Aetna Receives Corporate Stewardship Award for Efforts to Promote Oral Health During Pregnancy

Atlanta, Georgia – October 6, 2015 – Today, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (“HMHB”) presents Aetna with the organization’s first ever Corporate Stewardship Award to recognize efforts in promoting dental health during pregnancy. Aetna’s Dental/Medical Integration Program supported the work of Dr. Mary Lee Conicella and her research to link the reduction of risk of preterm birth with preventative dental care.

Over 175 nurses, WIC peer counselors, social workers, providers and other birth support professionals were in attendance at the presentation of the Award during HMHB’s Annual Meeting held at Gwinnett Technical College. Dr. Conicella presented her 2008 research on this important and often overlooked topic within the maternal and oral health fields, respectively.

“As a nurse-midwife with over 20 years of clinical practice, I have seen firsthand the knowledge gap that exists amongst professionals working with pregnant women and dental health,” explained Caryn Hanrahan, HMHB Board Member. “This topic can have a major impact on both mother and baby, which is why we would like to educate our audience on this important connection.”

Dr. Conicella’s research outlines the need for further studies to confirm previously identified associations between periodontal disease in pregnant women and adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight, preterm birth, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

Research universally supports that good oral health prior to and during pregnancy remains a key factor in achieving overall health and well-being for women and their infants.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia applauds Aetna and Dr. Conicella on their work to close this serious gap within the healthcare community.

Since 1973, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia has served as the statewide voice for improved maternal and infant health and access to healthcare.

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