UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza to offer group prenatal care

UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza will be using a model of group prenatal care at one of its women’s centers to help reduce the risk of premature birth.

The UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza will be designated as the first CenteringPregnancy site in North Florida by the Centering Healthcare Institute over the next year. 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 fourth month of pregnancy and meet monthly for 1.5-hour sessions. During these sessions with their health care provider, the women receive all the components of individual prenatal care, including health assessment, education and support. The women and their provider discuss birth and newborn care as well as overall health and stress management. These meetings continue throughout the length of pregnancy, with appointments occurring more frequently at the end of term.

“Those who participate will enjoy the camaraderie provided by a group of women who are in the same stages of pregnancy as they are,” said Kay Roussos-Ross, M.D., the UF Health physician who will be leading the CenteringPregnancy initiative. “Comparing issues and telling stories will help to increase their sense of well-being.”           

The program is being funded in part by the March of Dimes, which awarded Roussos-Ross a $25,000 grant in December 2014.

“We are excited to work with UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza to expand CenteringPregnancy in Gainesville,” said Colleen Senterfitt, chief operating officer for the Centering Healthcare Institute. “They join a growing number of Centering practice sites throughout the U.S. that are demonstrating better outcomes and high patient satisfaction.”

To receive the designation, UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and a nurse midwife participated in an intensive training process provided by CenteringPregnancy.

The first CenteringPregnancy groups at the UF Health Women’s Center – Medical Plaza will form in late February. Potential participants must select their provider from within the group of approved providers at UF Health Women’s Center and be less than four months pregnant. To participate, call 352-265-8200.

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