Crossett, Arkansas, June 20, 2017 –Ashley County Medical Center has reduced the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies a healthy start in life, the March of Dimes says.

“We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who recognized the problem of unnecessary early deliveries in our hospital, and put in place policies to avoid scheduling C-sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Phillip Gilmore, Chief Executive Officer of Ashley County Medical Center.

Ashley County Medical Center Labor and Delivery department has worked really hard toward this initiative and are proud to say they have had 0% elective deliveries at less than 39 weeks gestation for the last three years. There must be a medical reason to do an induction or cesarean prior to 39 weeks. “I am very proud of the teamwork displayed amongst the Labor and Delivery/Nursery staff and physicians to accomplish such a wonderful goal for our community and its future.” said Laurie Kilcrease BSN, RN, ACMC Labor and Delivery Manager. ACMC’s Board Certified Obstetricians and Gynecologist, James Brown, M.D. and Ira Murphy, M.D. added, “as new members of the Ashley County Medical Center team we are excited to continue the efforts of bringing healthy termed babies into the world and providing excellent care for our mothers,” says

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important. Babies aren’t just putting on weight. They are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” says Edward R.B. McCabe, MD, PhD, March of Dimes Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We commend Ashley County Medical Center for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”

Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, the March of Dimes says. Although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities. Babies who survive an early birth often face lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities.

Faith Sharp, Director of Maternal Child Health for the March of Dimes says the March of Dimes has been getting out the word that “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.” This campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks.

The March of Dimes offers both professional and consumer education materials about the critical importance of a full-term pregnancy to the health and well-being of babies.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help prevent premature birth and birth defects by joining March for Babies at For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Ashley County Medical Center (ACMC) located in Crossett, Arkansas, is a critical access hospital that serves one of the largest counties in Arkansas, encompassing more than 940 square miles. The mission of the center is to promote good health and provide quality healthcare in a caring and compassionate manner with qualified staff. ACMC is committed to provide the resources for continuous quality improvement, continuously expand needed healthcare services, and recruit the healthcare professionals who best meet community needs. Visit Ashley County Medical Center. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.