Upstate News

March 27, 2007
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate President David R. Smith, M.D., joins campaign aimed at preventing premature births

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University President David R. Smith, M.D., is lending his voice to the March of Dimes Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait campaign.

Smith, a pediatrician and a member of executive committee of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes, is helping to promote the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign, an initiative between the March of Dimes and the Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute. Smith, who is on the steering committee for the campaign, is encouraging women to help prevent preterm births by quitting smoking, having appropriate prenatal weight gain and by receiving high quality prenatal care.

Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and a major cause of disabilities.

Smith participated in a Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign kick-off in Kentucky March 27, one of the first states to launch an initiative, where six hospital have set a goal of reducing by 15 percent the rate of single preterm birth.

Known as a silent crisis by experts preterm birth rates have soared 30 percent since 1981, with more than 508,000 babies being born prematurely.

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