The March of Dimes has awarded a grant to El Centro de Corazón to support its CenteringPregnancy® program that is aimed at improving the health of moms and babies and preventing preterm birth in particular, here in Houston’s East End. CenteringPregnancy® is a group model of prenatal care that has been proven to improve birth outcomes.  This program will provide 220 underserved women with prenatal care, education and social support.  Additionally, El Centro seeks to increase the average number of prenatal visits and to decrease its Centering no-show rate through this program.

This grant is one of many that the March of Dimes awards in pursuit of its mission to prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.

“We will use the March of Dimes grant to help meet our objective of providing mothers and babies with exceptional prenatal care,” said Marcie Mir, CEO of El Centro de Corazón.  “We are grateful to those volunteers who support the March of Dimes by participating in events like March for Babies and who donate in other ways.  That participation and those donations make this grant possible,” she said.

Serving Houston’s East End community since 1994, El Centro is an accomplished Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with three health centers that offer a comprehensive range of pediatric and adult health care services, which include primary care, women’s health, dental care, and behavioral health services.  Additionally, El Centro improves women’s health and birth outcomes by addressing barriers to care, increasing access to quality care and providing educational resources that encompass early intervention and prevention to meet the needs of women in all stages of life and health.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at or its Spanish language Web site at