Researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public Health are working with the March of Dimes, the Florida Department of Health and partners around the state, in an effort to reduce the trend of early elective deliveries, which are deliveries scheduled before a baby reaches a full 39 weeks gestational age without a medical reason. As part of this effort, South Florida and its Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies received a $100,000 grant from the March of Dimes to establish the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FPQC).

| Current Funding

The initiative brings together public and private health care leaders to improve the health of mothers and babies throughout the state.

The collaborative’s first effort, a year-long pilot test of a toolkit designed to eliminate cesarean sections and inductions for non-medical reasons before 39 weeks of pregnancy, officially got under way in six Florida hospitals in January. The school is providing technical assistance and guidance for the initiative.

“The collaborative is working to engage health care institutions across the state – hospitals, clinics, qualified health centers and other professional organizations – to get them all involved in working together to develop a strong vision for improving perinatal outcomes in the state,” said Dr. Linda A. Detman, a research associate at the Chiles Center who is coordinating South Florida’s involvement in the collaborative.

Ms. Lori Reeves, state program director for the March of Dimes Florida Chapter, hopes South Florida will become the permanent and long-term home for the FPQC.

“[South Florida] has the Chiles Center and the College of Public Health. They have the passion to do it, and already have the active participation of several people,” she says. “Not only does [South Florida] have a pool of incredible public health professionals, but they have a pool of incredible public health professionals to come.”

To read more about the collaborative’s current projects and goals, click here.