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The Voice of the Black Community


LCHC: A new idea empowering family
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2019
by Evelyn Howell, Correspondent

DURHAM – Lincoln Community Health Center is introducing a new health care program for families.

“This is a long pathway to get where we are to our kickoff today,” Dr. Oveta McIntosh Vick said during a “Centering Parenting Kickoff Day” luncheon celebration last week at the center. “It’s a new concept, a new idea.”

The event featured speakers from the health care community and a demonstration of what a Centering Parenting Group session will be like for families who participate as well as welcomed questions and answers from an audience of diverse members of health care organizations.

Centering Parenting is family-centered care in a group setting for the first two years of a child’s life, where families can be actively engaged in their child’s care during each visit. This includes weighing, measuring and tracking their growth development as well as feeding, sleep, immunizations and oral health. 

Each session which will be offered in both Spanish and English, will bring six to eight moms, partners, relatives, support people and their same-age infants together in a community with their health care providers and other parents who are experiencing similar challenges and milestones. In addition, health care professionals answer parents’ questions, which can help build their confidence as a parent.

“The most valuable population we serve is the babies. This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to help parents to give their little ones a great start in life,” said Dr. Howard Eisenson, LCHC chief medical officer. “Being a parent is not easy. We can provide educational support and empowerment for these parents.” 

McIntosh-Vick said LCHC applied for and received a Centering Implementation grant and was accepted as a Centering Parenting site by the Centering Healthcare Institute in June 2018. 

The Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) launched an aggressive plan to expand access to the Centering model of group health care in communities where group care can have the greatest impact. With this expansion, the CHI has developed a program offering implementation support and facilitation training to 130 eligible sites – primarily in FQHCs and community health centers – eliminating the financial barrier to those in resource-limited communities. These grants will be awarded in several waves over two years that began in Jan. 2018 for which Centering Parenting is the focus of this initiative.

“I am excited to work with my colleagues to introduce a new model of health care to the pediatric community,” said Elizabeth Hargrove, LCSW.  “We are proud to be just the second site in North Carolina.”

Hargrove said the program will provide a comfortable environment, where parents and families can feel comfortable talking about real life situations, which will help “increase the show rates of appointments.”

“Not only do they get excellent pediatric care, they continue in a community group where friendships can last a lifetime,” said Amy MacDonald, Centering Healthcare Institute consultant.

Because Anna Pabon participated in a Centering Pregnancy program in Chapel Hill, she said she is confident Centering Parenting is another great concept. “Connecting families with each other who have similar situations can help to increase more positive health and social outcomes,” she said.

Single mother Charlitta Burruss said she is all too familiar with the challenges parents face. “It’s a great idea, and I want to help get the word out because young mothers really need the resources.”

Sessions start April 4.  For more information, call (919) 956-4000.


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