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Barnes-Jewish receives March of Dimes grant

May 8, 2012

ST. LOUIS - The OB-Gyn Clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine has been awarded a $25,000 grant from The March of Dimes Missouri Chapter in support of its pre-natal care program for at-risk teens and women. Instituted in 2001, this program has significantly reduced the incidence of low birth weight and premature births among the women it serves.

“We truly appreciate the March of Dimes grant and are grateful to partner with them as their mission is so closely aligned with ours,” says Kate Barbier, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Women’s Health Educator/Coordinator for the OB-Gyn Clinic. "At the clinic, we strive to ensure healthy moms and healthy babies, and this grant supports this effort.”

The mission of the clinic is to provide exceptional prenatal care to pregnant women through the “Centering Pregnancy Model”—a program that holds biweekly group meetings offering prenatal care, including clinical, social work and nutrition services that prepare women without adequate health resources to deliver and care for healthy babies. Annually, this program reaches 150 adult women and teenagers as well as up to 50 teen dads.

“We not only offer prenatal care, but education and support to women and their family members, partners, and friends,” says Barbier. “It's a gift to be able to serve women in this way, and receiving support from the March of Dimes validates our work to implement and sustain these programs.”

The percentage of patients participating in this program who give birth to low birth weight and pre-term babies has significantly decreased. This is critical because the population served at the clinic is subject to extremely high incidences of both, as well as other adverse outcomes in pregnancy and birth related to social and economic risk factors.

Before this program was offered, 24.5 percent of all OB-Gyn Clinic patients, including both adults and teens, had babies with low birth weight and 29.7 percent had their babies preterm.

Because these incidences are higher in teens than adults, when the program was first implemented in 2001, it was offered specifically to teens. By 2007, just 10 of percent of patients participating in the program had babies with a low birth weight and only 11 percent had their babies pre-term.

In 2009, the program expanded to include adult women. That year, only 7 percent of adult patients delivered low birth weight babies and none of their babies were born preterm.

“The support from organizations like the March of Dimes means that we can continue to deliver exceptional care to pregnant women during an incredible time in their lives, and in a way that truly works to create healthier families,” Barbier says.

To support the Barnes-Jewish Hospital OB-Gyn Clinic, you can make a gift to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital online at www.GivingBarnesJewish.org or by calling (314) 286-0600.

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