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CenteringParenting Initiative Empowers Young Families at Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region

New Parents “Don’t Feel Alone” and Build Strong Family, Community Bonds at CHCRR CenteringParenting Program

CenteringParenting® is a concept developed to help parents become more informed and confident about their roles as parents. In May and June, Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region (CHCRR) Pediatrics in Rutland will offer the first CenteringParenting group sessions for young families with babies born in April this year.

In a “centering” model of care, six to eight parents and their new babies have their regular well-child checkups in a group setting. A pediatrician, a nurse and one support staff member join the families during a 90-minute session. Participants of CenteringParenting meet nine times over an 18-month period and participate in activities, education and discussions about child health and well being, and are provided with the resources and tools to support positive family development.

“It makes us feel like we are not alone,” said one parent. “A lot of times I think I am the only one going through this, but then you get to group and I realize I am not the only one.”

CenteringParenting makes patient care more community focused and engages families in a lifetime of health and wellness and provides resources to support positive family development. Families come away from the experience with stronger bonds with the other families as well as a greater sense of community.

Rutland’s Dr. Tom Wolk and his wife Debra recognized the benefits of the program and, in honor of Tom’s dad, pediatrician Dr. Arthur Wolk, and mom, Florrie, contributed funds to bring the CenteringParenting program to the CHCRR network.

In addition to the Wolk family donation, the startup funds for CenteringParenting come from the Promise Grant, a larger federal and state grant that focuses on early childhood development, school readiness, early childhood development and early literacy.

The goal of the CenteringParenting program at CHCRR is to:

  • Enhance parent/child and patient/provider relationships
  • Engage with other parents in a positive and supportive environment
  • Participate in fun activities and discussions about child health
  • Share best parenting practices

If you have questions about the CenteringParenting program at CHCRR, call CHCRR Pediatrics at (802) 773-9131.

CHCRR is central Vermont’s largest network of primary care, pediatric and dental services with offices in Rutland, Brandon, Castleton, West Pawlet and Shoreham. Community Dental offices are located in Rutland and Shoreham, CHCRR Pediatrics is in Rutland and CHCRR’s Express Care centers, open 7 days a week, are located at the Rutland and Castleton Community Health Centers.

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About Jill Jesso-White

Jill Jesso-White is the Patient Relations Specialist and Compliance Officer at Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region (CHCRR).

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