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March of Dimes Foundation MN Chapter Awards Grant to West Side for Innovative Prenatal Program (Apr. 11th, 2014)

West Side Community Health Services (“West Side”) is pleased to announce it has received a $9,375 grant from the Minnesota Chapter of the March of Dimes Foundation for its Circle of Mothers (COM) group prenatal care program. West Side will use these funds to continue the provision of the COM at its La Clinica site (153 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul), and expand the program to its East Side Family Clinic (895 E. 7th St., St. Paul) site by the end of December 2014.

COM was developed specifically for West Side’s unique patient population by its nurse midwifery staff, and is intended to better provide West Side’s prenatal patients with high levels of access; cultural and linguistic competency; supportive services, such as social work; and linkage to community resources for expecting and parenting families.

According to Grace Grinager, West Side’s COM Coordinator/Facilitator, “one of the most important facets of COM is the connections women make with one another. Not only do women ask questions and learn from one another’s experiences, they also form friendships that can last after the group ends. The camaraderie women form throughout the program goes hand in hand with our learning goals for each session. We want participants to leave COM with a stronger social network, ready to transition into motherhood with confidence.”

When asked to speak about her experience with COM, one participant said, “I really liked this group [prenatal care program]. Even though I already had another child at home, I still learned so much. I learned from the people teaching the group and from the other moms. I think it helped me get a new perspective on pregnancy and birth.” Another participant added, “the [COM] classes have helped me a lot…I applied what I learned during labor and post-partum. My experience has been invaluable.”

The March of Dimes Foundation awards grants through a competitive application and review process. “We are excited to fund innovative programs for pregnant and parenting women,” said March of Dimes Program Services Chair Kim Pearson. “This grant furthers the March of Dimes investment in community programs that make a real difference in improving the health of babies.”

West Side is the largest community health center in Minnesota, serving more than 33,000 annually, with multiple locations in St. Paul-Ramsey County. The organization provides comprehensive health care and social services with bilingual/bicultural staff on a sliding fee scale. Services include primary, specialty, preventive, complementary, pharmacy, dental, OB/GYN, mental health, social and wrap-around services such as assistance with health insurance enrollment.

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Administration • 153 Cesar Chavez Street • Saint Paul, MN 55107

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