The New Mexico Health Department says it's partnering with the March of Dimes to reduce the number of preterm births in the state.
New Mexico has earned a C on the March of Dimes latest report card. The grade is based on comparing each state's rate with the organization's goal of 9.6 percent by 2020.
New Mexico's preterm birth rate dropped to 11.8 percent in 2011.
The state and the March of Dimes have set a goal to reduce premature birth by at least 8 percent between 2009 and 2014. The concern is that babies born too early may have more health problems at birth and later in life.
Officials with the organization say New Mexico's progress so far means more babies are being born healthy and excess health care costs are being reduced.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.