Oklahoma Earns March of Dimes Apgar Award for Prematurity Campai - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Oklahoma Earns March of Dimes Apgar Award for Prematurity Campaign

OK (KSWO)- The Virginia Apgar Award was given to Oklahoma after meeting a challenge from the March of Dimes to lower their preterm birth rates at least 8 percent between 2010 and 2015.

“This award is a reflection of the effort and dedication of health care providers of maternal and newborn care, along with public health and health care organizations throughout our state,” said Dr. Terry Cline, Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner and Health and Human Services Cabinet Secretary.

Oklahoma’s Every Week Counts collaborative achieved a 96 percent decrease in early elective deliveries.  

“We congratulate Oklahoma on the work they have done to give babies a fighting chance,” said Dr. Mary Anne McCaffree, Neonatologist, The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center and Chair of the March of Dimes Maternal Child Health Committee and Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan Child Health Group. “We know we still have work to do, but Oklahoma’s progress is encouraging and because of efforts such as this, one day every baby may get a healthy start in life.”

Other initiatives include making progesterone easier to prescribe and access for high-risk women, reducing tobacco use among pregnant women, and encouraging women to not get pregnant again until at least 18 months after giving birth (birth spacing).

 “This progress shows that when infant health becomes a leadership priority, significant progress is possible and families and babies benefit,” said Dr. Paul E. Jarris, March of Dimes Senior Vice President, Maternal and Child Health Programs and Deputy Medical Officer.

To learn about relevant resources, visit http://iio.health.ok.gov or call (405) 271-4480.

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