Thousands of Nashvillians Turn Out and Raise More Than $600,000 to Help Babies Be Born Healthy

MOD_Walk--ed_batsel-1638(NASHVILLE, TENN. – It was the best feel-good moment of the week when approximately 8,000 residents joined together in support of the smallest citizens of Nashville — babies — by participating in the 2014 March for Babies sponsored by St. Thomas Health. LP Field was packed with strollers, families and corporate teams who raised more than $600,000 to help babies be born healthy.

Special guests at the day’s events included Chairs Charles Robert Bone, Leona Douglas and the Daniels, the 2014 Nashville Ambassador Family. Co-emcees Barbara Bridges of Mix 92.9 FM & Meagan O’Halloran of FOX 17 joined walkers on the route as Country Music Duo, The Midtown Violets performed live to keep the energy high.

“We’ve seen today how important the health of moms and babies are to the people of Nashville,” said, Renee Kessler, Chief Operations Officer at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital. “I’m so proud to be part of a community where people come together for such a great cause. Helping our babies should be a top priority, and we’re excited about what we’ve accomplished here today.”

“It was a memorable and rewarding day for all of us,” said Crystal Daniel, whose son served as the 2014 Nashville Ambassador. “When Parker was born premature, we decided we wanted to do everything possible to help give other families a happy result like we were fortunate enough to experience. We’re honored to represent the March of Dimes today in return for all the support they’ve given us and our family.”

Money raised by the event funds research, education and local community grants for programs such as…..
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Eva Kathryn Miller, MD. MPH
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Title: The Role of Respiratory Viruses in Premature Infant Lung Disease
Goal: To prevent asthma by improving the prevention and treatment of early viral respiratory infections
Grant: $150,000

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
E. Michelle Southard-Smith, PhD.
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine
Division of Genetic Medicine
Title: Neural Crest Linages in the Enteric Nervous System
Goal: Improve the treatment of Hirsprung Disease, which affects about 1 in 5,000 births.
Grant: $200,000
Lipscomb Nursing
The purpose of this project is to educate 1,030 individuals on how living a healthy lifestyle should begin early in life to prepare the body for healthy pregnancy and healthy birth outcomes. The goal is to educate the community at large via health fairs, symposiums, workshops and interactive activities. Grant: $10,000

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For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects at Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The 2014 March for Babies was sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy’s, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.

The event was sponsored locally by St. Thomas Health & Senex.