NO. R-24.  House concurrent resolution supporting the national March of Dimes’ Prematurity Campaign.

(H.C.R. 8)

Offered by:  Representative Grad of Moretown

Offered by:  Senator Munt of Chittenden County.

Whereas, the March of Dimes was established in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt, and its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality, and

Whereas, on January 30, 2003, the March of Dimes, in coordination with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, will launch the five-year national Prematurity Campaign, and

Whereas, prematurity is the leading cause of neonatal mortality in our nation, accounting for 23 percent of deaths in the first month of life, and for more than 20 years, birth defects have been the leading cause of infant mortality, accounting for nearly one in five infant deaths, and

Whereas, since 1990, the rate of prematurity in Vermont has risen from 7.1 percent of live births to 8.2 percent, a 15 percent increase, and each week 10 babies are born premature, and

Whereas, nearly one-half the causes of preterm births are unknown and over three-fourths of birth defects are unknown, and

Whereas, preterm birth could result in long-term disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, vision and hearing problems, and chronic lung disease, and birth defects could leave a child with similar lifelong consequences, and

Whereas, nationally, the March of Dimes and its allied partners are hoping to reduce preterm births by 15 percent and to reduce the number of children born with birth defects through researching causes and prevention tools as well as eliminating barriers to adequate parental health care coverage, and

Whereas, information is needed to monitor infant health and the incidence of birth defects and identify communities and populations at risk, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly supports the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Campaign to reduce the number of premature births, and be it further

Resolved:  That the  Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the national March of Dimes headquarters in White Plains, New York.