Alexander-Bennet PREEMIE Act Advances In Senate

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Co.), members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), on Thursday praised the passage in the committee of their bill to expand research, education, and intervention activities related to preterm birth.

Officials said the PREEMIE Act will help reduce preterm birth, prevent newborn death and disability caused by it, and expand preterm birth research. It also will promote the development, availability, and uses of evidence-based standards of care for pregnant women. The bill passed the committee by voice vote.

Senator Alexander said, “This bill is to help the half a million babies born prematurely each year, including an average 204 premature babies born each week in Tennessee—that’s 13 percent of all live births. We have seen significant progress in reducing premature births since we first passed this bill in 2006, but preterm birth is still the leading killer of newborns and there is a lot of work left to do. I salute the March of Dimes for its great efforts in reducing premature births, and I urge my colleagues to join the committee in supporting this important bill.”

“Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death and is more common in the United States than many other developed countries. The PREEMIE Act is a bipartisan effort to help us better understand its causes and how we can reduce the number of occurrences,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “I am pleased my colleagues on the HELP Committee have moved this bill forward, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible.”

This year in the U.S. alone, approximately 28,000 babies will die before their first birthday, 36 percent of those from preterm birth complications. In addition to being the leading cause of newborn death, premature birth can cause a lifetime of health challenges and intellectual disabilities for those children who do survive. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the annual societal costs associated with preterm birth were $26.2 billion in 2005 or $51,600 per infant born preterm. Nearly two-thirds of this $26.2 billion estimate was spent on medical care, a figure that does not include the cost of medical care beyond early childhood or caretaker costs such as lost wages.

A companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-Ca.) and Leonard Lance (R-N.J.). The bill is supported by the March of Dimes Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.


Morning Pointe Residents Make Musical Memories At Creekside

Creekside at Shallowford Independent Living invited Program Director Dawn Dunn and residents from The Lantern at Morning Pointe of Collegedale for a piano concert and sing along.  Voices of both community's residents were raised as they joined in on familiar hymns, patriotic tunes, jazz and spiritual collections, and classical numbers. (click for more)

O Negative Blood Supply Critically Low

Blood Assurance, the non-profit regional blood center, is in critical need of type O negative blood, said officials. Currently level 1 trauma centers are using 20 percent more O negative blood than last year. Typically, 275 units of O negative type blood are sent weekly to area hospitals, but the demand has surpassed the number of donations by 18 percent in the last two months. ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)