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Published on November 19, 2014

March of Dimes Honors Palos
for 39 Weeks Initiative

Palos Community Hospital
was recently presented with a
banner to recognize its efforts
on the 39 Weeks Initiative.
Shown from left: Linda Celani,
director of Nursing, Med-Surg/
Maternal Child; Sue Kois,
charge nurse for Maternal
Child; Myra Pacelli,
practitioner/teacher for
Maternal Child; and Karen
Jaekel, data analyst for
Quality Assessment.

Palos Community Hospital has been recognized for reducing the number of elective deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy.

The March of Dimes says this will give more babies a healthy start in life, as babies born too early may have more health problems at birth and later in life.

“We are proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who tackle this issue in our community and established policies to avoid scheduling deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” says Terrence Moisan, M.D., Interim President and CEO of Palos Community Hospital.

March of Dimes partnered with the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative and the Illinois Hospital Association to honor Palos with a banner – on display in the hospital lobby – indicating the hospital’s commitment to improving the quality of care for moms and babies.  

The banner program highlights Strong Start, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Through the Strong Start campaign, the March of Dimes is sending the message that “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait.” It also urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks.