A Centering Pregnancy Update
Caring for Mothers-to-Be, Partners and Families in a Supportive, Fun Environment

Esperanza’s new Centering Pregnancy program, which began at the health center in early 2016, has fostered community and mutual support among the participants – many of whom are first-time moms without a strong support system. Each two-hour Centering Pregnancy session includes a medical checkup with an Esperanza clinician, snacks, and a group discussion time. The discussions have explored topics such as dental care, nutrition, preparing for labor, domestic violence, contraceptive use, and breastfeeding.

The current Centering Pregnancy class has a total of 11 moms-to-be (photo, R, with four moms missing). Jessica Torres, Esperanza patient and Centering Pregnancy class participant, proposed a reunion for all Centering moms with their babies after giving birth: “I think it would be really nice to see each other’s babies and to check in on how it is going!” 

Part of a recent Centering Pregnancy session was dedicated to the importance of reading to children from a young age. Esperanza’s Marilyn Childs, who in addition to her work as Billing Specialist is a Certified Montessori Preschool Educator, led the group discussion and did a reading demonstration. She highlighted the fact that starting from birth, young children are busy forming skills needed for learning to talk, read and write, and encouraged participants to create reading habits from an early age. She read some excerpts from children’s classics such as Good Night, Gorilla and Hop on Pop, as she modeled interactive reading strategies. 

As Michelle Randolph, RN, OB/GYN Nurse Care Manager/Administrator, explained: “This model of OB care is a great fit for our community! Our moms and their families have been able to share so much knowledge and encouragement with one another, and I believe that is what has truly made the biggest difference in the care that we are able to provide through Centering.”

Jillian Smith, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Joins Esperanza!

Esperanza welcomes Jillian Smith, BA, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, as our newest clinician! She will provide pediatric primary care services to patients at our Kensington site. She joins Esperanza after having served for the past two years with a pediatric group practice in rural eastern Tennessee. Ms. Smith earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society, and is a cum laude graduate of Covenant College. 

“I’m excited to be joining a group of people who unabashedly love the Lord, and out of that love are serving those that are often marginalized or overlooked,” said Jillian. “I want to live my faith boldly and I see those as Esperanza doing just that. I have every confidence the Lord will give me the grace to do the work he has planned for me here, whatever that may be. I’m also excited to be able to speak Spanish on a more regular basis!”  In her free time, she enjoys running with her dog, Shea, hiking, food and traveling, and is actively involved as a member of Crossroads Community Church in Upper Darby, PA located near Philadelphia. 

“Pop-Up Shop” at Esperanza a Success

On February 17th, Esperanza partnered with two local social services organizations, OurCloset and Casa del Carmen, to create a clothing “Pop-Up Shop.” Together, they transformed the classroom and gym at Esperanza’s Hunting Park site into a waiting area and a free clothing boutique, respectively. The event was open to any community member in need of clothing for themselves or their family.

The results of the event were a great blessing, both to the surrounding community and for the organizations involved! One hundred people received 450 items of clothing through OurCloset, who brought 15 volunteers to serve. In the waiting area, Esperanza’s Community Health Promoters conducted 30 blood pressure screens, and a new Promoter was recruited from the community. Casa del Carmen provided a free car seat awareness workshop and raffled booster seats and gift baskets; in addition, seventeen guests registered for their Pregnancy program.

Said Alejandra Tarquino, Integrated Care Coordinator at Esperanza, who planned and led the event: “For a first-time event, the Pop-Up Shop went great! I think the partnerships and hard work of Our Closet, Casa del Carmen, and Esperanza Health Center helped to make this a success! God used this collaboration to bless our community and to help each organization accomplish their missions of serving vulnerable populations with dignity and love.”


Current Open Positions

We see our work as a calling to serve God in our community, and we’re seeking qualified, professional individuals to join us in advancing our mission!  Please visit our website at https://www.esperanzahealth.com/opportunities/ to view our latest openings and to apply online.