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Maternal Child Health

There are significant disparities in maternal child health outcomes in our region. From 2014 to 2016, infant mortality rates for African Americans were three times greater than the average for all races within New Jersey. In 2018, a robust community response became possible when several funding opportunities became available to help address maternal child health challenges in the community.

Capital Health Institute for Urban Care and Trenton Health Team have taken an important first step by bringing together all of the organizations that are part of the continuum of maternal health services to coordinate resources and our community responses to funding opportunities.

Capital Health Centering Pregnancy Program

In partnership with the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, Capital Health OB/GYN – Trenton (formerly the Healthstart Prenatal Clinic) offers a Centering Pregnancy program for expectant mothers residing in the Trenton area that aims to decrease health inequity and improve maternal outcomes for pregnant women. The Centering Pregnancy Program at Capital Health OB/GYN – Trenton works on the proven principle that people who are actively engaged in their care have a greater understanding of their condition and are more likely to make positive changes in behavior that help keep new babies and their families on the path to better health.

During each visit, mothers are actively engaged in their health care by recording their own weight, blood pressure, and other health data, along with private time with their provider for a one on one assessment. After health assessments are complete, mothers and their provider join together for discussions and activities that address important topics such as nutrition, stress management, common discomforts, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and infant care. Research has shown that providing care in a group setting allows mothers to make more meaningful connections with their providers and become better prepared for labor, delivery, and care of their new baby. Data has also shown that centering programs reduce racial disparities in care, leading to healthier outcomes for babies and mothers. This shared experience often leads to lasting relationships that become important resources for mothers during an exciting but stressful time in their lives. 

For more information on Centering Healthcare please visit https://centeringhealthcare.org/

Family Connects

In partnership with Trenton Health Team, Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, Capital Health, Family Connects International®, The Burke Foundation and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Family Connects Mercer County is a program that provides free at-home nurse visits for parents who live in Mercer County and give birth at Capital Health. Family Connects aims to address maternal and infant mortality in New Jersey regardless of household income or health insurance status.

Participants are offered one to three home visits by a highly trained registered nurse who will link them to community resources that meet their individual needs and preferences. Family Connects Mercer County also collaborates with local agencies to identify gaps in needed services and ensure resources offered to families are current and accessible. Research has shown by the time a baby is six months old, participating families had enhanced connections to community resources, positive parenting skills, less maternal anxiety, and fewer emergency room visits.

For more information or if you are interested in enrolling in the program, please contact [email protected] or call (609) 337-4317

Safer Childbirth Cities

In response to the staggering rates of maternal mortality in New Jersey (specifically among African American mothers), Trenton Health Team in partnership with Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, Children’s Futures, Capital Health, and Central Jersey Family Health Consortium joined the list of national organizations recently selected to be a part of the Safer Childbirth Cities. This initiative was founded by Merck for Mothers to help cities become safer, more equitable places to give birth.

Over the next three years, a robust system of data analytics will be created to expand knowledge of maternal health challenges and enhance doula services to support women experiencing high-risk pregnancies within Black, Latinx and immigrant communities. Partnering with Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, a program manager has been implemented to work on-site at Capital Health OB/GYN - Trenton (Trenton’s only clinic offering prenatal care) to strategically enhance and coordinate additional services that assist patients and staff with non-clinical needs and referrals.

For more information regarding Safer Childbirth Cities, please visit https://www.saferchildbirthcities.com.

NJ FamilyCare Perinatal Episode of Care

The Perinatal Episode of Care pilot is part of the maternal health reforms of NurtureNJ, a statewide campaign led by First Lady Tammy Murphy to make New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the nation to deliver and raise a baby. The initiative is a three-year pilot aimed to test a new alternative payment model for prenatal, labor, and postpartum services statewide. 

Clinicians who participate in the pilot are financially incentivized to take on comprehensive responsibility for the quality and cost of their patients’ care. The episode pilot will tie incentives to improvements in quality and cost of maternity-related care, from the prenatal period to 60 days postpartum. In addition to eligibility for additional financial incentives, providers who participate in the pilot will receive detailed personalized feedback on their performance and will undertake specific quality improvement activities.

The pilot’s overall goal is to improve the quality and equity of perinatal care delivered within NJ’s Medicaid and CHIP programs, while supporting the financial sustainability of the program.

For additional information, please visit https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmahs/info/perinatalepisode.html