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Boston Medical Center to receive $245,000 grant from Attorney General Martha Coakley

(Boston) - Boston Medical Center (BMC) has been selected as one of seven recipients to share a $1.5 million grant from the Attorney General's office to promote preventive care and reduce health care disparities in Massachusetts. BMC will receive $245,000 to expand its Centering Pregnancy program to address perinatal health care disparities.

BMC's Centering Pregnancy program is designed to bring pregnant women with similar backgrounds together for group medical visits incorporating both education and support. Through these visits, the program gives expectant mothers an opportunity to confer with peers and physicians together in a relaxed and open environment. The group empowers mothers to choose healthy behaviors through better understanding and peer support. It is one of the first programs to demonstrate a reduction in the racial and ethnic health care disparity of preterm birth. In a randomized trial the model has been shown to decrease late preterm delivery by up to 40 percent, increase pregnancy and parenting knowledge and increase satisfaction with care.

"The Centering Pregnancy program is an innovative way of providing health care that we are proud to move forward with," said Beth Monahan, CNM, MPH, principal investigator and director of Centering group care at BMC. "This grant will help us transform the pilot study into an institutionalized sustainable care model. This is health care in a social context; it provides pregnant mothers with a much better understanding of the care that is necessary and support that is needed to change health behaviors."

In order to qualify for the grant, applicants had to propose a use of funds that would expand or provide new programs or services for underserved populations consistent with the three goals of the grant program: reducing health disparities, managing chronic disease and promoting wellness for underserved populations.

"We are pleased that these organizations and the people in their communities will benefit from these settlement funds," said Attorney General Martha Coakley. "The organizations receiving these grants do critical work to reduce asthma, diabetes, obesity and other chronic and potentially life-threatening diseases. Not only does this help care for the patients in their communities, but this kind of preventive care is on the front lines of our work to reduce health care costs in Massachusetts."


Contact: Nathan Bliss
Boston University Medical Center

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