The Central New York Chapter of the March of Dimes held a kickoff rally for its 2011 March for Babies walk today at Crouse Hospital's Marley Education Center. Hanni Kmetz, division director for the local chapter, hosted the breakfast gathering and introduced Crouse President & CEO Paul Kronenberg, MD, as the Honorary Chairperson of this year's event.
In the United States, more than half a million babies are born too soon, many without warning or reason. Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns, and babies who do survive can be faced with a lifetime of challenges. Here in Onondaga County, prematurity and low birth weight rates are higher than the counties surrounding us – and higher than both the New York State and national averages.
That’s why the March of Dimes is leading the effort to give every baby a healthy start by funding research into the causes of premature birth and other serious threats to infant health. "As home to our region’s state-designated, Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit, it is very fitting and appropriate for Crouse Hospital to partner with the March of Dimes and to be actively engaged in this important work," said Dr. Kronenberg.
He continued by announcing this year's goal: raising $120,000. "Company teams, such as the Crouse Hospital team and those formed by other comapnies and individuals, are the most crucial piece to a successful March for Babies, and that’s because they contribute over 80 percent of the funds raised in the walk."
The inspirational highlight of the presentation came in the form of a testimonial. Crouse employee Kelly Russell and her family (shown here with Dr. Kronenberg, left) serve as the Ambassador Family for the Central New York Division. Kelly’s son, Robert, was born prematurely and today is a happy and healthy toddler. "I can't say enough for the work of the March of Dimes, and I know that Crouse's Baker Intensive Care Unit is simply the best," said Kelly, who's also serving as a Team Captain for the walk next month.
March for Babies in Central New York
Date: Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011
Time: 10 a.m. registration; 11 a.m. walk begins
Place: Onondaga Community College, Rt. 175, Syracuse
Visit the March for Babies website to learn more about the event, make a donation or sign up to walk.
PLEASE SUPPORT OR JOIN CROUSE HOSPITAL'S WALK FOR BABIES TEAM!