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Community Health Network launches program that provides group approach to prenatal care

For release on April 10, 2012

Indianapolis, IN---Community Health Network’s Family Medicine Residency Program has launched a patient-centered prenatal health program for women looking for a different approach to prenatal care.

The program, called Centering Pregnancy, provides a practitioner-led group approach to prenatal care and combines three essential elements of care every pregnant woman needs –health assessment, education and support. Rather than having one-on-one visits, groups of eight to 12 women with similar due dates meet together, learning care skills, participating in a facilitated discussion, and developing a support network with other group members. Each pregnancy group meets for a total of 10 sessions throughout pregnancy and early postpartum. Individual prenatal health assessments are included.

“Through this group approach to care, women are empowered to choose health-promoting behaviors for themselves and their babies,” said Susan L. Helsel, M.D., assistant director and leader of the Centering Pregnancy Program at the Shadeland Family Care Center.  “It also creates an environment for women to share their experiences and knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.”

Centering is a care model that was developed in 1993 and has been implemented at sites of care throughout the country. It is an evidence-based redesign of health care delivery that engages patients to participate in their care and allows the provider to have a dynamic partnership with their patients.

This model has been show in studies to have statistically significant improvements in preterm birth outcomes, both in having healthier preterm babies and in decreasing preterm delivery rates. Also in studies, there was a large increase in patient satisfaction and education as rated by the patients themselves.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Centering Pregnancy program can call 317-355-3232. The Shadeland Family Care Center is located in the Shadeland Community Health Pavilion East, 2040 North Shadeland Ave., Suite 300.

This program is currently funded by a generous grant from the Indiana Chapter of the March of Dimes, whose mission is to help moms have healthy full-term pregnancies and babies.

About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes. As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services. To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.


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Lacey Clifford
Media Relations