health care,
education and
social services

health care,
education  and
social services

group care

Group Care Puts Chronic Disease Patients on the Path to Health

Did you know that 1 in 2 adults in the United States has a chronic disease such as hypertension and diabetes? Even more alarming is the fact that 1 in 4 adults has two or more chronic diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of the deaths each year are caused by chronic diseases, and treating patients with chronic diseases accounts for most of America’s  health care costs.

Centering for Success

We understand that the expectant mothers we serve face many challenges throughout their pregnancy. 

Thanks to generous support from CareFirst, Mary’s Center has been able to successfully implement our CenteringPregnancy program to better serve disadvantaged prenatal patients, reduce the risk of preterm delivery and help improve maternal and child health outcomes. In fact, since the program began in 2013, 253 women have participated in 30 CenteringPregnancy groups.

How does the program work? 

The CenteringPregnancy model is especially effective for underserved mothers who lack access to comprehensive quality prenatal education. 6-10 pregnant women with similar gestational ages come together under the guidance of the certified nurse-midwife and assisting medical professional to meet during 10 sessions over 6 months. Centering is becoming very popular because it has led to better health outcomes and increased patient and provider satisfaction with prenatal care.

Personalized prenatal care, coupled with longer interactions with clinicians, provides patients with the tools needed to take charge of her health. Centering participants receive culturally-appropriate childbirth education that includes nutrition, mental health, family planning, stress reduction and exercise, reflecting Mary’s Center commitment to providing multidisciplinary and holistic health, education and social services to our patients.

What makes the CenteringPregnancy Model so special? 

Grouping participants by due date helps build community and normalize the pregnancy experience, as women meet peers confronting similar issues. Over time, they develop a long-term support network and foster strong bonds that can extend into parenting. At the end of their sessions, patients report feeling “more prepared” to give birth and “feeling supported” by their peers and providers.

And the end results?

Mary’s Center’s Centering Program is already showing incredible outcomes. In 2014, the preterm birth rate in DC was 9.6%. In contrast, the percentage of Centering participants at Mary’s Center who gave birth prematurely was as low as 7%. These results demonstrate the advantages to combining medical care with prenatal education and group support, as achieved through the CenteringPregnancy curriculum. 


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