SOURCE: R BABY

December 06, 2006 10:07 ET

New Non-Profit Foundation Established to Save Newborn Babies' Lives

Hedge Fund Manager and Wife Honor Their Daughter Rebecca's Brief Life by Establishing "R Baby Foundation"; United States Continues to Lag Behind Other Nations With a High Infant Mortality Rate; Foundation Continues to Attract Support From Leaders in the Medical and Financial Communities

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 6, 2006 -- The founders of R Baby Foundation, Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz, today announced that they have established a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of newborn babies. R Baby is committed to reducing the high level of infant mortality in the United States, and will focus on supporting the medical community and educating the public about the risk of newborn deaths, particularly those that occur as a result of misdiagnosed and untreated viral infections.

Facts on infant mortality

Following are some facts on the disproportionately high rate of infant mortality in the United States:

--  Babies born in the U.S. are twice as likely to die than those born in
    many other developed countries, including Sweden, Japan and Spain; the U.S.
    is ranked 36th among 196 nations.(1)
--  The infant death rate in the U.S. is one in 141 live births within the
    first 28 days of life, with the odds decreasing to one in 531 after the 28
    days.(2)
--  There are approximately 20,000 newborn deaths within their first month
    of life and close to 30,000 in the first year.(3)
    
The creation of R Baby

Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz, the founders of R Baby, lost their daughter Rebecca Ava Rabinowitz when she was nine days old as a result of a viral infection that was not diagnosed or treated.

Motivated by their grief, the Rabinowitz's researched not only the specifics of their daughter's case, but also learned that many babies may be at greater risk as a result of lack of information, training, technology, equipment and procedures associated with treating infants in emergency rooms and pediatric units. Unwilling to accept the status quo, the couple began contacting friends about the possibility of developing an organized effort and formal foundation to focus specifically on the issue of infant mortality related to untreated viral infections, the cause of Rebecca's death.

"Our wish is simple: to save as many infants' lives as possible," said Andrew Rabinowitz, co-president of the new foundation and chief operating officer of Marathon Asset Management. "While we intend to help all infants in intensive care, our primary mission will be to focus on the proper diagnosis and treatment of newborn babies with viral infections so that they receive the highest possible quality of care. We'll do this through supporting education, research, training and the funding and provisioning of life-saving equipment."

Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz gave birth to daughter Rebecca, four weeks early on July 13, 2006, in a suburb of New York City. After five days in the hospital, Rebecca was sent home and shortly thereafter showed symptoms of a viral infection that was misdiagnosed by her pediatrician and ER physicians as just a common cold. She died eight days later on the morning of July 21, 2006.

"We received an outpouring of support," said Phyllis Rabinowitz, co-president of R Baby. "It was overwhelming. Not only did our friends, families and business colleagues step up to help, organizations and individuals, including physicians and researchers, all rallied to help us establish a focused effort to highlight the issue and drive the funding that will be required to have a short and long-term impact on improving outcomes -- saving babies' lives."

"Almost 20 years after the United States set a goal of reducing infant mortality, the rate of deaths among infants is still extremely high. In fact, the rate of deaths in the U.S. is higher than in some nations in the developing world. Access to appropriate pediatric evaluation and emergency care, upgrades to equipment, and more adequate training -- all things R Baby is focused on delivering -- can really make a difference," said Dr. Ian Holzman, Chief of Newborn Medicine at Mt. Sinai.

Contributing to R Baby

R Baby Foundation is seeking private and institutional contributions, primarily through a one-time fundraising event to be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City on May 2, 2007. The organization is hoping to finance the creation of a non-profit organization focused on programs including: upgrading monitors, respirators and other equipment, funding scientific research, developing educational programs, creating and distributing training materials, and supporting and educating parents with babies in Newborn Intensive Care Unit facilities.

R Baby Founding Sponsors

R Baby has also already attracted substantial support in the form of advisory services, donations and board participation, from prominent individuals in the financial, philanthropic, scientific, and medical communities, such as John J. Mack, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley as a supporter, Marathon Asset Management, a global hedge fund, as a premiere sponsor with a significant financial commitment, and other global investment banks and professional service firms to be named. Other organizations have provided support and guidance, such as Lowenstein Sandler PC for legal services, Brunswick Group LLC for public relations, Richard Fleishman Associates and WestCom for website and communication development.

ABOUT R BABY FOUNDATION

R Baby Foundation was established in 2006 to organize and fund efforts to improve the outcomes of medical care for infants, particularly those who contract certain viral infections. The R Baby Foundation is dedicated to helping newborn babies, primarily in their first month, with often misunderstood viral infections and other infectious diseases, receive the highest quality of care and service through supporting education, research, treatment, training, and life-saving equipment. R Baby has filed for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as a non-profit charitable organization. For more information about R Baby Foundation, please visit www.rbabyfoundation.org.

(1) WebMD
(2) WebMD
(3) World Health Organization

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