Yesterday was World Prematurity Day, which aims to raise awareness that prematurity is a significant problem in Massachusetts, the nation, and the world. More than half a million babies are born preterm in the U.S. each year, with 160 preemies born each week in Massachusetts alone. Because of their early birth, these babies are especially vulnerable and often require inpatient medical care before they can go home to their families. However, no standardized follow-up procedures exist to ensure that preterm babies and their parents continue to receive the care and support they need after they leave the hospital.
On the eve of World Prematurity Day, Jewish Family & Children Service joined with the Massachusetts chapter of March of Dimes, MedImmune, state legislators, and health experts for a briefing at the Massachusetts State House. The event, hosted by the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Caucus, put a spotlight on the need for sufficient medical care for babies born prematurely, who are at increased risk for a variety of health complications, and for specialized support for their parents, such as that which JF&CS provides through Fragile Beginnings.