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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Mike Kavis, Jnan Dash, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

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Cigna Celebrates Babies: 10 Fingers, 10 Toes, And 20 Years Of Supporting March Of Dimes

Supermodel-Mom Niki Taylor to Join March for Babies Event at New York Stock Exchange

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 7, 2014  /PRNewswire/ -- This year marks the 20th anniversary of Cigna's support of the March of Dimes work to give all babies a healthy start in life. The company is celebrating with a new slogan, 10 Fingers, 10 Toes and 20 Years, and by ringing The Closing Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange today.

Supermodel and mother of four, Niki Taylor, will join March of Dimes and Cigna officials and other corporate supporters of this year's March for Babies, the March of Dimes signature fundraising event.   

Throughout its partnership with the March of Dimes, Cigna has raised more than $28.5 million to support the March of Dimes work to give more moms healthy, full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

"We're proud to continue a 20-year tradition as a national sponsor of the March of Dimes annual fundraising campaign. For two decades, Cigna and its employees nationwide have taken the March of Dimes' mission to heart and joined together to help prevent premature births," said Lisa Bacus, President of the Cigna Foundation and Cigna's Global Chief Marketing Officer. "We take great pride in supporting March of Dimes research, service and education to help every woman have a healthy pregnancy and to give every baby a healthy start in life."

March for Babies will take place in nearly 700 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico the last weekend in April. March for Babies has been held annually since 1970 and has raised a combined total of more than $2.3 billion. The goal for this year's event is to raise $106 million to support the research, education, and community service programs that help mothers and babies nationwide. This year's March for Babies will involve more than 20,000 companies and 7 million people, including celebrities, sports stars, community leaders and families of babies born prematurely who are involved as volunteers, sponsors and participants.

Cigna, along with the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter, Kmart, and top sponsors Macy's, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, United Airlines, and Actavis are giving back to their to their communities by supporting March for Babies.

"We're honored to work with companies that are committed to philanthropy and leadership for improving the health of America's babies," says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "Preventing preterm birth not only helps individual employees and families, it's one way we can rein in our nation's skyrocketing health care costs and help businesses protect their bottom line."

Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the nation more than $26 billion annually, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. More than 450,000 babies – one out of every nine – are born too soon each year in the United States. 

As a celebrity volunteer, Niki is proud to lend her voice in support of stronger, healthier babies. For the third consecutive year she will march for babies in her home state of Florida. 

"I'm so proud to be a March of Dimes mom," says Niki Taylor, March of Dimes Celebrity volunteer. "I'm lucky because I have four healthy children, but that's because of the amazing work the March of Dimes has done to improve mom and baby health. As a family we are very excited to be participating in March for Babies, and I urged everyone to sign up now."

March for Babies will occur in most communities on April 26 and 27. You can either walk as an individual or join a team with co-workers, family or friends by visiting marchforbabies.org.

The money raised by March for Babies events supports research, education, and community-based programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. March of Dimes grantees conduct research to find answers to the problems that threaten the health 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 raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

SOURCE March of Dimes

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