147371 Healthy Babies, Healthy Business: A worksite health education program

Monday, November 5, 2007: 8:30 PM

Stephen Abelman, MBA , Education and Health Promotion, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Janis Biermann, MS , Education and Health Promotion, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Background: In 2005, there were over 500,000 babies born prematurely, before 37 completed weeks of gestation. Prematurity is a major factor in neonatal death and infant illness such as cerebral palsy. The financial burden to the US is estimated at over $26 billion annually. The cost to employers for a preterm birth alone is approximately $41,610 vs. $2,830 for an uncomplicated full term birth. It is estimated that an employer with 10,000 employees could spend as much as $556,000 in medical, short-term disability, and loss productivity costs associated with preterm birth. There are 14 risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and obesity that if modified by women before pregnancy or early in pregnancy, could improve pregnancy outcomes.

Solution/Tool: The March of Dimes has created Healthy Babies, Healthy Business, a FREE health education program for employers. The program is comprised of six components (an intranet-based preconception/prenatal content for employees; English and Spanish language Web content; email access to health information specialists; bilingual printed materials; support for parents of preemies; and bereavement support). The information can help employees make better decisions about their health and health care. By encouraging women to use these resources, employers can also promote their own resources such as smoking cessation and EAP programs to address these risk factors and reduce their overall health care costs as well as those associated with premature births.

Results: To date (2/07), the program has been placed in 20 companies. Additional results and evaluation will be presented at the meeting.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will: Learn the costs to employers of premature birth Understand the public health benefit of a well-educated employee Learn about a tool that provides web-based education for women interested in preconception and/or prenatal health care

Keywords: Worksite, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.