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Designation added to the U.S. National Health Observances Calendar
Tampa, Fla. – October 18, 2012 – Today, at the National Perinatal Association meeting in Tampa, Fla., the Preeclampsia Foundation announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated May 2013 as National Preeclampsia Awareness Month on the U.S. National Health Observances Calendar. The Preeclampsia Foundation, with the support of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and congressional leaders, first began its bid to secure this nationwide designation one year ago to drive widespread awareness and to educate individuals and organizations about the effects of preeclampsia and the importance of prenatal and postpartum care and education.
The national designation was made possible through the help of the Foundation’s volunteers and supporters. In November 2011, the Foundation launched a first-time ever, online petition campaign calling for the national designation. In just one month, the “Hear Us Now” petition received over 3,000 signatures. Following the petition, Congresswomen Lois Capps (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) voiced their support for the designation, writing a letter to U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, requesting the designation.
“We are thrilled with this achievement,” said Executive Director Eleni Tsigas, “and are especially grateful to the thousands of supporters that rallied around this effort. Our government relation’s team in Washington, DC, expertly led us through this process and now it feels wonderful to officially declare May as National Preeclampsia Awareness Month! Stay tuned to www.preeclampsia.org as May 2013 nears for additional information about National Preeclampsia Awareness Month and related activities.”
Approximately 300,000 American women are diagnosed with preeclampsia each year, at least 25 percent of who are estimated to have adverse outcomes, including maternal and infant deaths. Research has shown that pregnant women are not routinely aware of preeclampsia and its warning signs; this lack of information has a deleterious effect on health outcomes for mothers and their unborn children. The Preeclampsia Foundation will utilize this national designation to enhance efforts to educate women, their families, health providers, and policymakers about preeclampsia, continuing their efforts to promote scientific research and treatment in an effort to improve maternal and infant health and save lives.
The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.