August 18, 2010
Little Hattie LaRue is still too young to understand the anxious moments her parents had when she was born at 33 weeks at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Hattie, who came into the world as a preemie in May 2007 and spent 31 days in the Overland Park Regional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), is now an active, bubbly three-year-old. Hattie and her parents are the official ambassador family for the March of Dimes in Kansas City and have a story of hope for others facing the challenges of premature birth.
“The Overland Park Regional Medical Center NICU was a blessing to Hattie and our family,” says Stephanie LaRue, Hattie’s mother. “The nurses, doctors and entire staff were supportive and amazing in so many ways.”
In an unprecedented affiliation, 8 of the 10 hospitals of HCA Midwest Health System—the Kansas City area’s largest healthcare network—are partnering with the Greater Kansas Chapter of the March of Dimes (MOD) on its Kansas City Bikers for Babies event and on a bi-state Prematurity Awareness Month campaign. The hospitals, which include Allen County Hospital, Centerpoint Medical Center, Lafayette Regional Health Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Research Belton Medical Center, will support the MOD with a strong collaboration in its major fundraising efforts.
Those events include the Kansas City Bikers for Babies, the largest MOD motorcycle event in the country, to be held on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at Kansas Speedway. Last year 6,000 riders raised $690,000 for research and education, with 77 cents of every dollar going directly to the March of Dimes mission.
HCA Midwest will also support the MOD Prematurity Awareness Month campaign in November, which will seek to help improve the health and well-being of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality through education and awareness.
In addition, the HCA Midwest network will serve as the presenting sponsor of the March of Dimes Greater Kansas Chapter Prematurity Conference at the Overland Park Marriott on November 17. Medical professionals and individuals including social workers, nurses, midwives, insurance companies and doctors will gather to learn more and exchange ideas in the area of premature births.
“On behalf of the thousands of Kansas City area babies and families affected by premature birth each year, we applaud HCA Midwest for its staunch support of the March of Dimes and its mission,” says Ken Jackson, State Director of the March of Dimes Greater Kansas Chapter. “In addition to financial support totaling $225,000 to fund March of Dimes’ life-saving research, education and advocacy, HCA Midwest offers outstanding care and services for moms and babies through its network of hospitals.”
The HCA Midwest partnership with the March of Dimes is unprecedented in the region; in years past the organization has garnered support from individual hospitals.
“The March of Dimes continues to save babies through research, community service, education and advocacy,” says Steve Corbeil, president of HCA Midwest. Corbeil says the collaborative effort between the March of Dimes Greater Kansas Chapter and HCA Midwest is vital.
“The March of Dimes Foundation has a history of success in saving millions of babies from death and disability and bringing people and medical professionals together to solve complex health issues,” he says. “The HCA Midwest healthcare network offers excellent and compassionate care and services for mothers and babies.”