Saint Francis-Bartlett Participates in Prematurity Awareness Month 
Contact:Derek Venckus (901) 820-7072 
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 
     Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett is working in conjunction with the March of Dimes to inform the local community that November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Saint Francis-Bartlett will light the hospital walkway and building in pink and blue lights to help raise awareness.
     Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns. Babies who survive may be disabled for life. In the United States, half a million babies are born prematurely every year. In 2003, there were 2,032 preterm births in Shelby Co., representing 14.4% of live births.
     “It’s important that people realize how significant a problem premature birth is in our community,” said Derek Venckus, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett public relations coordinator. “It’s an issue the caregivers in our hospital deal with on a daily basis. We hope that by creating awareness we can encourage women to take the necessary steps to increase their chances of having a healthy baby.”
     “As the major health care agency in the community, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett is the ideal venue to help educate the women of child-bearing age in the community about the importance of good prenatal care and the risks associated with pre-term birth,” said Michelle Danaher, Community Director for the Memphis division of the March of Dimes. “Saint Francis-Bartlett continues to be a dedicated partner of the March of Dimes and our mission for healthy babies.”