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UF Health Women’s Center given grant renewal for group prenatal care

The University of Florida Health Women’s Center has been given a $40,000 grant renewal for the CenteringPregnancy program, which offers group prenatal care to help reduce the risk of premature birth.

Pregnant women who wish to participate in the CenteringPregnancy model are grouped by their due dates. After a standard visit to their provider, the women join a group during their third month of pregnancy. The groups initially meet monthly, then bimonthly closer to delivery. During these sessions, they receive all components of individual care as well as additional support and education.

“We have been able to demonstrate lower preterm delivery rates than the state average, increased lactation rates, improved maternal immunization rates and improved satisfaction with care in our patients receiving Centering care,” said Kay Roussos-Ross, M.D., the UF Health physician who leads the CenteringPregnancy initiative. “We are hopeful that we can continue to show improved outcomes and expand them into the neighboring communities that we serve.”

The grant, funded by the March of Dimes, has been renewed after a successful first year, when the group was able to serve 12 groups of women, with eight to 10 women per group. This model is the first of its kind in north central Florida.

“We all worked together and depended on each other to get through prenatal care and teach one another about pregnancy and what to expect once you become a mom,” said Nala Jones, a former CenteringPregnancy participant. “It was so much fun being able to share my previous experiences with the rest of the group about my last pregnancy and vice versa. We grew a bond with each other that moms outside of the CenteringPregnancy group would probably never understand.”

To receive the designation, UF Health Women’s Center providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives, participated in an intensive training process provided by CenteringPregnancy.The CenteringPregnancy groups will now be offered at locations including UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza, UF Health Women’s Center – Springhill, Ocala and the SW Advocacy Group in Gainesville. The groups will continue to form throughout the year. Potential participants must choose an approved provider at the UF Health Women’s Center and be fewer than four months pregnant. To participate, call 352-265-8200.

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