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Dear Friends,

Your generosity plays a vital role in supporting faculty scholars and other investigators who might not otherwise have the resources to conduct their research.

Premature babies like Jayden need all the help they can get, and research is key to our understanding of how to give them the best chance for a healthy future.

By supporting research, Children’s Fund donors like you have helped change the way we care for preterm babies through life-saving interventions from prenatal screening to kangaroo care.

However, prematurity remains the number one cause of death in children under 5 years of age worldwide. In 2016, our nation’s premature birth rate worsened for the first time in eight years. There is still so much to be done to prevent prematurity and to help children realize their full potential.

With the support of donors like you, these studies and many more are currently under way at Stanford:

  • Catherine A. Blish, MD, PhD, is looking at the connections between infectious diseases and preterm birth.
  • Heidi Feldman, MD, PhD, and a team from pediatrics, neuroscience, psychology, education, and radiology are studying the implications of subtle changes in brain circuitry for language and learning.
  • Anca Pasca, MD, is developing a human in vitro model for encephalopathy of prematurity, or brain injury linked to premature births.

Thank you so much for your ongoing partnership—and the impact you are making on children’s health!

Best wishes,
Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE
Arline and Pete Harmon Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Stanford School of Medicine
Adalyn Jay Physician-in-Chief,
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
Director, Stanford Child Health Research Institute

This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of the Children's Fund Update.