First Prematurity Awareness Day Marked by Star Chefs Auction Co-Chaired by Yale School of Medicine Leader

Charles J. Lockwood, M.D., the Anita O’Keefe Young Professor of Women’s Health and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and Margaret K. Hostetter, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, will serve as co-chairs for the Star Chefs Auction of Greater New Haven, Tuesday, November 18, at the Omni Hotel at Yale.

The auction begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature food from premiere area restaurants, vineyards, breweries, and food and beverage vendors. In addition, a silent auction of unique gifts, fine dining and wine, and sports packages will be offered, along with a live auction of dining packages prepared by the star chefs. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. Funds raised by the auctions will support March of Dimes efforts to fight prematurity as well as birth defects and infant mortality.

“The March of Dimes has never needed our support more than today,” said Lockwood. “It has begun a national campaign to prevent prematurity, a leading cause of infant mortality, cerebral palsy and childhood blindness in the United States and in New Haven County. Prematurity now complicates 12 percent of deliveries and is a national public health crisis.”

Earlier this year, the March of Dimes launched a five-year, $75 million national campaign to educate women about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor, raise funds to conduct needed research and make a 15 percent reduction in the rate of premature birth by 2007. The total national hospital bill for premature babies was estimated at $11.9 billion in 2000, according to a recent March of Dimes analysis.

“This November 18 marks the first Prematurity Awareness Day, part of the March of Dimes national campaign to call attention to the problem of premature birth,” said Hostetter. “We encourage everyone to visit throughout November and click on the baby band. For every click, sponsors will donate $1 to the March of Dimes. With your help, we’re hoping to raise up to $150,000.”

For tickets and information, please call 800-446-9255.

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