March of Dimes Arizona Chapter, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Arizona Perinatal Trust together have partnered with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers and other states to commit to reducing prematurity and infant mortality.

The goal is to reduce Arizona’s pre-term birth rate 8 percent by 2014.

The challenge would lower Arizona’s pre-term birth rate to 11.6 percent. According to the most recent March of Dimes Report Card, Arizona’s premature birth rate in 2009 was 12.7 percent.

An 8 percent reduction would set the state’s goal at 11.7 percent by 2014. A long-term target of a premature birth rate of 9.6 percent would mean a 24.4 percent reduction in prematurity by 2020.

For free access to national, state, county and city-level maternal and infant health data, visit marchofdimes.com/PeriStats.

• Travis Roemhild, (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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