every woman nc blog

May 10, 2013

Although I am relatively new to the March of Dimes NC Preconception Health Campaign (NCPHC), I have learned through both my work and personal experience that most women need to be encouraged to be their own best advocate when it comes to their health care. Our campaign provides trainings to both health care professionals and consumers on the best practice areas of preconception health–one of them being the importance of non-pregnant women establishing a medical home and having a primary care provider.

Having a “home base” for your health care needs is good for everyone: your medical and family histories can be housed in one place, chronic conditions and/or medications can be closely managed, weight concerns can be monitored, and preconception health counseling, like reproductive life planning, can take place. Using a medical home for non-emergency health issues instead of the emergency room can save patients a lot of time and money, and it curbs the...

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February 15, 2013

Please welcome our newest regional coordinator, Steffie Duginske! In her role as Western Regional Coordinator, Steffie will work throughout North Carolina's 27 western-most counties to provide trainings and presentations on preconception health using the Campaign’s evidence-based models and curricula.

Steffie has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University-Bloomington where she majored in Physical Education with a minor in Health Education. Prior to joining the Campaign, she worked at the Haywood County Health Department for over 6 years. As a Health Educator coordinating the Healthy Carolinians program, Steffie led various health action teams determined by the community health assessment. Before that, she was a certified health and physical education teacher for pre-K through 12th grade in a variety of settings ranging from rural...

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February 14, 2013

Show Your Love. Your body will thank you for it. www.cdc.gov/showyourlove

Show Your Love is a new national campaign developed by the Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PHHCI) in partnership with the March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign (NCPHC), to help women prepare for healthy pregnancies. Launched today, Valentine’s Day, the campaign’s message points out that if a woman chooses to have a child, she can show love for her child by first loving herself by adopting healthy habits well before becoming pregnant.

The health behaviors a woman can adopt to improve her preconception health include the following...

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January 18, 2013

In the summer of 2012, the Preconception Health Leadership Team held a series of three regional coalition meetings with a total of 64 participants throughout the state in Boone, Elizabeth City and Spindale. The Preconception Health Leadership Team also coordinated an Annual Preconception Health Coalition meeting in Asheboro in July 2012 with 54 participants from different areas of the state. All of these meetings were instrumental in gathering information for the Preconception Health Coalition’s strategic planning process, celebrating accomplishments, and sharing best practices. Work on the 2014-2019 NC Preconception Health Strategic Plan was also initiated at these meetings.

At the annual coalition meeting, PRAMS, BRFSS and NC census data were shared to assess how well the state was doing in regards to improving preconception health outcomes between 2006 and 2010. Ensuing discussion by coalition members highlighted both successes and continued challenges shown by this...

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January 2, 2013

Nine years ago, former March of Dimes Director of Program Services, Sarah Verbiest, picked up a $3 million check from the North Carolina State Attorney General’s office. This money was awarded to the March of Dimes North Carolina Chapter as a result of a multi-state settlement with several vitamin manufacturers for price-fixing. The purpose of this one-time award to the March of Dimes was to improve the health and nutrition of North Carolinians and it was intended to expand the statewide Folic Acid Campaign. The primary goal of the Campaign was to increase the number of women of childbearing age in North Carolina who routinely take multivitamins prior to pregnancy. Research shows that if all women took a multivitamin with folic acid prior to pregnancy the rate of NTDs (neural tube defects), such as spina bifida, could be reduced by up to...

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November 14, 2012

Please welcome our newest regional coordinator, Brenda Stubbs! Brenda comes to us from the NC Healthy Start Foundation (NCHSF), where she was the Young Moms Connect Project Consultant and worked with pregnant and parenting young mothers, ages 13-24. The goal of the project is to improve birth outcomes, keep young mothers in school, and promote adequate birth spacing by providing education, support and resources to the young mothers and their families. Brenda holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Marketing from Appalachian State University and has nearly 16 years of experience in the health and human services field, primarily in the area of maternal and child health. Prior to joining the NCHSF, she held positions at the Guilford County Health Department as the lead health educator for the HPV Education and...

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September 24, 2012

Last month, one of our long-time staff members, Leslie deRosset, MPH, left our Campaign to pursue higher education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Leslie was our Latino Campaign coordinator who worked tirelessly across the state since 2005 to provide folic acid education and other preconception health messages to the Hispanic community in North Carolina.

Leslie is now working toward a PhD at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the Maternal and Child Health Department with a minor in Epidemiology. She plans to continue to focus on preconception health and life course issues related to Hispanics/Latinos and their birth outcomes. Additionally, she is working as a Trainee for a national reproductive, perinatal, pediatric epidemiology grant. 


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August 1, 2012

May 30, 2012 was a great day for preconception health in the East! While the day might have gloomy and ended in storms and flash floods, within the walls of the Pasquotank County Health Department in Elizabeth City there was a bright glimmer of light in the world of women’s health. I was able to participate in the first of several Regional Preconception Health Meetings sponsored by the Women’s Health Branch of the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

As the Eastern Regional Coordinator for the March of Dimes NC Preconception Health Campaign, I had the honor of providing the first presentation: Preconception Health 101. I gave the participants a general overview of preconception health and the ways in which it is being addressed in NC, especially through the Campaign. In addition, Judy Ruffin and Alvina Long Valentin, from the Women’s Health Branch, presented information on progress being made in preconception health in NC, regionally and nationally....

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June 4, 2012

This guest blog post was written by our former Triad Regional Coordinator, Stacie Turpin Saunders. Stacie has joined Alamance County Health Department where she serves as the Health Education Supervisor. Her time spent working with us was brief, but exceptional, and we know she’ll be fantastic at her new position. Best of all, she remains a dedicated advocate for and partner with the March of Dimes NC Preconception Health Campaign.

I knew it was going to be an awesome day when I started my trek to the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on May 16 for the APPCNC Annual Conference. The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) conference brings together people across the state working on teen pregnancy prevention to share ideas and learn from one another. Now usually, being an exhibitor at a conference doesn’t cause this much excitement in me, but today was different. Only a few miles separated me from being in the presence of two...

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May 18, 2012

National Women's Health Week ends tomorrow and things are winding to a close here at the March of Dimes NC Preconception Health Campaign. We finished our activities for the week with a Webinar yesterday entitled, "Women and health: Getting your message across to patients."

The Webinar was presented by our communications coordinator, Megan Fazekas, and it focused on the basics of social marketing and the history of the Campaign's social marketing projects. Megan explained in great detail all of our social marketing campaigns, such as folic acid, healthy weight and preconception health message bundling.

If you attended our Webinar, please do...

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