Thursday, February 21, 2013
March of Dimes Excited for a Huge Year From tackling polio to preventing premature births, the March of Dimes has promoted the health of children across the United States since 1938. And as the national organization celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Trident Health’s top leaders are chairing the April 27 March for Babies in Charleston, a 3-mile walk at Cannon Park. “Each year more than 4 million babies are born in the United States, and the March of Dimes helped each and every one of them through vaccines, research, education and breakthroughs,” says Trident Health President and CEO Todd Gallati. “Raising money for March for Babies is important for families and businesses alike. Together we are raising money to continue to help more babies be born full-term and healthy!” Chairing the campaign this year with Gallati is Lou Caputo, CEO of Summerville Medical Center. “It has been an eye-opening experience to learn more about the incredible work that March of Dimes does and also to see those in community who are willing to put the time, effort and dollars in to support such a great organization. Many of the folks who have been involved in years past have stepped forward again and have increased their pledges to raise even more funds, while new organizations are also coming on board.” The local campaign officially kicked off Feb. 5 in the classrooms at Trident Medical Center. Team captains and participants from Trident Health as well as other groups in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties “packed the house,” says Caputo. “Working with Todd and Lou has been an amazing experience,” says Meredith Repik, executive director of the March of Dimes in the Lowcountry. “They have really taken this under their arms and have moved forward with the campaign.” Trident Health is one of the major corporate sponsors donating $10,000 or more this year, while the organization hopes to see its employees collect an additional $18,000. To be sure, Gallati and Caputo will “walk the walk” with each CEO forming a team of participants and setting a personal fund-raising goal. Overall, the Charleston March for Babies aims to raise $450,000 this year, compared to roughly $410,000 in 2011. Money raised will go to the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes, which invests in research grants and community services statewide to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce the premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate healthcare providers and women about having healthy babies. The March of Dimes started in 1938, toward the end of the Depression, when President Franklin Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, a partnership of scientists and volunteers to conquer the polio virus, which crippled and killed many children. “We could ask people to send their dimes directly to the White House,” comedian Eddie Cantor said. “We could call it the March of Dimes.” When Dr. Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine that was available by the mid-1950s, the March of Dimes expanded its mission to prevent birth defects and infant mortality. In recent years, the organization has sought to prevent premature births, including an education campaign that encourages women to see their pregnancies through to at least 39 weeks for healthy development of their babies, rather than scheduling elective deliveries for convenience. To register for the April 27 March for Babies in Charleston, go to www.marchforbabies.org. Or contact Meredith Repik at 843-614-3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org. “Together we are raising money to continue to help more babies be born full-term and healthy!”- Todd Gallati, President & CEO, Trident Health
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