Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced its support for #BlanketChange, an advocacy campaign led by March of Dimes that calls on policymakers to improve maternal and infant health. Today, the U.S. is among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth, a situation that has intensified with COVID-19. As of January 1, 2020, 120 rural healthcare facilities have closed, and a new March of Dimes report finds that 7 million women of childbearing age live in counties with no or limited access to maternity care, contributing to the increase of “maternity care deserts.”
“Our nation is in the midst of a maternal and infant health crisis, which is particularly devastating for underserved families of color. In this election year, we’re calling on candidates and policymakers at all levels – federal, state and local – to take steps to address this crisis,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, chief medical and health officer, senior vice president and interim chief scientific officer at March of Dimes. “We’re grateful to healthcare technology leaders like Philips who stand with us by advocating for equity, access and prevention for all moms and babies.”
“As the maker of healthcare solutions across the continuum that will allow you to see the first images of your baby, hear their heartbeat, take care of them in the NICU and eventually when you bring them home, we are acutely aware of the challenges facing expectant and new moms,” said Vitor Rocha, chief Philips North America, member of the executive committee, Royal Philips. “Every mom and her newborn deserve to have the best care possible, and through the use of innovative technologies such as telehealth and remote monitoring, we hope to help close the gap and empower healthcare providers to bring care quality into every community, regardless of socioeconomic factors. Partnering with March of Dimes, we hope to increase access to maternal care as part of our commitment to improve 2.5 billion lives a year by 2030.”
According to the March of Dimes report, hospital quality also differs between facilities that mainly serve Black, Hispanic or American Indian women compared to a mostly white patient population. These differences between hospitals lead to higher rates of morbidity and mortality for the minority women, especially Black women. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women and it’s been estimated that over 60% of maternal deaths could be prevented.
In addition to #BlanketChange, Philips has partnered with March of Dimes through the Philips North America Corporate Social Responsibility (PNACSR) program, to help give babies born to active duty military families the best start in life. Since 2015, Philips and March of Dimes have hosted Mission: Healthy Baby educational baby showers at bases around the country, inviting more than 2,000 expectant U.S. military moms. Philips provides Philips AVENT products such as breast pumps, baby monitors, employee-made diaper cakes and blanket bundles, and employees volunteer at showers.
To learn more about Philips North America CSR programs, visit: https://www.usa.philips.com/healthcare/corporate-social-responsibility. For more information about #BlanketChange, visit www.blanketchange.org.
About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 81,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.