How HJAHC’s Centering Families Program Supports Women in the Community

Cathy Scott, 32, works hard to support her family, working long hours in the hospitality industry. As a mother to two young children, Isabell, 10, and Giovanni, four months, she also understands the importance of bonding with them. As a Henry J. Austin Health Center (HJAHC) patient for over 12 years, Cathy joined the Centering Families Program, which empowers moms and caregivers to engage in healthcare, make sound decisions, and efficiently take care of their babies.

This program falls under the primary care model certified by the Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI). HJAHC believes that mothers often represent the cornerstone of a family’s overall health. Thus, the program combines one-on-one child and caregiver health assessment, interactive learning, and community building in a postnatal group setting.

Leading up to the birth of her second child, Cathy was anxious. “I was so on my toes, like nervous. Every time I turned around and looked at the news…it tends to put you in a bad mood. It was really stressful, the last eight months before having him. And I just wanted everything to go right.” Cathy knew she was going through postpartum after giving birth, and the nurses at HJAHC recommended that she attend the Centering Families Program.

Cathy is grateful she decided to try the Centering Families group at HJAHC, “I feel so comfortable with them. I was able to jump into mommy mode after ten years!” she exclaimed.  “I thank them for having the Centering group, and if you need a ride there, they’re willing to give you a ride there and back.”

Cathy made this decision to ensure that her children have a better life and future than she did. “I don’t want [my children] to experience anything we experienced growing up. And you know, my mother, she tried hard. But if the lights got cut off, or the gas was off…I never want them to experience that. I always want them to have air conditioning or heat in the winter.”

Cathy loves that she has been able to make close relationships with the nurses and the other moms in the group while sharing advice and uplifting each other. “It’s perfect. We laugh, and we talk about breastfeeding. We talk about everything, and I love it. I feel like I’m different because of it,” she said. “When I’m with the group, there’s no judgment. If I have an issue, they’re open about it; they’re never like, ‘you’re a bad mother.’”

Cathy has many goals for herself and her family, “I want to learn how to drive; I want to go back to school,” she said. “It’s been a little rocky with everything outside being a mom, like working and trying to move and be a better person. But I strive to always have the best things for my babies. That’s what a mom wants, the best for her babies.”

Read more about our Centering Families Program and how you can participate.


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