Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - Broward General Medical Center’s Chris Evert Children's Hospital Receives Grant from March of Dimes to Help Eliminate Elective, Non-Medically Necessary, Early Deliveries

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - The March of Dimes has issued a grant of $5,000 to Chris Evert Children's Hospital at Broward General Medical Center in order to eliminate non-medically indicated (elective) deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age.

A healthy, full term-pregnancy lasts 39-40 weeks (sometimes beyond), yet there has been a rise in births scheduled prior to that time through inductions and C-sections that are not medically necessary, putting the mother and baby at greater risk. Babies born even a few weeks too early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. The last few weeks of pregnancy are critical to a baby because many vital organs, including the brain, continue to develop at this stage.

With the assistance of the grant, Broward General Medical Center will track data related to late preterm birth, and will distribute educational materials to mothers-to-be and their families during tours of the maternity unit and during prenatal classes held at the hospital to increase awareness of the challenges posed by late preterm deliveries.

The March of Dimes is involved in several initiatives to help eliminate non-medically indicated (elective) early deliveries. One of these efforts is a tool kit to guide and support obstetrical providers, clinical staff, hospitals, and health care organizations in the development of successful quality improvement programs designed to eliminate elective inductions and C-sections performed prior to 39 weeks gestation.

The initial focus of this effort is to lower the number of elective deliveries and preterm births across Florida and across the country. The March of Dimes is working with hospital partners in four additional states - New York, California, Illinois and Texas - to participate in the initial distribution of its new tool kit. Together, these “Big Five” states represent 40 percent of all births in the United States. These states play a significant role in influencing national progress towards the elimination of non-medically indicated deliveries.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, many women fail to comprehend the definition of a full-term pregnancy. Almost 25 percent of mothers surveyed considered a baby of 34-37 weeks gestation to be full-term, 50 percent defined full-term as 37-38 weeks, and 92 percent of women reported that giving birth before 39 weeks was safe.

“Our goal is to improve healthy outcomes for both mothers and babies,” said Adolfo Gonzalez-Garcia, M.D., a perinatologist at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital at Broward General Medical Center. “Many women don’t realize that the health of the baby may be jeopardized if it is delivered before 39 weeks gestation when not medically indicated.”

The March of Dimes supports a variety of initiatives to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. In 2008, the March of Dimes National Board of Trustees declared “Prematurity Prevention” a global campaign, and extended the Prematurity Campaign through 2020.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit

Grant Award Winning Obstetrical Team (L to R, Top to Bottom): Susan Andreoni, RNC, Perinatal Systems Manager; Patti Partridge, RNC, BSN, Labor & Delivery Assistant Nurse Manager; Tonia Royster, RNC, Labor & Delivery Nurse Manager; Alanna Yormark, RN, BSN, MHN, Maternity Nurse Manger; Shelia Love, MS, ARNP, CNM, Perinatal Clinical Specialist; Elisa Wolfe, MSN, ARNP,CNM; Elyse Claprood RPICC, Program Coordinator; Renee Alexis M.D. MPH, F.A.C.O.G, OB/GYN, Chief of Department of OB/GYN; Rita Frantz, RN, MS, Director of Women and Children's Services; Adolfo Gonzalez-Garcia, M.D., F.A.C.O.G, RPICC, Obstetrical Medical Director; Delisa Skeete Henry, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.