More than 22,000 babies in Florida will be born prematurely this year — and Tampa General Hospital is helping March of Dimes lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies by becoming the Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 Tampa Bay March for Babies.
Through advocacy, education and research, March of Dimes is working to level the playing field so that every mom and baby get the best possible start.
“We are a teaching hospital and we care for high-risk mothers,” said Sherri Badia, interim director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Tampa General Hospital. “Tampa General has the highest level of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, so that all the patients who deliver here have the best care.”
The hospital’s Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit cares for premature and critically ill newborns. The Level IV unit has 52,000 square feet, 82 beds and includes isolation rooms and an infant stabilization unit. TGH is one of 12 Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Centers designated by the state of Florida to deliver the highest level of care to premature and sick infants.
Last year, the Tampa Bay March for Babies event raised $775,500. This year, Tampa General Hospital hopes to surpass that by becoming the presenting sponsor and substantially growing its team fundraising participation.
“March for Babies gives us a unique opportunity to help the community we love and to support the families of our colleagues,” said Jenni Daboll, nurse manager of Tampa General’s Ante Postpartum Unit and the hospital’s team captain for the March for Babies team. “One in ten of our babies here in Florida is born prematurely, and that’s just not acceptable.”
“We’re grateful and excited to have Tampa General Hospital participating in this year’s 2020 Tampa Bay March for Babies as our Presenting Sponsor,” says Steve Manuel, Senior Development Manager for the March of Dimes. “The passion and commitment of Tampa General Hospital’s staff will be a tremendous factor driving the success of the event and supporting the health of moms and babies here and across the country,” he said.
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The 2020 Tampa Bay March for Babies will be held on April 25, 2020 at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay area residents can sign up at www.marchforbabies.org/event/TampaBay for a specific walk or the virtual walk.
March of Dimes gives more than 4 million babies born each year the best possible start. Nearly half a million of them are born prematurely or with birth defects. Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years.