The Wisconsin Chapter of March of Dimes received the national 2009 Audrey Manley Program Leadership Award which recognizes one March of Dimes chapter that has developed and supported a community-based program that enhances awareness of the March of Dimes and strives to reduce risks for premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality in at-risk populations. This award highlights the chapter’s initiatives to reduce racial or ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.
“It is really encouraging that we get recognized for the work that we do,” said Pamela Pfeffer, state director of program services. “Wisconsin is headed in the right direction—we have a framework and we have direction.” This is the first time that the Wisconsin Chapter has been presented with this award. A national grant of $5,000 will be awarded to support the continuation of the project.
The March of Dimes Wisconsin Chapter developed a strategic, volunteer-led, multi-faceted and long-term African American Outreach Initiative. Leading the way is an African American Advisory Committee which has established the March of Dimes as a visible and dedicated advocate for African American babies. The committee also launched an innovative, measurable intervention for African American women in Beloit, Wisconsin called Sister Support Connection which includes five interactive group meetings, incentives, and free childcare. This national award is named for Dr. Audrey F. Manley, the former acting Surgeon General, past president of Spelman College and member of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes.