March of Dimes

Organization Overview

The March of Dimes Foundation is a national voluntary health agency with chapters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes Foundation accomplishes this with its programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy. The organization was established in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lead research efforts on polio, leading to the development of the Salk and Sabin vaccines. This unique collaboration of citizens and scientific researchers was the nation’s first large-scale biomedical initiative led by a charitable organization. Over the years, the March of Dimes Foundation initiatives have helped spare many babies from death or lifelong disability. In 2003, the March of Dimes Foundation launched a multi-year campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth in the United States.