Amerigroup Foundation and March of Dimes Join Efforts in Louisiana to Improve Birth Outcomes Through Innovative Prenatal Care Program

A $50,000 Amerigroup Grant Will Help Hundreds of Pregnant Louisiana
Women to Access the CenteringPregnancy Model of Care

BATON ROUGE, La.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Amerigroup–The Amerigroup Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup
Louisiana, has joined the March of Dimes to expand access to
CenteringPregnancy® prenatal care across Louisiana. A $50,000 grant
provided by the Foundation will increase opportunities for pregnant
women to participate in CenteringPregnancy programs, which have been
proven to enhance quality of care by bringing women together in group
settings to access pre and postnatal care. Women who have participated
in CenteringPregnancy programs have experienced improved birth outcomes
with fewer incidences of preterm births and low birth weight babies.
Amerigroup’s grant is expected to help approximately 300 women across
the state to access this care, and is part of the Amerigroup
Foundation’s work to address some of the nation’s most complex health

“The Amerigroup Foundation champions innovative approaches, such as
CenteringPregnancy, which better engage patients in their health,
enhance care experiences and create communities of support,” said Dr.
Raymond Poliquit, Amerigroup Louisiana medical director. “We are pleased
to join March of Dimes in this latest effort to improve treatment for
pregnant women and give more babies healthier starts in life.”

Amerigroup’s grant in Louisiana continues a long-standing relationship
between the Amerigroup Foundation and March of Dimes to improve maternal
and infant health. Most recently, in 2015-2016, a $1 million Amerigroup
Foundation grant helped the March of Dimes provide prevention services
to 6,600 women across the nation, including 3,300 who participated in

Louisiana Secretary of Health, Dr. Rebekah Gee, joined Amerigroup and
the March of Dimes on April 6, during a grant presentation ceremony at
the Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, to get a first-hand look at current
CenteringPregnancy programs and to promote the importance of improving
birth outcomes in Louisiana.

“In Louisiana, over 12 percent of babies are born prematurely, and we
know that babies born even a few weeks early have higher rates of
illness and hospitalization compared to full-term newborns,” said Dr.
Rebekah Gee. “In order for us to continue to make improvements and
reduce this percentage, it’s important for us to continue collaborations
with organizations such as Amerigroup Foundation and March of Dimes.
This new prenatal care model will help to reach and support many new
moms during a critical time to increase the likelihood of a full-term

The CenteringPregnancy prenatal care model takes women out of exam rooms
and puts them in group settings to access care and information. During
each appointment, 8 – 12 women with similar due dates meet with each
other and a designated health practitioner to access health assessments,
education and peer support. Women complete conventional medical history
and physical exams in a doctor’s office or clinic and are then invited
to join a facilitated discussion that offers the opportunity to interact
with peers and ask questions. Each CenteringPregnancy group meets for a
total of 10 sessions throughout pregnancy and early postpartum.

“This grant allows the March of Dimes to provide much-needed support and
services for hundreds of moms, to help them have healthy, full-term
pregnancies and healthy babies,” said Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, senior
vice president and chief medical officer of the March of Dimes. “The
March of Dimes applauds Amerigroup Foundation for its dedication to
better health for American families and their continued support of our
mission to help give every baby a fighting chance.”

The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, launched in 2003, seeks to
raise awareness of the problem and to lower the rate of premature birth
to 8.1 percent of births by 2020 and to 5.5 percent by 2030. To learn
more about this campaign and CenteringPregnancy efforts, visit


The Amerigroup Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup, a
wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Together, with local, regional
and national organizations, the Amerigroup Foundation works to enhance
the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities
that Amerigroup and its affiliated health plans serve. Amerigroup
Foundation funding is focused on strategic initiatives working to
address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as
well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational
initiative with five areas of focus: Healthy Heart, Cancer Prevention,
Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, and Healthy
Active Lifestyle. These disease states and medical conditions include:
prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac
morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase
physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult
pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The
Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving
program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign
pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers
community service programs. To learn more about the Amerigroup
Foundation, please visit


The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy
and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited
from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.
For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and To participate in our annual
signature fundraising event, visit
If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our
community to find comfort and support. You can also find us on Facebook
or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


Denise Malecki, 813-830-6986
of Dimes

Jennifer Robinson, 913-235-9839