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MARCH OF DIMES AWARDS GRANT
TO OUR DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY MEDICINE

The March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter has awarded a $20,000 grant to our Department of Family Medicine to support Group Prenatal Care through Centering Pregnancy® as part of a Family Medicine Residency Program. This project is directed at maternal and child health needs in Rhode Island. It aims to successfully implement group prenatal visits. The project intends to improve the adequacy of prenatal care, improve rates of breastfeeding, reduce smoking rates among pregnant women and improve patient satisfaction with prenatal care at the Family Care Center. Over time, group prenatal visits are also expected to improve the rates of preterm birth and low birth weight babies in the community. Additionally, physicians in training will have a better understanding of the key elements in prenatal care as a result of facilitating these group visits with faculty support.

 

The project will enhance prenatal care through group prenatal visits that focus on maternal education, behavior change and healthy habits. Studies of this type of care, based on the CenteringPregnancy® model, have shown that women participating in group sessions develop significantly better knowledge of important perinatal health issues than those receiving the traditional individual care. Women participating in group visits feel more prepared for labor and delivery and have higher rates of breastfeeding compared to women attending individual visits. Studies of group prenatal visits have consistently shown a reduction in low birth weight and preterm births, even among higher risk groups of women. This grant is one of many that the March of Dimes awards in pursuit of its mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Sue Magee et al
Pictured left to right, outside the entrance to our Birthing Center, Susanna Magee, MD, Director of Maternal Child Health, Jordan White, MD and Mary Beth Sutter, MD. They are the family medicine doctors responsible for the the administration of an awarded grant from the March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter and the development of the prenatal group visit program.