The Long Beach Health Department has received an $117,000, three-year grant from the March of Dimes California Chapter for a collaboration with the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Psychology Department that is designed to reduce incidences of low birthweight and premature births.
"This investment by the March of Dimes helps keep Long Beach at the forefront of preventative health strategies," said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Early intervention is the best way to support the health and well-being of our community, particularly the most vulnerable residents.”
The Long Beach project, “Destined for Greatness,” is an outgrowth of a CSULB research endeavor for which early data show a positive impact on the stress levels and coping skills of childbearing age women who are experiencing high levels of stress. The goals of the project are to decrease depression and increase positive coping skills in order to have a positive impact on mental health and chronic disease, with the ultimate outcome of reduced incidences of low birthweight and premature births.
Destined for Greatness will target African-American women who are participating in the Health Department's Black Infant Health program – a program initiated and funded by the California Department of Public Health to address high rates of infant mortality.
With the goal of addressing health inequities and reducing the occurrence of birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality, the March of Dimes California Chapter selected six grantees to develop projects that increase and enhance prenatal care, improve women's health in order to maximize their chances of delivering healthy babies, and improve screening and diagnosis of heart birth defects. These projects will focus on underserved female populations, including women who are incarcerated, as well as the Latina, Pacific Islander, and African-American communities.
The other 2015 March of Dimes California Chapter grant recipients include Alameda County Department of Public Health, Alameda Health System, California Hospital Medical Center/LA Best Babies Network, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, and Special Service for Groups, Families & Criminal Justice Division.
For more information about Destined for Greatness or the Health Department’s Black Infant Health Program, visit www.longbeach.gov/health
and hover over “Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health Programs” or call 562.570.4417. About March of Dimes
Each year nearly 4,000,000 babies are born in the United States and March of Dimes touches each one of them through research, education, support, and advocacy. March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Premature birth and its complications are now the leading global cause of death for children under 5 years old. Premature birth costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine. For the latest resources and information, visit www.marchofdimes.org
or for resources in Spanish, www.nacersano.org
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