Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words


March of Dimes Celebrates President FDR's Birthday and New Leadership

President Stacey D. Stewart Echoes FDR's Historic Call to Action for Children


February 3, 2017

March of Dimes

In 1933, newly-elected president Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrates his birthday on January 30. FDR, who personally battled polio, also created the March of Dimes to help millions of others. His commitment to the nation and children's health echoes in the work of the March of Dimes today. New March of Dimes president Stacey D. Stewart is following FDR's example while setting a new path in addressing today's biggest health threats to moms and babies.

On January 30, the March of Dimes honors the birth and accomplishments of its founder, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), as it welcomes the new leadership of Stacey D. Stewart, only the fifth person to lead the historic organization.

"FDR created the March of Dimes and mobilized our country to fight epidemics of polio, the most dreaded disease of his time," says Ms. Stewart. "Today the March of Dimes is leading the nation in a new movement to fight for the health of moms and babies, especially those in our most-challenged communities. From polio to prematurity, few organizations have as much impact as we do on the health of children nationwide."

The March of Dimes, founded by FDR in 1938 to combat polio, funded the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines within the first 20 years of its existence. Today its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Before joining the March of Dimes, Ms. Stewart served as the U.S. President of United Way Worldwide.

As an accomplished leader, she sees an ever-changing and digital-first world for nonprofits. "We have to engage our volunteers, employees and philanthropic supporters in both new and traditional media," Ms. Stewart says. "But most important is keeping our commitment to health equity for mothers and children in communities across the country. I'm proud of our heritage as well as our current fight to give every baby a fair chance at a healthy start in life."

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.

To participate in the annual signature fundraising event, visit For the latest resources and health information, visit the websites and You can also find the March of Dimes on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


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