More babies thriving in Virginia supported by public/private partnerships

healthcareIn celebration of World Prematurity Awareness Day, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association announce a major improvement in the well-being of babies born in Virginia. The state has seen a decrease of 18.2 percent in infant mortality, from 2007 to 2012, which means nearly 200 more babies a year are thriving and celebrating their first birthday. Strong collaborative networks among public, private and non-profit organizations focusing on evidence-based methods of reducing the mortality rates have played a significant role in achieving this reduction.

“Shared priorities and goals are making a difference,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP. “Earlier this month, Virginia received a ‘B’ on  the March of Dimes’ annual Report Card, that’s above the national average and well above last year’s grade of ‘C.’ This success is the result of concerted teamwork and partnership among several VDH Offices, local health departments, health care providers, public/private partnerships and organizations like VHHA. ”

VDH, with its stakeholders and partners, identified objectives and strategies to improve birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality. This collaboration led to the completion of the “Thriving Infants’ Strategic Plan,” which draws upon best practices for evidence-based interventions to reduce IMR. One very successful evidence-based intervention, which is sponsored by VHHA, is the prevention of early elective deliveries (EED).

“Best practice research has shown that babies who are born after 39 weeks of gestation tend to be healthier than those born sooner,” says Abraham Segres, VHHA Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety. “These babies also tend to have better developed organs, eat and thrive better, and have less difficulty breathing. This is good news for infant health, and we are encouraged as we continue to build upon this success with other interventions to reduce infant mortality.”

In just one year, the EED initiative reduced the percentage of elective deliveries in Virginia occurring between 37 and 39 weeks of gestation from 4.76 percent to .92 percent. Through this “Early Elective Delivery Initiative,” multidisciplinary hospital teams collaborate to educate staff, patients and families about the importance of waiting to deliver until 39 weeks unless otherwise medically indicated. The initiative is based on the March of Dimes’ “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign, which started in 2011.

“The increase in the number of thriving babies in Virginia is something to celebrate,” said Levine. “But we cannot rest on these victories while disparities continue to persist. Reducing rates does not happen overnight. It demands persistence, dedication and collaboration. Building upon the milestones we’ve achieved in recent years, we can achieve our goal of being the healthiest state in the nation, starting with our infants.”

augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.