By Michelle Durham

BURLINGTON CITY, NJ (CBS) – New Jersey’s Health Commissioner was in Burlington City on Monday to announce $13.5 million in grants to nearly a dozen agencies who serve women. The goal is to provide multi-level care to improve pregnancy outcomes for women in communities that have already been identified as having a population at higher risk of complications.

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New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd says the money goes to organizations such as the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center to allow them to provide multiple services to women with one person coordinating all the care.

“That’s the beauty of central intake, that they have one person who can say, ‘What is the situation in your home and with your family and how can we best help you? Do you need insurance, housing education, social services or health care?'”

And they’ll make sure they are healthy before and after the discovery of a pregnancy. O’Dowd says the follow-up doesn’t stop after the baby is born.

President and CEO of Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers Linda Flake says, “the need sometimes is overwhelming and sometimes very, very surprising.”

O’Dowd suggests women in this category reach out to their local community agency to find out what services they are eligible for.

Local Agencies who received this grant money include:

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Southern Jersey Family Medical Center which will serve both Atlantic and Burlington counties

Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, Camden County

Cumberland County Health Department, Cumberland County

Childrenh Futures, Mercer County ($300,000)

Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, Atlantic and Camden counties

Burlington County Community Action Program, Burlington County

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