Houston Newsmakers April 19: March for Babies, Neil Bush, Woman's Hospital of Texas

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - The Houston March for Babies is the biggest in the United States and raises millions for the March of Dimes Houston Division. The Houston event is scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday, April 26 at the University of Houston.

This week on Houston Newsmakers, the 2015 Chair of the March for Babies, Chuck Nugent, a vice president with GE Oil and Gas, said supporting this event is a great way to save in the cost of caring for premature babies.

"It costs $54,000 for a premature birth versus a normal healthy birth of about $4,000," he said. "So that's about $20 billion across the country annually in additional health care costs, so it's a good thing for business to support."

Also on the program: Hallee Winnie, the executive director of the March of Dimes, Houston Division and Dr. Eric Eichenwald, Chairman of Pediatrics and Chief of neonatal-perinatal medicine at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Eichenwald said March of Dimes research has made a big difference.

"We see babies now that weigh as little as a pound 450 grams and on up, and when I started we were struggling with babies who weighed 800 to a thousand grams," he said. "We've made enormous progress."

The first ever USA girl quintuplets were born at Woman's Hospital of Texas on April 8. President and CEO of Woman's Hospital Linda Russell is a guest on Newsmakers and said the birth of the Busby quints is big deal but her hospital is more than ready.

"We're used to handling multiple births," she said. "We have over 300 sets of twins, 30 or more sets of triplets and every once in a while quads every year."

More on the Busby quints and the role March of Dimes research has played in their birth on this week's Houston Newsmakers.

Neil Bush is a guest talking about the upcoming "Celebration of Reading" 21st annual fundraiser by the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. The event will also be used to celebrate the upcoming 90th birthday of Mrs. Bush.

"One of her greatest evidences of her wisdom is that she's picked such an incredible issue, literacy to support," Bush said. "It's nice to raise her up to celebrate the causes she's championed for so many years in one big event."

Bush also talks about the health of his father, George H.W. Bush, his brother, George W. Bush, and the prospects that his brother, Jeb, may run for president.

Houston Newsmakers airs at 10 a.m. Sunday after "Meet the Press" on KPRC Channel 2.

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