Dr. Geoffrey Fraiche leads March of Dimes effort to improve health of Gonzales' babies

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Local business leaders are working with the March of Dimes to prevent preterm birth to give more babies a healthy start in life.

Today the organization announced that St. Elizabeth's Hospital OBGYN Dr. Geoffrey Fraiche has taken on the role of March for Babies Chair in Ascension Parish. Fraiche is also a proud father of two, making his commitment to the good health of moms and babies personal and meaningful.

March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event for the March of Dimes, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013. More than 4 million babies are born in the United States each year and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one of them through research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.

As March for Babies Chair, Dr. Fraiche will play an integral role in raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes efforts to prevent preterm birth and birth defects.

"My work with the March of Dimes is a real honor – especially during the Foundation's milestone 75th anniversary year. March for Babies gives everyone in our community the chance to work together for stronger, healthier babies and make a difference in the lives of millions of babies," said Fraiche. "I can't think of a more important cause than healthy babies.

Fraiche continued, "Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death. In Louisiana, one in eight babies is born premature, and that's just not acceptable. It takes leaders in our community working together to ensure moms have healthy pregnancies."

Last year, the Gonzales March for Babies raised more than $88,000. Fraiche, who also served as the chair in 2012, has made the commitment to raise $34,000 in new revenue as part of the 2013 March for Babies total goal of $135,000.

"I couldn't be happier having Dr. Fraiche serve as March for Babies Chair," said Frankie Robertson, State Director for the Louisiana March of Dimes Chapter. "I am sure that he will bring the same drive, dedication and passion that made him a well-respected member of the community to his efforts on behalf of March for Babies. I know his contribution will go a long way to making this year's event an unqualified success."

Ascension Parish residents can sign up today at www.marchforbabies.org and start a team with co-workers, family and friends. Last year, more than 200 people attended the event -- which will be held this year on April 6 once again at the American Legion Hall in Gonzales.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Farmer's, Macy's, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Mission Pharmacal and United Airliners. Local sponsors for the Gonzales March for Babies include St. Elizabeth's Physicians, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Rubicon, Motiva, BASF and Magnolia Pediatrics.