Texas Health Resources CEO to Lead 2009 March of Dimes Campaign in Dallas-Fort Worth
01/14/2009

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources CEO Doug Hawthorne, FACHE, will serve as chairman of the March of Dimes’ 2009 “March for Babies” walks in Dallas and Fort Worth on April 18. This is the first time one person has led the walks in both cities.

Texas Health Resources CEO Doug Hawthorne

Texas Health Resources CEO Doug Hawthorne began the fund drive by collecting change at the system's 13 hospitals.

The March of Dimes event raises awareness about the devastating impact of prematurity and birth defects and serves as the organization’s main fundraiser of the year. In Texas, one in seven babies is born premature compared with one in eight babies nationally. And, every three and a half minutes a baby is born with a birth defect.

As CEO of Texas Health Resources, Hawthorne sees the impact of prematurity in the health system’s 13 hospitals. And, as a parent and grandparent, he knows the importance of having a healthy baby.

“I am honored to be working with the March of Dimes in Dallas and Fort Worth to raise funds to support research and education programs to help give all babies in North Texas a healthy start,” Hawthorne said. “As the largest health care system in North Texas in terms of patients served we are committed to providing the highest level of care to our patients and to the community overall. Partnering with the March of Dimes is a natural fit for our organization.”

For the past two weeks, employees, patients, visitors, volunteers and physicians have deposited spare change into banks at Texas Health hospitals. These donations mark the first funds raised in anticipation of the 2009 walk events.

“We are delighted at the support that Doug Hawthorne and Texas Health Resources have provided already and have committed to providing to make our April 18 event the best ever,” said Julie Whitsitt, executive director for the Dallas division of March of Dimes. “It is exciting to have a partner that truly understands the impact prematurity has on a community. Working with Texas Health and the other health care providers the organization has enlisted has been a blessing.”

Counting change

Hawthorne helped Julie Whitsitt, March of Dimes Dallas Division executive director, and Alan Barron, March of Dimes Fort Worth Division executive director, count change collected in the bottles.

Donations raised through the walk have a direct impact on babies across North Texas. In 2007, the March of Dimes invested nearly $9 million in program services, including grants and community awards for newborn screening, immunizations, the Texas Birth Defects Registry, and children’s health insurance plan.

“Our hospitals are dedicated to improving prenatal education for mothers-to-be and childbirth education for new mothers to give each baby the healthiest start to life as possible,” Hawthorne said. “I believe that helping March of Dimes reach its 2009 goals is just another step in our efforts to help improve the health of the people in the communities we serve.”

On April 18, the 5-mile Dallas walk will be held at Norbuck Park and White Rock Lake. The 3-mile Fort Worth walk will be held from Farrington Field to the Trinity Park Pavilion. To learn more information about the events or to register, log on to www.texashealth.org/MarchforBabies or to http://marchforbabies.org/.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospitals, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health, visit www.texashealth.org.