As one of the nation’s leading providers of care to women and babies, HCA Healthcare is proud to serve as a national sponsor for the March for Babies walks through the March of Dimes. We are hosting more than 40 walks across the country, including events in Houston, Miami and San Antonio, where three of our affiliate hospital chief executive officers (CEO) are serving as walk chairs.
Ashley McClellan, CEO at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, will represent HCA’s Gulf Coast Division, comprised of 15 hospitals and other sites of care, while CEO’s Brandon Haushalter and Rob Lenza will chair the walk for Kendall Regional Medical Center and Methodist Children’s Hospital, respectively.
“Our hospitals and caregivers make valuable contributions every day to families in their communities,” said Amy Casseri, vice president of women’s and children’s services for HCA. “Joining the effort to help fight premature birth and birth defects through March for Babies is just one more way our colleagues are working to improve the health of moms and babies across the country.”
Premature birth (before 37 weeks) is the leading cause of infant death in the United States. March for Babies raises funds to provide comfort and information for the families of sick and premature babies as well as innovative research.
Approximately, one in 10 babies are born prematurely in the United States annually. Almost 41,000 of those are in Texas, and a staggering 10,685 in Houston alone. Those babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.
March for Babies Houston
Last year, the March for Babies walk in Houston, the largest in the country with over 30,000 attendees, raised just under $2 million. McClellan, whose The Woman’s Hospital of Texas delivers 11,000 babies each year, is dedicated to surpassing that figure in 2018. The Houston walk is set for May 6 at the University of Houston.
“I am so proud to be the chair of the upcoming 2018 Houston March for Babies,” McClellan said. “As a mother whose professional career is devoted to a hospital that delivers more babies in Texas than any other, I can’t think of a more important cause than the March of Dimes mission.”
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas is the only hospital in Houston that has a full-time March of Dimes NICU family support program coordinator. It served their ambassador family, the Alexander’s, well during their time at the hospital.
“Having Angela Martinez, a licensed social worker, on site from the March of Dimes at the hospital was incredible,” Shannon Alexander explained, after her first son Christian Isaiah, was born at 29 weeks in 2011, and weighed just over three pounds. “She brought us materials on what to expect while we were there and what we could expect after he was discharged.”
Then baby Christian spent two months in the NICU at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas before going home, and, mom Shannon says the March of Dimes was there to help their family through that emotional time and the one that followed. 14 months later, their second son was stillborn at 38 weeks.
“My family and I thought, what better way to celebrate our preemie and remember our angel than to do something that could possibly help prevent this from happening to other babies?,” Shannon said.
The Alexanders know the importance of supporting March for Babies, and The Woman’s Hospital of Texas is honored to support them and other families through their journey.
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas walkers during 2017 March for Babies.
More than 75 HCA-affiliate hospitals will hold March for Babies walks this year, including the TriStar Divisions March for Babies event on this Saturday, April 21. Visit here to sign up or donate to a walk near you.