PERTH AMBOY — A $28,000 grant recently provided by the March of Dimes to the Jewish Renaissance Medical Center will help both parties realize the common goals of proper prenatal care for healthy pregnancies, reducing pre-term birth rates and providing support for Central Jersey families.

JRMC contacted March of Dimes to establish the relationship, hoping to tie in its Centering Pregnancy initiative. Program coordinator Linda Peloquin said it focuses on seeing pregnant women in their first trimester, identifying problems that should be referred to high-risk specialists, and empowering patients in their own care.

"Centering is a new concept to this area, and I think once the word gets out a little bit more, we'll have more patients coming to us," Peloquin said.

The idea of centering has made its way to some other Central Jersey facilities, such as JFK Medical Center in Edison. But even though Perth Amboy is the main community JRMC serves, their radius extends beyond the boundaries of the city.

"It's just not Perth Amboy; we do have patients from nearby — Edison, Carteret, South Plainfield, North Plainfield, Plainfield," she said, also mentioning South Amboy.

However, JRMC's home city remains a primary concern, because Peloquin classifies its population as particularly high-risk. She said she sees a lot of first-time mothers, as well as patients from other countries who may previously have had inadequate prenatal care.

"We have a lot of low-income families, we have many teen pregnancies, we have immigrants that really are here and don't know how to maneuver through the system," Peloquin said.

For information on utilizing the Centering Pregnancy program, or to find out more about its outreach, click here.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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