NH DHHS - NH Receives Award for Low Premature Birth Rate

Concord, NH - Jose Montero, MD, Director of the Division of Public Health

Services at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and

Henry Chen, MD, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health, were

honored by the March of Dimes with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Prematurity Leadership Award at its annual, national Volunteer Leadership

Conference in Orlando, Florida on October 26, 2012.

Dr. Montero and Dr. Chen each received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Prematurity Leadership Award for exceeding the March of Dimes goal of

lowering preterm birth in their states to less than 9.6 percent.

Premature birth is a serious health problem. The period of gestation is one

of the most important predictors of an infant’s subsequent health and

survival. Premature babies are at increased risk for newborn health

complications, such as breathing problems, and even death.

New Hampshire’s prematurity rate (also known as preterm birth) at 9.4

percent is promising when compared with the national rate of 12 percent,

but each baby born prematurely, even those just a few weeks early, is at

risk for serious health concerns. Dr. Montero stated at the award ceremony,

“The NH Division of Public Health has committed to work with the March of

Dimes, health care providers, communities, and families to further reduce

prematurity by 8% by 2014. In New Hampshire, that means we are hoping to

have at least 100 fewer babies born too soon.”

New Hampshire will continue to celebrate its success and continued

commitment to reducing prematurity with an event honoring Nicholas Toumpas,

Commissioner of the NH Department of Health and Human Services, on November

12, 2012 in Manchester, NH, at the NH Chapter of March of Dimes, Signature

Chefs Auction.

The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to 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. For more information, visit the March of Dimes at

www.marchofdimes.com or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC) at