“What’s starting here is small, but we’re really hopeful to get more and more women in this type of setting,” Jones said Thursday during a press conference at Five Rivers. “As gratified as I am to see the work of many people come to fruition here in this pilot process; when you’re at 47th and 50th in the nation, we have to put the pedal to the metal.”
Premature births and infant deaths are an even bigger problem in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County’s overall infant mortality rate was 8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012, which was about twice the rate for the nation as a whole, according to the latest data available from the Ohio Department of Health.
The CenteringPregnancy program, which serves about eight to 12 women at time, helps address the problem by relieving maternal stress and establishing optimal standards of prenatal care, health officials said.
Five Rivers welcomed its first group of women in January, and new groups are added about every month.
Public health hopes the CenteringPregnancy program will be expanded to other health care providers in the county. Lifestages Samaritan Centers for Women, which has several locations in the region, has offered the program for years.