University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine brings new group prenatal care program to northern Nevada

News & Events

CenteringPregnancy is available to new and current patients of UNR Med's Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine and the UNR Med Women's Health Center.

CenteringPregnancy, available to new and current patients of UNR Med's Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine and the UNR Med Women's Health Center, provides mothers to be with health assessments, interactive learning and community building to deliver better health outcomes and a better care experience for patients and their providers. Photo courtesy of Lynn Anderson, DNP, Certified Nurse Midwife, UNR Med.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) is bringing a new model of prenatal care to northern Nevada, offering women due around the same time, a group prenatal care experience. CenteringPregnancy is an innovative, evidence-based model of group care that is effectively addressing the complex social determinants of health in pregnancy.

The new program is having a positive impact by bringing patients out of the exam room and into a comfortable group setting where they can interact with other expectant mothers and collectively discuss questions they have about their pregnancy. Patients receive the highest quality of care and are part of an ongoing group where they form a supportive community and develop skills and confidence to take control of their health. The CenteringPregnancy model provides mothers to be with health assessments, interactive learning and community building to deliver better health outcomes and a better care experience for patients and their providers.

Centering prenatal care brings eight to 12 pregnant women who are due around the same time together for group prenatal care. Each of the 10 visits is 90 minutes to two hours long. "There is good evidence that CenteringPregnancy model of care results in fewer preterm deliveries, a decrease in low birth weight babies and fewer cesarean sections," said Dr. Catherine McCarthy, FAAFP, professor of family and community medicine at UNR Med.

UNR Med's CenteringPregnancy program is made possible by the generous support of the March of Dimes and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield that have provided more than $24,000 in grant funding for training and implementation of the CenteringPregnancy program. In 2003, the March of Dimes launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. "Preterm birth affects 11.4 percent of all births in the U.S. and is the leading cause of death in the first year of life," said Lynn Anderson, DNP, CNM. UNR Med is planning to improve these health outcomes through the Centering model.

CenteringPregnancy is available to new and current patients of UNR Med's Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine and the UNR Med Women's Health Center.  The program started earlier this fall with the first group of women and their partners to enroll in the program, who are expecting the arrival of their babies in the spring of 2019, as part of routine prenatal care. New and future groups of newly pregnant women and their partners will be enrolled, regularly.

Faculty from UNR Med's family and community medicine and women's health will facilitate UNR Med's CenteringPregnancy groups, including physicians Dr. Catherine McCarthy, and Dr. Kacey Durant, certified nurse-midwives Denise Rubinfeld, MS, CNM and Lynn Anderson, DNP, CNM, as well as family medicine resident physicians. UNR Med students will also rotate through the Centering groups as part of their medical education.

The new CenteringPregnancy program is being launched while a UNR Med research team, under the direction of Iain Buxton, Pharm.D., received a $2 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to support discovery efforts to develop a drug that could prevent preterm labor, without having dangerous effects on a developing fetus.

"With the support and investment of March of Dimes, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Centering Healthcare Institute, we will continue to improve women's health care in northern Nevada and make a difference in the lives of mothers and their families," said UNR Med Family and Community Medicine Chair, Daniel Spogen, M.D. 

Patients can call (775) 784-1533 for more information on UNR Med's CenteringPregnancy program.


Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for 50 years. The state's first public medical school, UNR Med fosters a healthy Nevada through excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, within a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is improving the future of health care. For more information, visit our 50th anniversary website.

Released: Monday November 26, 2018 @ 8:00 AM