YSN Alumna Sharon Schindler Rising '67 was interviewed for a story on NPR's All Things Considered. Rising is the Founder and Executive Director of the Centering Healthcare Institute.
In 1993, Rising created the "centering model" of group prenatal care, allowing patients to share advice and experiences.
Rising reflected, "The big challenge for the provider is to be quiet and not answer questions. Because the minute you answer a question, you won't know the group wisdom. ... I started having a real appreciation for cultural beliefs and values that I just didn't understand. And I would be thinking to myself, well, that's why that strategy never worked, because I didn't really understand. "
When it comes to changing behavior such as smoking during pregnancy, "there's tremendous power in the group, and that doesn't happen in individual care," Rising said.
Rising added that the centering model is offered most often to low-income women, although women at all socioeconomic levels could benefit. "The vulnerable population is - has the most to gain in terms of outcomes. And the providers and agencies that are providing care to this population are the most open to change."
Developed and piloted by Rising in 1993 in Connecticut, the Centering Model program now has been replicated in nearly 300 locations across the country and abroad.