On Thursday, November 5, the March of Dimes, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health (DHH), will be uniting the medical community and many maternal and child health stakeholders from across the state of Louisiana to evaluate the biggest threat to the health of newborns - premature birth.

Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death. The 2015 Prematurity Prevention Summit will feature presentations on perinatal quality collaboratives to improve birth outcomes, maternal quality improvement initiatives to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, and best practices to reduce infant mortality in local communities.  In addition, the March of Dimes will release its 2015 Premature Birth Report Card; which, for the first time, will grade preterm births in United States cities in addition to the state grades on preterm birth.

The summit will include an impressive lineup of local and national speakers (see full agenda below) including Dr. Elliott Main of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative; Dr. Michael Marcotte, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist with the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative; Dr. Debra Bingham of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; and Sue Gullo of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. There will also be presentations from the Louisiana Department of Health including LDH Secretary Kathy Kliebert and LDH Medicaid Medical Director, Dr. Rebekah Gee.  The summit will also feature a panel discussion addressing current priorities and initiatives in Louisiana led by Dr. Joseph Bocchini, Jr. Chairman of the March of Dimes Louisiana State Programs Committee and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics for LSUHSC - Shreveport.

The 2015 Prematurity Prevention Summit will kick-off Prematurity Awareness Month for the March of Dimes.  Each year in November, the March of Dimes works to create awareness for the number one health threat to our babies - premature birth.  In Louisiana, one in seven babies are born prematurely and nearly 550 newborns die before their first birthday.  Other activities will include the release of the 2015 Premature Birth Report Card; which will take place on November 5 and World Prematurity Day on November 17.

March of Dimes would like to recognize AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana as our 2015 Statewide Prematurity Prevention Sponsor; and Hologic, Amerigroup Louisiana, United Healthcare Community Plan and Aetna Better Health of Louisiana as our 2015 Prematurity Prevention Summit gold sponsors.  To register, visit www.marchofdimes.org/louisiana

Putting Louisiana Moms and Babies First - 2015 Prematurity Prevention Summit Schedule:

 8:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks               

Makesha Judson, MPA - State Director of Program Services and Government Affairs, March of Dimes Louisiana Chapter

Secretary Kathy Kliebert
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

8:50 a.m. - 9:05 a.m.        

Release of the 2015 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card

Kenneth E. Brown, MD - Board Member 
March of Dimes Louisiana Chapter

Louisiana Perinatal Data

Lyn Kieltyka, PhD, MPH, Senior MCH Epidemiologist
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

9:05 a.m. - 9:35 a.m.

Louisiana Accomplishments for Improving Perinatal Outcomes

  • Rebekah Gee, MD - Medicaid Medical Director, LDH
  • Michelle Alletto - Clinical Services Manager, LDH
  • Sue Leavitt Gullo, RN, BSN, MS - Managing Director, IHI

9:35 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.    

Statewide Initiatives to Improve Quality 

Elliott Main, M.D.

Chairman and Chief of Obstetrics, California Pacific Medical Center Medical Director, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative

10:35 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.  

Improving Perinatal Outcomes through Perinatal Quality Collaboratives:

Case Study of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Project and 17P Project

Michael P. Marcotte, MD

11:35 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  

Break and Pick up Lunch

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.    

"What We Can Accomplish if We Work Together to Prevent Prematurity"

Seated Lunch - Panel Moderated by: Joseph Bocchini, Jr. MD

  • Kathy Kleibert - Secretary, LDH
  • Rebekah Gee, MD - Medicaid Medical Director, LDH
  • Angela Glyder, MD - Reginal Clinical Director - AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana
  • Raymond Poliquit, MD - Medical Director, Amerigroup Louisiana
  • David Thomas, MD, PhD - Vice President, Medical Affairs - Louisiana Healthcare Connections
  • Ann Kay Cefalu Logarbo, MD, FAAP - Chief Medical Officer, United Healthcare Community Plan
  • Rodney Wise, MD - Medical Director, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Dr. Marshall St. Amant, MFM - Vice President of the Louisiana Section of ACOG

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.      

Breakout Session

Breakout Room 326  

Kick-off for Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM): 

Improving Maternal Health and Safety in Louisiana

Elliott Main, M.D.

Project Lead: Michelle Alletto, LDH and Rebekah Gee, MD, LDH

Main Conference Room 

Creating Local efforts to collaborate and drive down Infant Mortality

Michael P. Marcotte, MD

Engaging the work of local maternal and child health organizations and municipalities to reduce infant mortality

3:00 p.m.


Chloe Lake, MPH

Health Education and Communication Specialist, Bureau of Family Health, DHH 

3:15 p.m.

Closing Session: What We Have Learned at the Summit?

What Comes Next? How do we continue our Work to Reduce Prematurity?

Joseph Bocchini, Jr. MD - Chair, March of Dimes Program Services Committee

Next Steps to informing, advancing and leveraging strategic partnerships towards reducing prematurity and improving birth outcomes in Louisiana

 4:00 p.m.

 End of Summit

About the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading non-profit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, pre-mature birth and infant mortality.  For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org/louisiana or nacersano.org.

About the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.