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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Become A March of Dimes Volunteer Advocate And Make A Difference

Advocate That Made a Difference: Highlight Volunteer Advocate Jill Wood

Jill and her husband were joyfully celebrating the healthy birth of their first daughter. But her first night home from the hospital, the baby died. The autopsy found that she had an undiagnosed metabolic birth defect. Jill and her husband converted their pain and loss into action. In 2002, Jill testified before Congress in support of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act (.PDF, 14KB). In 2008, the bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush. As a result, in 2010, national guidelines for newborn screening were issued to promote the screening of all babies for life-threatening, identifiable, but treatable, disorders in every state.

Many families have compelling stories that they can share to make changes to improve the quality of healthcare for all babies. By becoming a volunteer advocate, you can help the March of Dimes in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia make a difference in the lives of mothers and babies. As volunteer advocate, you could share your story on our website, testify before government officials, speak publicly at events, and speak to the media reporters about how your story relates to the March of Dimes public affairs agenda. Each story has a powerful message and we want you to be able to tell yours. Every story matters to us. To find out more about becoming a volunteer advocate contact: Dona Dei (

The March of Dimes Public Affairs agenda focuses on public policies and programs that relate to the Foundation’s mission of improving the health of infants and children by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Listed are the issues requiring participation by local March of Dimes chapters:

• Access to health coverage for women of child bearing age, infants, and children
• Research funding to prevent prematurity, birth defects, and infant mortality
• Prevention and treatment to improve maternal, infant, and child health
• Institutional concerns pertaining to tax-exempt organizations
By establishing a short list of advocacy issue priorities, all chapters and the National Office will be able to speak with one voice about the Foundation’s legislative and regulatory agenda. To fined our more visit the March of Dimes Advocacy Center.

Heather Kane

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