Auburn Community Hospital announced a grant Monday intended to help the health facility provide prenatal education to local expectant mothers.
The $45,000 grant from the March of Dimes New York State Chapter was awarded to the physicians and midwives of the hospital's Obstetrics and Gynecology Department in the prenatal education room.
The new education initiative, which is to be the first of its kind in Cayuga County, will help new and young mothers before, during and after their pregnancies to learn the needed skills for caring for their babies.
According to the March of Dimes' website, grants are awarded each year based on the receiving health facility's ability to accomplish its goals and the potential impact a project will have in helping the prevention of premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.
ACH opened the Stardust Community Birthing Center last year after a $2.5 million renovation modernized the hospital's maternity ward. Five years prior, a state commission recommended that the maternity unit be closed because the birthing facilities were out of date and a large number of mothers were traveling to Syracuse to deliver their children.
Since then, the number of births per year has increased by almost 200, hospital representatives said.
The OB/GYN department now offers a number of current education opportunities and services.
Prenatal services at the Auburn hospital and the charitable organization have crossed paths at least once before.
In 1971, a March of Dimes grant helped to pay for the hospital's first fetal monitor, allowing the Obstetrics Department to introduce prenatal monitoring.