March 17, 2010 – The March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter has awarded a grant to the Knox County Health Department to support Clearing the Air Together: Nurses Empowering Parents to Quit Smoking, which targets underserved maternal and child health needs here in Knox County. This program will train women’s care nurses to provide a brief tobacco intervention to pregnant women and new mothers. Smoking is known to contribute to premature birth and low birth weight.
This year-long grant is one of many that the March of Dimes awards in pursuit of its mission to prevent birth defects and infant mortality and will continue through March 2011.
“The March of Dimes grant will be used to aid in meeting our objectives of providing mothers with tobacco cessation opportunities and reducing infants exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Hannah Blair, Health Educator, Knox County Health Department. “We are grateful to those volunteers who support the March of Dimes by participation in events like March for Babies and who donate in other ways. Volunteer support is what makes these types of grants possible,” she said.
Knox County Health Department is committed to promoting public health policies and practices to safeguard and improve quality of life for all residents. As part of its resources, KCHD employs two full-time public health educators dedicated to smoking cessation. KCHD also directly supported Tennessee’s Non-Smokers Protection Act, which drastically reduced toxic second hand smoke in public buildings. For more information about Knox County Health Department, visit www.knoxcounty.org/health.
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at marchofdimes.com or its Spanish language Web site at nacersano.org.