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The March of Dimes Improves Infant and Mother Health Locally

by Cassidy Noblejas Bartolomei, published

The March of Dimes, which was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1938 to combat polio, has evolved into a national association with chapters across the country. Since Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine, the March of Dimes has established its new mission - to improve the health of pregnant mothers and infants through programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy.

In addition to its statewide presence, the March of Dimes also functions on a local level and is intimately involved the community. Statewide chapters of the March of Dimes are dependent on the local branches of the organization to accomplish its tasks, like the recent ratification of Assembly Bill 1731.

San Diego has its very own funded branch, the March of Dimes San Diego-Imperial Division. Thanks to its efforts, San Diego County mothers, infants, and families benefit from the March of Dimes services.

San Diego’s March of Dimes has educated the community by co-sponsoring educational opportunities like the San Diego Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Day, as well as conducting Annual Prematurity Awareness Day.  San Diego March of Dimes also functioned in training four organizations and clinics on the March of Dimes Becoming a Mom prenatal education curricula, and organized the Annual Salk Symposium for over three-hundred San Diego and Imperial County high school students and teachers.

The San Diego-Imperial Division advocated for improving mothers’ and infants’ health by participating with community volunteers, families, and professionals at the annual March of Dimes California Chapter Capitol Day in Sacramento. Aside from the ratification of AB 1731 last month, the March of Dimes also sponsored AB 395, which was signed into law in 2011.

Among its services to San Diego County, the local March of Dimes division has also granted funding to Rady Children’s Hospital, Family Health Centers, North County Health Services, Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, and UCSD Medical Center.

In order to provide these services, the March of Dimes is dependent on donational support. The San Diego-Imperial Division’s next fundraising event will be Thursday, November 8 at the historic El Cortez Hotel. This event is its second annual Signature Chefs and Master Mixologists Gala, and is to be a:

“….unique fundraising gala, brimming with fine food and bold beverages, featuring Signature Chefs tastings, cocktails, live entertainment, as well as an exclusive live auction."


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