MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 16, 2004--In response to the
increasing rate of premature births and the lack of public awareness
of this issue, Governor Doyle signed a Proclamation declaring Tuesday,
November 16th as "Prematurity Awareness Day" in Wisconsin.
"We're proud to have the Governor's support of our efforts to
raise awareness of this very important and critical public health
issue," said Judge Tony Machi, state chairman of the Wisconsin Chapter
of the March of Dimes. "Prematurity can affect anyone and the costs
associated with it are high. Raising awareness of this problem is key
to helping families reduce their risk, and get all babies off to a
In downtown Milwaukee, the lights on top of the U.S. Bank building
will be lit pink and blue tonight and over the next few weeks in
recognition of Prematurity Awareness Day. At 42 stories high, the U.S.
Bank building is the tallest building in the state. U.S. Bank is a
statewide corporate partner of the March of Dimes Prematurity
Andy Randall, U.S. Bank Wisconsin president, said the bank's
development network has spearheaded employee involvement in the March
of Dimes' annual spring walk to raise both awareness and needed funds.
Prematurity is the leading cause of birth defects and newborn
death, and the babies who survive often face serious lifelong health
problems. According to recent polls, most Americans are unaware of the
health problems prematurity presents, or that the rate of preterm
birth has been steadily increasing in the nation. Over the last 20
years, the incidence of premature birth has increased by 29 percent
and over 480,000 babies will be born premature this year in the United
States. The following organizations recognize the need to address this
growing health issue and have sponsored the March of Dimes national
Prematurity Campaign: Johnson & Johnson, Pediatric Institute, CIGNA,
Federal Express, American Baby Magazine, and Working Mother Magazine.
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose
mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects
and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds
programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to
save babies and in 2003 launched a five-year, $75 million campaign to
address the increasing rate of premature birth.
For more information on the March of Dimes or Prematurity
Awareness Day, visit the March of Dimes web site at
CONTACT: March of Dimes
Erin Smith, 414-778-3500
Toll Free 800-669-9255
SOURCE: U.S. Bank