March of Dimes Awards Grant to Pilot New Education Efforts to Reduce Preterm Births in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TENN., June 5, 2017 - The March of Dimes has awarded a grant to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital to support the Prematurity Reduction Education Project(PREP. PREP is aimed to educate women who have a history of premature birth on the benefits of using progesterone (17P) to avoid future preterm births. Premature birth is both a leading cause of newborn death in Memphis and Shelby County and a contributing factor for developmental delays and disabilities. Studies have shown that a woman with a history of singleton preterm birth who start 17P shots within 16 and 24 weeks of their pregnancy, and given shots each week until 37 weeks, experience increased chances of having future full-term baby in their next pregnancy by one-third (33%). Progesterone education is an important step in the fight to prevent preterm births, and this grant is one of several that the March of Dimes awards in pursuit of its mission to reduce preterm birth outcomes through evidenced based initiatives.

“The March of Dimes grant will allow us to create and evaluate a well-designed targeted education program for mothers who had preterm whose babies and are admitted into our neonatal intensive care unit. A large percent of these moms are at the greatest risk of having babies born preterm in the future and our goal is to help them to improve their chances of having a full term birth should a next pregnancy occur,” said Sandra Madubuonwu, RN, Director of Maternal and Child Health, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

“We are grateful to those volunteers who support the March of Dimes by participating in events like March for Babies and raising funds to help give more babies a healthy start,” said Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, March of Dimes TN Maternal Child Health Committee Chair and Assistant Director and Assistant Professor Division of Public Health Practice and Assistant Professor Pediatrics of Meharry Medical College. Community participation and donations make funding programs such as this possible. Such programs are vital in connecting more pregnant women with the healthcare and education she needs to help both her and her baby have healthier outcomes,” she said.

About Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats children each year through community programs, regional clinics and a 255 bed state-of-the-art hospital. Le Bonheur serves as a primary teaching affiliate for the University Tennessee Health Science Center and trains more than 350 pediatricians and specialists each year. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children’s Hospital.

For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit Connect with us at,, Instagram at lebonheurchildrens or Snapchat at lebonheur_child.

About the March of Dimes March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and To participate in our annual fundraising event, visit If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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