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C.D. Spangler Foundation donates $10M to expand access to women's care at Atrium Health


Atrium Health announced Monday that it has received a $10 million gift from the C.D. Spangler Foundation to improve women’s access to healthcare and combat infant mortality.

North Carolina reports some of the worst health outcomes for women, including the 11th-highest infant mortality rate in the country. Through this $10 million gift, Atrium plans to expand its maternal educational care programs that engage with mothers during pregnancy and prepare families for after a child is born.

Atrium said participation in these programs leads to decreased rates of preterm births and babies with low birth weights, as well as improvements in breastfeeding rates, spacing between pregnancies, attendance at recommended health care visits and immunization rates.

Dr. Katie Borders of Atrium Health said the money will also be used to reach more rural communities.

"This is one of the most exciting parts about this gift because it is going to give us the ability to jump start some programs in our outlying counties outside of Mecklenburg County," Borders said. "Things like Centering Pregnancy, Centering Parenting, community doula services for our patients. And so it’s actually really huge."

Atrium will also use the funds to establish a mobile training program for health care professionals across the state.

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.