Cherokee Health Systems and the March of Dimes, with the support of the Tennessee Department of Health and UnitedHealth Group, are working together to offer a new model of group prenatal care called Supportive Pregnancy Care® (SPC) to area women and babies.
“It’s exciting for Cherokee Health Systems to join with the March of Dimes in this pilot,” says Misty Holbert, Regional Administrator at Cherokee Health Systems. “There are many potential benefits to group prenatal care, including improving health, empowering women and increasing their satisfaction with care. Our providers are intrigued by group prenatal care as it gives us the opportunity to really get to know our patients.”
SPC brings pregnant women together in group sessions for prenatal care with their obstetric provider. During SPC sessions, women learn how to take and record their own vital signs; receive a private physical assessment with their provider; support each other; and gain knowledge and skills related to pregnancy, birth and infant care. Adequate time is built allowed to address medical and health education concerns.
March of Dimes SPC is unique in also offering online resources portal for providers and a blog site for women to share information, photos, videos, blog posts, and participate in discussion forums.
The March of Dimes says SPC is a cost-effective and sustainable model that gives health systems and obstetric providers a prenatal care program that’s customizable to fit their local needs and resources.
“The March of Dimes thinks SPC is part of the future of better health care for moms and babies,” says Misty Holbert.
Several research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that group prenatal care is associated with fewer preterm births, reduced incidence of low birthweight infants, and lower likelihood of a stay in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).
Supportive Pregnancy Care will be piloted in the following health systems in Tennessee:
- Cherokee Health Systems, Knoxville
- Cherokee Health Systems, Talbott
- Regional One Health, Memphis
- Vanderbilt Center for Women’s Health, Nashville
- Meharry Medical College, Nashville
- University of Knoxville Regional Perinatal Center, Knoxville
- State of Franklin Healthcare Associates, Johnson City
The March of Dimes has contracted with Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Research Institute to conduct the research and evaluation for SPC’s pilot phase. To learn more about Supportive Pregnancy Care, please contact Cherokee Health Systems at 1-866-231-4477 or visit