What is centering in health care? How AtlantiCare is bringing unique program to moms-to-be and parents

Innovative, evidence-based model of group care addresses complex social determinants of health by bringing patients out of exam room and into comfortable group settings

Officials at AtlantiCare and the Centering Healthcare Institute announced this week that AtlantiCare will soon offer centering care to moms-to-be and parents.

Centering is an innovative, evidence-based model of group care that addresses complex social determinants of health issues. It brings patients out of the exam room and into a comfortable group setting. The core components of centering are health assessments, interactive learning and community building.

Sandra Garrett, assistant vice president for women’s and children’s services and building administrator at AtlantiCare Medical Arts Pavilion, said the programs could have great impact.

“Through our CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting programs, we will focus on enhancing the quality care we provide and our patients’ experiences,” she said. “It contributes to better health outcomes and a better care experience for patients and their providers. Patients and parents develop a camaraderie and form a supportive community where they develop skills and confidence to take control of their health.”

AtlantiCare will start its first CenteringPregnancy group in February by inviting current OB/GYN patients to participate. It will begin its CenteringParenting program in March.

This program will specifically serve families of AtlantiCare’s Federally Qualified Health Center Pediatrics Clinic in Atlantic City. The health care organization will offer both programs at its Medical Arts Pavilion in Atlantic City in part through implementation grants and additional supplemental grants from the Burke Foundation.

AtlantiCare’s CenteringPregnancy program will bring together eight to 12 pregnant women who have similar due dates for prenatal care. Each of the 10 visits will be 90 minutes to two hours long and include a private visit with an AtlantiCare OB/GYN physician or midwife.

CenteringParenting will provide family centered well-child care, information and education for the first two years of a child’s life, following the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures guidelines. Visits will take place monthly and will include private time with an AtlantiCare FQHC pediatrics physician or advanced practice nurse.

Angie Truesdale, CEO of Centering Healthcare Institute, the nonprofit that provides implementation support, training and tools to ensure model fidelity to centering practice sites, said she is excited for the partnership with AtlantiCare.

“They join a growing number of dedicated centering practice sites throughout the U.S. who are creating a movement that is impacting health outcomes, the patient experience and provider satisfaction,” she said.

For more information, email AtlantiCare here.