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The March of Dimes: An Overview By Terry Herring

August 3, 2012

A nonprofit entity, the March of Dimes Foundation exists to promote better health for mothers and their infants. President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded March of Dimes in 1938 in response to a widespread outbreak of polio in the United States. The Foundation became a grass-roots success story, growing to over 3,100 chapters by 1955, when medical researcher Jonas Salk developed the Salk vaccine.

With polio defeated, the March of Dimes found itself at a crossroads: it could either disperse, its original mission complete; or reallocate resources toward a new purpose. In 1958, the Foundation shifted its focus to preventing birth defects, and in 2005, added the reduction of premature births as another objective.

The March of Dimes primarily fights for mothers and their babies by spreading knowledge of various maternal and neonatal conditions. These conditions include rubella, which can cause miscarriages; fetal alcohol syndrome, a group of birth defects brought on by high levels of alcohol during pregnancy; and premature birth.

For more information, visit www.marchofdimes.com.

About the Author

Terry Herring serves as the President of Commercial Operations at Mission Pharmacal Company, located in San Antonio, Texas. He donates significant time and resources to charitable organizations such as the March of Dimes.

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