February 25, 2002

UCSD-TV Awarded $300,000 March Of Dimes Grant To Develop
Preconception And Prenatal Health Education Programs

UCSD School of Medicine Faculty to be Featured Health Experts

UCSD-TV has been awarded a $300,000 three-year grant from the March of Dimes in order to develop and provide educational programming about preconception and prenatal health geared toward English and Spanish speaking women in California.

The Spanish language programs are included to specifically address the two- to three-fold increased incidence of preventable neural tube defects among babies of Latinas. These birth defects stem from a lack of dietary folic acid in the very beginning of pregnancy. The videos produced for this program will underscore the need for adequate daily folic acid consumption for all women of childbearing age.

In partnership, UCSD-TV, the San Diego Division of the March of Dimes and the California Distance Learning Health Network will produce, broadcast and webcast four 15-minute health promotional video programs for women of childbearing age which focus on both preconception and prenatal health. The videos will be produced in both English and Spanish. The partners will also produce and disseminate three one-hour healthcare provider videos regarding preconception, folic acid, indications for genetic screenings and prenatal substance prevention/intervention.

Several UCSD School of Medicine faculty will be involved in developing these videos. Thomas Moore, M.D., chair of the UCSD School of Medicine Department of Reproductive Health, will discuss perinatal health promotion; Cheryl Rock, Ph.D., UCSD School of Medicine Department of Family and Preventive Medicine associate professor, will discuss women’s nutritional issues for optimizing health before and during pregnancy; and Kenneth Lyons Jones, M.D., UCSD School of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics, will discuss the importance of avoiding substances like alcohol, tobacco and various drugs that can harm the developing fetus. Other community-based physicians, including Lynne Bird, M.D. and Marilyn Jones, M.D., of Children’s Hospital, will also participate in this important effort.

The programs will be developed and produced this year and will be made available March 2003.

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Media Contact:
Kate Deely Smith

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/