HCA (NYSE: HCA), one of the nation's leading providers of obstetric care and a recognized leader in perinatal quality and safety, and the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, today announced a collaboration on research, community and educational opportunities to improve the health of mothers and babies.

As part of the partnership, HCA, which operates 171 hospitals in 20 states and the United Kingdom and is responsible for delivering nearly 220,000 babies annually, will give $1.5 million to the March of Dimes over three years. Up to another $1.5 million will be raised through March of Dimes fundraising events, such as March for Babies, held by HCA-affiliated hospitals during the next three years.

"HCA and the March of Dimes share a commitment to improving the health of babies," said Stacey D. Stewart, president of the March of Dimes. "We previously worked with HCA on pioneering research on preventing unnecessary early deliveries, and we're excited about this new partnership. We're honored that our work with HCA and its hospitals allows the March of Dimes to serve more families and communities across the country. Together we're ensuring that more babies get a healthy start in life."

"For nearly 80 years, the March of Dimes has been the leading organization fighting problems that threaten babies' health, and HCA, which was founded nearly 50 years ago, delivers more babies than any healthcare provider in the country," said Bruce Moore, HCA's president - service line and operations integration. "This is a natural opportunity for two organizations focused on the health of babies to work together to have an even greater impact."

HCA, which has 114 labor and delivery units and treated 33,000 babies in its 89 affiliated neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) last year, is a recognized leader in research related to the care of mothers and babies. A study conducted at HCA-affiliated hospitals found that babies born electively at 39 weeks were four times less likely to require NICU care compared to babies born electively at 37 weeks. These findings and other HCA research led the hospital provider to develop a clinical protocol to reduce early elective deliveries.

"With the privilege of delivering nearly 220,000 babies a year, we have a successful history of collaboration with the March of Dimes in improving health for mothers and babies," said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, HCA's president - clinical services group and chief medical officer. "Our work together demonstrated the importance of carrying a pregnancy for a full 39 weeks, whenever possible, as a means of reducing minor and more serious complications. With shared goals for the best possible care, we look forward to working together on a number of important research questions."

HCA and its affiliated hospitals will donate $500,000 annually for the next three years, with HCA employees raising up to an additional $500,000 each year through community fundraising and educational activities. For example, HCA hospitals are sponsoring 42 March for Babies events, the March of Dimes' premier fundraiser, which are underway now in communities across the country served by HCA-affiliated hospitals. In addition to the financial support, fundraising and educational events and clinical research, HCA hospitals will offer the March of Dimes NICU Family Support® program. This program provides comfort and educational materials to families who have a newborn in intensive care as well as evidence-based training to caregivers to help improve communication and teamwork with NICU families.

About HCA

Nashville-based HCA is one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, operating 171 locally managed hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and the United Kingdom. With its founding in 1968, HCA created a new model for hospital care in the United States, using combined resources to strengthen hospitals, deliver patient-focused care and improve the practice of medicine. HCA has conducted a number of clinical studies, including one that demonstrated that full-term delivery is healthier than early elective delivery of babies and another that identified a clinical protocol that can reduce bloodstream infections by 44 percent. HCA is a learning healthcare system that uses its more than 27 million annual patient encounters to advance science, improve patient care and save lives. Please click here to connect with HCA on social media.

About March of Dimes

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.

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit marchforbabies.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit peristats.org. You can also find us on  Facebook or follow us on  Instagram and Twitter.

All references to "Company" and "HCA" as used throughout this document refer to HCA Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates.

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