Join the Cen­ter­ing Move­ment in New Jersey 

Imple­men­ta­tion Awards for Cen­ter­ing Expansion 

New Jersey (NJ) ranks among the worst U.S. states for maternal mortality, with a rate of more than 46 deaths per every 100,000 live births, nearly 50 percent greater than the national average, placing it 47th among the 50 states. For women and babies of color, the situation is even more dire. A Black mother in New Jersey is now seven times more likely to die than a white mother due to pregnancy complications, up from five times more likely according to 2013 data. In addition, New Jersey earned a C+ on its annual preterm birth score card from the March of Dimes overall; the preterm birth rate among Black women is 48% higher than the rate among all other women. Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death and disability among infants, including long-term cognitive and developmental disabilities, delays in physical development, learning and social emotional skills, chronic respiratory problems, and vision and hearing impairment.

The Burke Foundation, an NJ based private foundation, has teamed up with Centering Healthcare Institute to address these alarming maternal infant health statistics and disparities by bringing Centering to more families and regions in New Jersey. With over 120 published studies and peer-reviewed articles, research demonstrates that the Centering model improves health and wellness outcomes for mothers and babies, including a reduction in racial health disparities in preterm births. During the first year of this initiative, up to 10 implementation awards are being offered to help clinical practices implement the CenteringParenting and CenteringPregnancy care models. The goals of the Strengthening Maternal, Infant, and Child Health through the Expansion of Centering Group Care in New Jersey program are to:

  1. Improve maternal, infant, and health outcomes, with a particular focus on reducing health disparities among under-resourced populations.
  2. Embed Centering into the culture and operational systems of the selected practice sites.
  3. Build community awareness and support for Centering – both from local stakeholders (e.g. community-based organizations that could serve as referral sources) and patient consumers.

Award Details

These awards will cover two years of implementation support from the CHI team, pending successful completion of deliverables and progress achieved in the first year of the grant, including:

  • First year implementation support
  • First year Kickoff Day
  • Basic facilitation training seats for up to five participants
  • Second year implementation support
  • Site accreditation visit and determination
  • Patient curriculum materials and leader kit
  • Starter set of CHI promotional materials

IMPORTANT: This is NOT a monetary award. It is an award for in-kind services.

Those selected for the above award will be invited to apply for an additional mini-grant to support start-up expenses such as patient snacks and medical supplies, directly from the Burke Foundation.

How to Apply

In 2022, CHI intends to launch a total of five (5) CenteringParenting sites and five (5) CenteringPregnancy sites, for a total of up to 10 awards.

The Request for Applications (RFA) narrative for CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting outlines in detail application requirements and process, selection criteria, services and support awarded as well as project activity and timeline. Healthcare settings interested in participating will follow the process outlined below:

Step 1:

Complete and submit a Readiness Assessment which gathers information about the practice site such as patient volume, proposed space to convene groups, and administrative support.

Step 2:

Once sites complete the CHI Readiness Assessment they will be contacted by Mary Fitzmaurice, Regional Director at CHI, to schedule a phone discussion to assess the site’s readiness for CenteringPregnancy.

Step 3:

Qualifying candidates whose readiness is verified by the CHI team following the phone discussion will be invited to submit the application materials listed below.

  • Detailed Application Form
  • Planning Your Centering Budget document
  • Letter of Support from practice leadership

The application form will include supplementary questions to round out the information provided on your Readiness Assessment on the following topics: community need, patient engagement, measuring success, community buy-in and leadership, sustainability, and budget.

Note: If you are new to the Centering model, we encourage you to register and attend one of the upcoming informational sessions on August 31, 2021 at 12:00 noon(EST) or September 3, 2021 at 12:00 noon (EST)

Submission Timeline for CenteringPregnancy Applicants

Full Application Close Date: November 12, 2021 (All materials must be submitted electronically no later than this date.)

Award Notification: December 20, 2021

CHI Contracting Window: January 2, 2022 - April 30th, 2022 (estimated)

Implementation Start Date: Approximately 1-2 months after award notification

Please note: Organizations may submit applications to implement one or both (CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting) group care models. Submitted applications will be reviewed collaboratively by CHI and The Burke Foundation.

Award Qualification Criteria

The following are criteria on which applications will be assessed:

  1. Site must be new to CenteringPregnancy or CenteringParenting, or expanding the model to a new location
  2. The obstetrical, pediatric, or family practice clinic must be located in New Jersey
  3. Priority will be given to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), community health centers and hospital-based clinics that are committed to improving health and wellbeing by transforming care
  4. Applicants must be approved to participate by the award committee, which is composed of representatives from both CHI and the Burke Foundation.

The following counties have been identified as priority communities for expansion based on a data analysis of maternal and pediatric outcomes, conducted by the New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute. These counties report greater health disparities and thus are a higher priority for investment. However, since community-level data may indicate other areas of need, CHI welcomes applications from providers that serve a high percentage of under-resourced patients anywhere in the state.

1. Camden

2. Essex

3. Hudson

4. Mercer

5. Passaic

6. Burlington

7. Cumberland

8. Middlesex

9. Monmouth

10. Union
1. Essex

2. Hudson

3. Passaic
4. Atlantic

5. Mercer
6. Camden

7. Ocean

8. Cumberland

9. Middlesex

10. Monmouth

Expectations of Grantees

In order to meet the goals of this initiative and set sites up for success, all applicants commit to adhering to model fidelity; collaborating with and receiving support from CHI staff; engaging with a Centering community of practice; conducting quality improvement activities, and completing data collection, reporting, and any evaluation-related deliverables. These efforts will help improve health outcomes as well as patient satisfaction with received health care, reduce health disparities, and ultimately result in lower costs to the practice and the overall health care and social support systems. Details on specific grant expectations are outlined in each RFA.

Prior to implementation launch, selected grantees will need to complete all required CHI documentation associated with acquiring a Centering site license, including the annual site license fee. Click to view and download samples:


For questions regarding the Centering model, Centering readiness guidelines, licensure and accreditation, please submit an inquiry to CHI.

For any questions regarding this grant, please feel free to contact Mary Fitzmaurice at

Apply Now

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