As we begin the first official National Preeclampsia Awareness Month, as finally designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we are enormously grateful to numerous organizations, companies and individuals that are partnering with us in this month-long campaign to educate, inform and inspire. Together we are committed to spreading important information: the symptoms and impact of this life-threatening complication of pregnancy, as well as the critical need for more research and professional education to turn the tide on disastrous maternal and newborn outcomes that result from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Because preeclampsia awareness saves lives, efforts this month will span the country and cover a variety of communication venues. The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ campaign ad will appear on the digital billboard in New York City's Time Square on May 7, the same day PRnewswire distributes our first multi-media news release, including an infographic, a new 3-minute video, and a brand new patient education tool we'll be introducing that day. Stay tuned!
The preeclampsia community - those affected, their families and friends, researchers and healthcare professionals - is passionate about improving pregnancy outcomes. Thousands of people in 44 cities will be participating in The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ spreading public awareness and collectively helping us reach our goal to raise $500,000. Promise Walks vary by location, but include guest speakers, appearances by media personalities, raffles, health screenings, children's activities and memorial events.
Add to this our first Google+ Hangout with Pregnancy Magazine, our first Twitter Party, three May Twitter Chats - one which features CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen - and over 40 organizations, media journalists, and bloggers partnering with our foundation to share new web content - and I think we have taken Preeclampsia Awareness Month to an entirely new level. See our schedule of social media conversations (via Twitter and Google+) at right.
Later in the month, we hope to hear members of the U.S. House of Representatives speak from the floor of Congress to record these admonitions into our nation's permanent history.
Visit http://www.promisewalk.org/campaign to register for a Promise Walk, support a Promise Walk with a donation, or learn more about other scheduled activities. Follow the activity on Twitter at #PreAM13.
Promise Walks - Making Strides, Delivering Hope!
These new initiatives are the result of groundwork laid by the Foundation's board, advisors and staff, over the last several years, but it is the enthusiasm, passion, and tireless work of our Promise Walk Coordinators, and their volunteer teams - and the ardent fundraising by thousands of walkers that is making all of this progress in awareness, education, and catalytic research possible.
In the last three years, The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ has funded six research Vision Grants, put over 120,000 educational materials into the hands of pregnant women, provided training to over 5,000 health care providers, supported over 10,000 families, and grown the Foundation's website's outreach to over 1.2 million visitors each year.
Later this month, we'll be making an exciting announcement about a research initiative that holds enormous promise to advance not just one but limitless research possibilities. Participants at our 44 Promise Walks will get a sneak peek at this new program, but if we hit our fundraising goal - and believe me, every dollar counts - we will be much closer to realizing this scientific achievement.
If you're not participating in a walk this year, please consider doing a Virtual Walk or donating to a friend or family member who is walking. Every stride gets us closer to our ultimate mission - a cure for preeclampsia!
5 Weeks of Themes
During each week of May, we will be focusing on a different aspect of our mission to save lives. Check back often and visit us on Facebook and other social media channels to gain new knowledge, pick up tools and tips, and learn from our special guests.
- Week 1: Driving awareness, at home and abroad
- Week 2: Educating and empowering expectant mothers
- Week 3: Highlighting heart health for moms
- Week 4: Accelerating research for a cure
- Week 5: Changing the face of health care quality
The articles in this month's issue of Expectations have been chosen to reflect the theme of each week. From each of them, I hope you take away something of real value for your life and to share.
I'm looking forward to taking this journey with you!