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Thursday, June 13, 2024

How March of Dimes Created an Innovation Fund

Erika and Kris Younger are loving mother and father to Sommer Vivienne Younger, their toddler daughter who tragically solely lived for an hour and 50 minutes. Throughout her brief life, she by no means opened her eyes or took a breath on her personal. The Youngs’ story is just not that completely different from many first-time mother and father. Although Erika wanted to be induced, her vitals, and her child’s coronary heart price, motion and ultrasound all appeared regular proper earlier than supply.

The hospital and docs who reviewed Sommer’s case are nonetheless unsure about what precipitated her demise. The California-based couple had been left with out actual solutions. Now, in an effort to honor their daughter’s legacy and stop different households from an identical destiny, they’re supporting cutting-edge ventures by means of March of Dimes Innovation Fund to advance maternal and toddler well being options. 

The reality is, outcomes like Summer time’s are far too frequent in the US, the place maternal and toddler well being is in disaster. Our newest report card confirmed greater than 380,500 infants (10.4% of all births) had been born preterm, one of many main causes of toddler demise in the US and all over the world, forcing us to challenge our nation a D+ for the second yr in a row.

Simply as troubling, toddler and maternal deaths are each on the rise. For moms, the demise price has greater than doubled between 2018 to 2021 and newly launched information from the Heart for Illness Management (CDC) exhibits a 3% spike in toddler mortality in 2022, the most important improve in a long time.

Whereas this maternal and toddler well being disaster impacts all households, Black, Hispanic and Native American girls and their infants are drastically and disproportionately impacted. This places people in these populations at a better threat for poor outcomes and widens broader gaps in well being fairness that put our nation behind. 

With statistics like these and tales just like the Youngs’ it’s clear that it’s time to take new measures to create actual change. The March of Dimes Innovation Fund is a enterprise philanthropy initiative that makes use of donated funds to spend money on early-stage firms addressing essentially the most urgent maternal and toddler well being challenges to enhance outcomes and affect mothers’ and infants’ lives now. Because the main group combating to enhance the well being of mothers and infants, we all know it’s on us to help scientific breakthroughs that deal with causes of poor outcomes. Via this work, we’re supporting modern firms with confirmed or robust potential for affect, which are poised to profit from March of Dimes’ funding and help.

The Innovation Fund’s strategic design displays our group’s distinctive place out there and synthesizes key classes from profitable fashions of enterprise philanthropy.

Since launching in September of 2022, March of Dimes has invested in three firms to date — Iron Well being, Raydiant Oximetry and PyrAmes Well being. Every supplies a pathway for March of Dimes to affect maternal and toddler mortality and morbidity.

Iron Well being is a digital girls’s well being platform on a mission to shut the present gaps in girls’s healthcare by empowering OB-GYNs with further care providers, akin to psychological well being help, to increase its latitude of care. Since our partnership started, the corporate has achieved business traction with a number of prospects to serve its sufferers.

Raydiant Oximetry is creating a low-cost, non-invasive biomedical gadget to observe the oxygen ranges in fetal blood throughout labor. The corporate was not too long ago awarded a considerable Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH) grant to advance their fetal oximetry know-how in step with the corporate’s purpose to determine fetal misery and keep away from medically pointless cesarean sections, which may have implications for mother and child.

Most not too long ago, we invested in PyrAmes Well being, a digital well being firm centered on bettering the supply of healthcare by means of steady blood strain monitoring that’s correct, wi-fi and noninvasive. Blood strain could cause many problems for each mother and child together with preterm beginning, preeclampsia, stroke, placental abruption and even demise. PyrAmes Well being not too long ago obtained Meals and Drug Administration approval for its neonatal blood strain monitoring gadget and is creating a maternal blood strain monitoring product with the help of a NIH grant.

Wanting forward, March of Dimes envisions a future the place the Innovation Fund continues to make strategic investments to advance its mission. A fundraising purpose of $10 million in philanthropic funds underscores the dedication of the group and its donors to fortify our mission. We not too long ago revealed a white paper that outlines the methods enterprise capital can gas these objectives, with a give attention to attracting new capital to spend money on firms bringing wanted services and products to the market in order that we will flip the tide of the maternal and toddler well being disaster. The Innovation Fund represents not only a means for donors to make investments in wanted options, but additionally a visionary dedication to shaping a more healthy future for all mothers and infants throughout the nation.

The previous put up was offered by a person unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed inside don’t immediately mirror the ideas or opinions of NonProfit PRO.

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