New Points of Care Offer Support to Growing Families in Mahoning Valley

Jun 1 2023

Our Youngstown market is deeply committed to improving maternal and infant health outcomes, while also providing resources to help families to grow and thrive.

Centering Pregnancy, Resource Mothers and Fatherhood Support are just a few of our ministry’s community health programs that support young families. Additionally, access to these programs is now being made easier as these and other programs will be housed in our new Family Nurturing Center.

“The Family Nurturing Center will provide maternal and paternal support programs, as well as education for mothers and fathers from conception through birth and the first years of life for their baby and beyond,” Leigh A. Greene, director of community health in our Youngstown market, shares.

Opening in the same building as Mercy Health – Cornersburg Primary Care, this center is a designated location that houses these programs, which are currently provided at various locations throughout the community. Funded by the Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley, the single stop will serve families in neighborhoods with quantifiable need for these services.

“The Family Nurturing Center’s location is easily accessible from a bus route and has been adapted to accommodate all programs addressing maternal and infant health and paternal support,” Leigh explains.

The center will provide space for our Centering Pregnancy program, which has served 29 cohorts of at-risk pregnant women since its inception in 2016. To date, 244 women have participated in our Centering Pregnancy program.

“Centering Pregnancy is realizing greater compliance with prenatal care, lower incidence of preterm birth, increased knowledge about pregnancy-related issues and prenatal care, improved breastfeeding initiation and duration and significant improvement in patient satisfaction scores in prenatal care,” Leigh shares. “Given this support and education, mothers are better prepared for labor and delivery, while also gaining the confidence and knowledge to care for their infant.”

Along with the Centering Pregnancy program, the Resource Mothers program provides prenatal checkups, education, information and resources for mom and baby. These programs also give moms the opportunity to interact with women who are in the same gestational phase, providing additional support and engagement to women that may not have a support system at home. The Resource Mothers program is also funded through the Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley and is a partial recipient of a third-party grant given to the Mahoning County Public Health District for the Pathway HUB that supports home visitation programming for at-risk pregnant mothers.

Our Family Nurturing Center isn’t just for mom and baby, though. Our Fatherhood Support and 24/7 Dads programs will also be available there as well. Fatherhood Support is a program designed to strengthen families with engaged and skilled fathers by providing men the tools needed to be responsible, committed and involved. This program is led by a Resource Father, who is both a trained health worker and a dad himself who understands the journey through fatherhood.

In addition to the Family Nurturing Center, we also recently opened Belmont Medical Center – a 25,000-square-foot medical facility that houses similar maternity care services, including a second Centering Pregnancy location. Belmont Medical Center is also home to an OBGYN clinic, family medicine practices and our New Beginnings recovery program, which gives expectant mothers with a substance use disorder a customized treatment plan and peer support through pregnancy and up to one year after birth. Similar to connected programs located at the Family Nurturing Center, co-locating these services offers a more cohesive, comprehensive, coordinated course of care for moms and babies in a single location for more convenient access to care.

“Connecting families to the tools needed to avoid preventable health care challenges contributes to enriching the community and reducing health care costs for all,” Leigh adds.

Learn more about the maternity care services we provide at Mercy Health.

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