Preterm birth affects one in eight babies in St. Clair County and more than 20,000 infants in Illinois. lt is the leading cause of newborn death, illness and disability among infants and carries a societal price tag of $26 billion in the U.S. per year. We must ensure we are doing all we can to reduce preterm births and support families of premature infants in receiving services they so desperately need.
On Nov. 1 the Prematurity Perinatal Advisory Committee reported to the state legislature with recommendations to reduce preterm births in Illinois. These include the elimination of elective, non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age and enhanced prenatal care for women at risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.
The St. Clair County Infant Mortality Reduction Committee is working with the Illinois Premature Infant Health Network, March of Dimes and Southern Illinois Perinatal Network to ensure infants born too soon receive the best possible care and support. St. Clair County Health Department, East Side Health District and Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation coordinate prenatal care, nutrition, immunizations and ease management with perinatal health care provided by Memorial, St. Elizabeth and Touchette Regional Hospitals. All three area hospitals have instituted policies to prevent elective deliveries before 39 weeks.
Every child has the right to be born healthy. Help us reduce prematurity and support the
families of premature infants in St. Clair County.
Chairman, Infant Mortality Reduction Committee
St. Clair County Health Care Commission