The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced the presentation of its 2020 Award of Honor to March of Dimes for its commitment to advancing the health and well-being of mothers and babies. The award is given to individuals or organizations in recognition of exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of our nation through leadership on major health policies or social initiatives.
March of Dimes is a national nonprofit that fights for the health of all moms and babies. The Arlington, VA-based organization works to address some of the biggest threats to moms and babies, such as premature birth and maternal mortality through research, education, programs and advocacy. Since the onset of the pandemic, March of Dimes has provided health information to women navigating pregnancy and childbirth, advocated for legislation prioritizing moms and babies and helped advance health equity through its Breaking Through Bias™ implicit bias training, a course for health care professionals in maternal and infant care settings.
"For more than 80 years, March of Dimes has led the charge to address maternal and infant mortality and morbidity," said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. "Its legacy of compassion has improved -- and in many cases saved -- the lives of millions of mothers and infants around the world. The AHA applauds the organization's decades of leadership and advocacy prioritizing the health of mothers and infants and its steadfast commitment to advancing research on issues threatening their health."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's battle with polio led to the creation of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, known today as the March of Dimes. The Foundation pioneered the polio vaccine research that paved the way for its eventual elimination in the U.S. After polio, the organization shifted focus to address health challenges threatening moms and babies. In addition to their advocacy efforts, March of Dimes also educates medical professionals and the public on best practices for infant and maternal health, funds lifesaving research and provides support to families with an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit.
"We appreciate this recognition and value the AHA's support in ensuring health care providers across the country can better identify and remedy implicit bias when caring for women before, during and after pregnancy," said Stacey D. Stewart, president and CEO of March of Dimes. "Together, we can make sure all moms and babies get the best possible start."