Jersey Shore University Medical Center Now Providing Innovative Group Healthcare for Families

October 04, 2022


The Centering model combines health assessment, interactive learning and community building to deliver better health outcomes and a better care experience for families

Dr. St. Fleur addresses the crowd of physicians and team members at the recent CenteringParenting kickoff event at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, providing an overview of the program.

Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Jane H. Booker Family Health Center is now providing families with a CenteringParenting® healthcare model.

“In this model, our patients receive the highest quality of care and, as part of an ongoing group, form a supportive community where they develop skills and confidence to take control of their health,” said Rose St. Fleur, M.D., FAAP, IBCLC, FABM, medical director, Center for Breastfeeding, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “This paradigm shift to an innovative, evidence-based model is making an impact by bringing patients out of the exam room and into a comfortable group setting, and is effectively addressing the complex social determinants of health.”

The Centering model combines health assessment, interactive learning and community building to deliver better health outcomes and a better care experience for patients and their providers. “This is an exciting time for the families we serve through the Family Health Center, and our practitioners, as we launch Centering, a nationally recognized model of group care,” said Harpreet Pall, M.D., MBA, CPE, chair of Pediatrics, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital / Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “With Dr. St. Fleur’s dedicated leadership, our program will create a greater sense of connection between families and our clinicians to promote healthy lifestyles and enhance our supportive environment.”

Jersey Shore University Medical Center also provides patients with the CenteringPregnancy® model. CenteringParenting and CenteringPregnancy are the two group healthcare models currently supported by the Centering Healthcare Institute. CenteringPregnancy brings 8-12 pregnant women who are due around the same time together for prenatal care. Each of the 10 visits is 90 minutes to two hours long. CenteringParenting provides family centered well-child care for the first two years, following the Bright FuturesTM nationally recognized guidelines. Groups continue on from CenteringPregnancy or begin when 6-8 parents and infants of the same age are brought together for care. Parents are actively involved in their child’s assessment at every visit and an emphasis on family, self-care, wellness and women’s health is woven throughout.

“Couple the launch of this Centering program with U.S. News & World Report’s recognition of our academic medical center as a Best Hospital for Maternity Care in the nation for 2021-22, I’m pleased to say that we are transforming health care in a positive way for families in our community,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, president and chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center/K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital.

Preterm birth affects 11.4 percent of all births in the U.S. and is the leading cause of death in the first year of life. The cost of preterm births is $26.2 billion annually; $51,600 per infant. This burden includes medical and health care costs, intervention services, special education services and loss of work and pay of the families1. “Providing families with the Centering healthcare model is just one of the ways Jersey Shore University Medical Center is working to improve these health outcomes,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health.

“We are excited to partner with the Jane H. Booker Family Health Center to expand CenteringParenting in New Jersey. They join a growing number of dedicated Centering practice sites throughout the U.S. who are creating a movement that is impacting health outcomes, the patient experience and provider satisfaction,” said Angie Truesdale, CEO of Centering Healthcare Institute, the non-profit that provides implementation support, training and tools to ensure model fidelity to Centering practice sites.

The CenteringParenting program was made possible with an implementation grant and an additional supplemental grant from The Burke Foundation.

The Jane H. Booker Family Health Center provides a wide range of outpatient health care services to meet the needs of every family member. The Center’s team works closely with specialists at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, ensuring well-coordinated specialty care when needed. Social workers are also available for assistance and accessing community resources. The Center is located at 1828 West Lake Avenue, Neptune, NJ. For more information, call 732-869-5700 or visit

Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) is improving health by transforming care through Centering groups. It has developed and sustained the Centering model in more than 450 practice sites and in some of the largest health systems in the world. They have partnered with many dedicated individuals and organizations to build a future where group healthcare becomes the standard of care. For more information on CHI and the Centering models of group care, visit

1. Institute of Medicine, 2007

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