Alameda Health System, the Bay Area’s leading public health system, announced today the expansion of its Centering program that significantly reduces the birth rate of preterm and low weight babies to its Hayward Wellness Center in South Alameda County.

The ability to serve more expectant mothers is due to a $30,000 grant from the Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI), a national nonprofit dedicated to changing the delivery of health care in vulnerable populations. This grant is part of CHI’s plan to expand the program to additional underserved communities with poor health outcomes in Alameda County.

CenteringPregnancy, developed by CHI, gathers pregnant women with similar due dates for group prenatal visits individually and collectively with their healthcare providers for checkups, and to discuss topics such as nutrition, labor, breastfeeding, stress reduction and infant care.

“We are excited that CHI has recognized the positive results this program has had on the AHS-Highland Hospital community, and has chosen to expand it to one of our sister facilities,” said Kathy Kaspar, AHS centering coordinator. “The expansion of Centering at the Hayward Wellness Center will provide the best care possible for our expecting moms and their newborns in South Alameda County.”

Studies show that Centering programs decrease the rate of preterm and low weight babies, increase breastfeeding rates, and lead to pregnancy spacing that promotes healthy mothers and families.

The Centering program at Highland Hospital has lowered the preterm birth rate by more than 30 percent. This program is one of 12 accredited Centering programs in California.

Edited on June 21, 2018.