EAST LOS ANGELES : Plaza Center Offers Prenatal Services
The Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program at Plaza Community Center is offering medical attention for pregnant women to reduce the risk of low-weight and premature babies.
The program, which targets women with Medi-Cal insurance, includes regular checkups and health education in English and Spanish to help women learn about breast feeding, nutrition and good health. The program started six months ago and is part of the plaza’s clinic and child care programs.
Medi-Cal “thought that if we could provide preventive measures before the baby is born, it would cost the county less,” said Leonor Lizardo, clinic director. “In our community, it’s a problem of low birth weight and prematurity.”
Latinas between 15 and 44 have the highest pregnancy rate in the county--93.5% per thousand, according to United Way figures. The overall pregnancy rate of women in the county in that age group is 23%, and the U.S. rate is 16.7%.
In 1992, 60% of the births in Los Angeles County were to Latinas, and 12%--the largest group of women--received late or no prenatal care. The figures were 10.9% of African American women and 4.1% of white women.
In addition, Lizardo said she fears that women will be scared to seek medical care because of Proposition 187, the measure passed by voters in November that seeks to deny non-emergency medical treatment and other public services to illegal immigrants. Medical clinics continue to treat patients regardless of immigration status while the measure is being challenged in courts.
The 40 women in the program gather to watch videos on the importance of maintaining their health while they are pregnant, with an emphasis on culturally relevant information, Lizardo said.
Plaza Community Center, 648 S. Indiana St., also offers the Esperanza Project for pregnant women and mothers who have drug and alcohol problems. The program provides counseling, medical care and education.
The center also runs two day-care centers, with about 120 enrolled at the Indiana Street site and in the Pico-Aliso neighborhood. Women enrolled in the center’s programs, as well as working women in the neighborhoods, may enroll their children at the centers.
Information: (213) 268-1107.