Team Highland promotes infant health for March of Dimes  

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Highland Community Hospital will be participating in the 2015 March of Dimes’ Gulf Coast March for Babies held at Jones Park in April.

Highland’s OB Tech Loren Fortenberry said she’s leading this year’s Team Highland, a group made up of hospital personnel and people from the community who take part in the March of Dimes annually.

“This year we plan to raise more money and have more participants at the march with us,” Fortenberry said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Last year, she said they raised $2,500 for March of Dimes research and around 70 participants represented team Highland.

“But this year, our goal is to raise $10,000 and we’re expecting to have hundreds of participants from the hospital as well as from the community join us,” Fortenberry said.

The mission of the March of Dimes is to make sure mothers achieve full-term pregnancies and to research issues that threaten an infant’s life, according to

“We do have a high risk for premature births and infant health issues in Mississippi, and it’s important to educate our parents who come to Highland in order to prevent those issues,” Fortenberry said. “The March of Dimes gives us a great outlet for this kind of education, and our partnership allows us to have access to educational resources to teach parents on the importance of full-term pregnancies.”

According to the Mississippi Department of Health, the primary causes of infant deaths include low birth weight, premature birth, birth defects, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, accidents and pregnancy complications.

In order to raise money for the March of Dimes, Fortenberry said her team is selling t-shirts and mission signs for the march.

“The mission signs cost $200, and these signs will be posted along the walkways during the march,” Fortenberry said.

“Businesses can purchase these signs as well as families, whose lives have been affected by infant mortality, birth defects or premature births.”

In order to join Team Highland at the march or to purchase t-shirts and mission signs, contact Fortenberry at (601)-590-4690 or by e-mail at

This year, the March of Dimes is promoting families as ambassadors, Fortenberry said.

“For Team Highland, we chose to name Nurse Amy Leah Sheafur and her family as our ambassador,” she said. “Her family has been affected by premature births, so it’s fitting that they speak for us.”

Fortenberry said all proceeds will go directly to the March of Dimes and those interested in joining Team Highland for the march can register at Jones Park the day of the event at 8:30 a.m. or online at