HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (7/7/14) — More than 7,000 babies will be born premature this year in the state of Kentucky.

Hospital executive Mike Baumgartner is working with the March of Dimes to change this.

Mike, who is President of Baptist Health Madisonville, knows how important the March of Dimes mission is. As a father of four grown children and a grandfather to four grandsons, he has taken on the role of March for Babies Event Chair to raise awareness and important funding to provide for babies who are born prematurely or with birth defects.

Mike will work in partnership with the March of Dimes staff and committee members to help reach an event goal of $40,000.

March for Babies, the March of Dimes largest fundraiser, helps fund lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at helping moms have healthy babies. Last year in Hopkins County, more than $30,000 was raised. This year, March for Babies Chair Mike will focus on recruiting new companies to participate and lead the community in making a difference for the health of moms and babies.

m-baumgartnerMike Baumgartner “In the healthcare setting, we have the opportunity to see first-hand the impact prematurity has on babies and our families. This campaign gives me and Baptist Health Madisonville a unique opportunity address this important health concern. As a father and grandparent, I can’t think of anything more important,” said Mike, who will be asking other local businesses for their support in the coming months. “One in eight babies in Kentucky are born premature, and that’s just not acceptable. It takes leaders in our community working together to ensure more moms have healthy pregnancies. More than 30 company and family teams are partnering in March for Babies to help reduce the premature birth rate and improve the health of babies.”

Hopkins County residents can sign up today at and start a team with co-workers, family or friends. Last year, more than 300 people attended the event -- which will be held this year Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Trover Wellness Park on the Baptist Health Madisonville campus.

“We’re so excited to have Mike on board to help us at a local level,” said Amy Nonweiler, Division Director for Western Kentucky March of Dimes Division. “His passion for the cause and commitment to helping our babies will be a huge driving factor in the success of our event. We are grateful for his commitment.”

About the March of Dimes

For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.

Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at

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