Passport and March of Dimes donate 50 diaper bags to families with babies in UofL Hospital NICU

As part of National Prematurity Awareness Month, Passport Health Plan and March of Dimes are stepping up to help 50 families who have babies being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University of Louisville Hospital.

Passport (the provider-sponsored, nonprofit, community-based health plan administering Medicaid benefits to more than 310,000 Kentuckians) and March of Dimes (the nation’s leading maternal and infant health nonprofit) are donating 50 fully stocked diaper bags to help families during one of the most emotional and tense times in their lives.

The preterm birth rate in the United States is on the rise for the third year in a row, a trend signaling an urgent health crisis for moms and babies, March of Dimes says. In Jefferson County, the preterm birth rate is an alarming 10.9 percent, based on 2016 data. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the largest contributor to infant death in the United States and around the world.

The official donation will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 17 (World Prematurity Day) at UofL Hospital, 530 South Jackson Street. Members of the news media are invited to attend. Officials from Passport, March of Dimes, and UofL Hospital will be available for comment.

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Passport and March of Dimes co-sponsor “NICU to Now” event to highlight Prematurity Awareness Month

MofDPremature birth is the No. 1 cause of death for newborns in the U.S., with the nation’s preterm birth rate worsening for the first time in eight years. Around the U.S., 1 in 10 babies are born preterm, and in Kentucky, the numbers are even worse, with 1 in 8 babies born preterm.

That’s one reason why Passport Health Plan has partnered with the March of Dimes to be the Prematurity Awareness Sponsor for the Greater Louisville March for Babies. As part of our efforts, we are hosting a luminaria lantern lighting event on Thursday, November 17, during which we will honor families that have had a preterm birth and talk about ways to help more moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

The event – which will comprise “NICU to Now” photo sessions during the day, followed by a luminaria lantern lighting in the evening – will take place at the Jefferson Mall Macy’s, 4809 Outer Loop in Louisville, on Thursday, November 17. Photo sessions for families will be taken from noon to 5 p.m. near the Macy’s entrance inside the mall, and the luminaria lantern lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m. outside the Macy’s entrance on the north end of Jefferson Mall (closest to Target).