CenteringPregnancy® Launches in Jersey City
On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Alliance Community Healthcare and the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey kicked off CenteringPregnancy®. The program, created by the Centering Healthcare Institute, is designed to improve health outcomes for pregnant women through connection with other expectant mothers. Through the New Jersey Department of Health’s Healthy Women Healthy Families initiative, women in Jersey City will have access to this innovative healthcare model.
Expectant mothers with similar due dates receive prenatal care in a group setting leading up to childbirth. These group appointments feature facilitated discussions on relevant topics, including nutrition, pregnancy health, infant care, and relationships. The physician actively participates in the discussion group and spends time with each woman individually during the visit, which results in a stronger physician/patient relationship. CenteringPregnancy® fosters a sense of community among the mothers, provides practical resources, and reduces pregnancy complications.
Dr. Khashayar Vosough, Medical Director for Alliance Community Healthcare, views CenteringPregnancy® as an opportunity. “It’s a sure way to increase patient education and hopefully lower adverse outcomes.”
New Jersey Assemblywomen Angela V. McKnight attended the kickoff event, which included a demonstration of a CenteringPregnancy® group activity. Assemblywomen McKnight discussed the urgency for innovative programs that improve maternal and infant care, as well as her commitment to legislation that addresses health equity.
The Partnership’s 2018 Annual Data Report for Northern New Jersey found that Black, non-Hispanic women are 3 – 4 times more likely to die due to pregnancy-related complications than White women in the region. Black, non-Hispanic infants are 3 times more likely to die than White infants in northern New Jersey, regardless of protective factors. Additionally, Black infants are 4 times more likely to die from complications related to short gestation and low birth weight.
In a randomized study of over 1,000 cases, CenteringPregnancy® reduced the overall risk of pre-term birth by 33% when compared to a standard prenatal care experience. The outcome for African-American women was exceptional, demonstrating a 41% reduction in the pre-term birth rate.
“The Partnership has been an advocate for eliminating health disparities since its inception,” stated Ilise Zimmerman, President and CEO of the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey. “CenteringPregnancy® is an approach to ensure that all women receive access to high quality, patient-centered prenatal care.”
Alliance Community Healthcare is the first location in the state to offer the program through Healthy Women Healthy Families. “Alliance is very excited to host this group program for women in Hudson County to provide a different level of care that is proven to be effective. Alliance’s Medical Team will partner with our patients to ensure the best possible outcomes for our babies,” stated Marilyn Cintron, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Community Healthcare.
The Department of Health’s efforts to implement the program was bolstered in April. The Nicholson Foundation, The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, and the Burke Foundation announced their commitment of $445,000 to fund five CenteringPregnancy® locations in New Jersey.
The Partnership is collaborating with a second CenteringPregnancy® site through the Healthy Women Healthy Families initiative in Paterson, which will launch in early 2020.