Sussex County Delaware

Castle Honored by
March of Dimes

From Rep. Castle's Office ...

WILMINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.) received the March of Dimes' "Jane Maroney Advocacy Award" for his dedication to improving the health of babies and their mothers on Monday, Nov. 8, 1999.

At the same time, Rep. Castle announced his support for the "Folic Acid & Birth Defects Prevention Act" (H.R. 2538). That bill would help educate women about the importance of taking folic acid while pregnant to prevent birth defects. The bill would also authorize $20 billion annually for the CDC, in partnership with states and local and public entities, to:

  • Launch an education and public awareness campaign on the benefits of folic acid;

  • Conduct research to identify effective strategies for increasing folic acid consumption by women of childbearing age.

The March of Dimes cited Rep. Castle for his work in Congress to help prevent birth defects and reduce infant mortality throughout Delaware and the U.S.

"I am very honored to receive an award that bears the name of my friend Jane Maroney," said Rep. Castle. "She is a true voice for children and women across our state. Delaware is working together to fight infant mortality, prevent birth defects and educate families on bringing up healthy children."

The March of Dimes pointed to Rep. Castle's support and co-sponsorship of the "Birth Defects Prevention Act", which was signed into law by President Clinton last year.

The law directs the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to collect, analyze and report statistics on birth defects, authorizes the CDC to operate at least 5 regional centers to conduct applied epidemiological research on the prevention of birth defects, and calls for the establishment of a National Information Clearinghouse on birth defects to collect and disseminate information on birth defects to health professionals and the public.

The March of Dimes also praised Rep. Castle for his leadership as the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families, where he has helped lead the reauthorization of important K-12 programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

He also authored the WIC Reauthorization Amendments Act of 1998, legislation improving vital national nutrition programs for low-income children and mothers, while also reducing waste and fraud in these federal programs.

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