mothers.professional education, community services and advocacy programs.


To ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy babies and prevent preterm birth.

Also to provide resources and comfort to families whose baby is or has been in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or for families who have lost a baby.

Key goals:

• Reduce the rate of premature birth in New Mexico to 9.6 percent by the year 2020. Current rate is 11.6 percent of all births, more than 3,000 per year in New Mexico. Complications from premature birth is the number one killer of babies in their first year of life.

• Average cost of a premature birth is $54,000 compared to just over $4,000 for a full-term average delivery. Reducing the prematurity rate will also reduce employer insurance costs, absenteeism and loss of productivity.

• Reduce the rate of neural tube birth defects by educating women age 14 to 44 about the importance of takingTwo-year-old Ryder was born premature at 23 weeks. The March of Dimes works to help children like Ryder as well as mothers. the vitamin B9/Folic Acid before becoming pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The risk of this type of birth defect can be reduced by 70 percent if .4 mg of folic acid is consumed daily up to three months before becoming pregnant.

• Reduce the number of women age 14 to 44 who smoke, use alcohol or use/abuse substances during pregnancy.

• Advocate for access to quality health care services for pregnant women.

• ProvidesupporttofamiliesthroughMarch of Dimes NICU Family Support licensed programs with partner hospitals and providers throughout southern New Mexico.


The March of Dimes Foundation was founded in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to find a cure for polio. Its original name was the Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (Polio Myelitis). March of Dimes became its nickname after celebrity Eddie Cantor coined the phrase when asking his audience to send their dimes to the White House to find a cure for polio. In 1955, the vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, through funding from the March of Dimes, was declared safe and effective.

Following this triumph, the foundation changed its focus to birth defects, arthritis and various diseases in 1958. In the mid-1960s, the organization focused on prevention of birth defects and infant mortality, which became the new mission. In 1976, the organization officially changed its name to the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. The Prematurity Campaign became part of the mission statement in 2005 and the name changed to the March of Dimes Foundation. Over the last 77 years, all moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.

Key people to know:

• Kiel Hoffman,Las Cruces March for Babies Chairman 2015

• Jeffrey Silva,Southern NM Board Chairman and Team Zane Founder

• Camille,Dustin and Ryder Plante,2015 Ambassador Family & Family Teams Chair

• Holly Jones-Webb,2015 High Heels for High Hopes Chair

• Margarita Eddings,Las Cruces Community Director

• Becky Horner,New Mexico State Director

Events and activities:

• March for Babies Walk,- April 25, Albert Johnson Park – www.marchfor

• World Prematurity Awareness Day – Nov. 17

• High Heels for High Hopes – Nov.20

Future plans:

Continue to build partnerships in all communities we serve to improve the health of babies and moms and reduce premature birth and birth defects.