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Rural Health
News by Topic: Maternal health and prenatal care

Feb 19, 2024 - Highlights a Critical Access Hospital in Iowa expanding the obstetrics department in spite of the statewide and national trend of department closures across the country. Discusses partnerships with nearby clinics, the importance of labor and delivery services to small communities, and philosophies of care.
Source: WSIU, PBS, NPR
Feb 14, 2024 - Highlights priority areas from across the federal government for increasing equity for rural, tribal, and other underserved communities. Includes actions to address maternal health outcomes, food insecurity, environmental health, mental health support services for students, community development, and more.
Source: The White House
Feb 14, 2024 - Announcement of a new collaborative among 6 states aiming to understand the challenges leading to postpartum mortality and find new solutions to address it. This collaborative will work alongside the National Governors Association initiative Improving Maternal and Child Health in Rural America State and Territory Policy Learning Collaborative which focuses on policy to improve health outcomes.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Feb 14, 2024 - Highlights a team of researchers assessing access to maternal care in Maine. Discusses a recent workforce needs assessment report as well as the goals and successes of the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program. Discusses upcoming plans building off the findings of the assessment.
Source: Northeastern Global News
Feb 7, 2024 - Interviews a midwife offering services in a rural Minnesota community with a labor and delivery department closure. Discusses the planning required to travel multiple hours in order to give birth, insurance considerations, and home birth as a solution for limited access to care.
Source: MPR News
Feb 6, 2024 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is requesting information from representatives of health departments, healthcare providers, Critical Access Hospitals, researchers, rural and community health groups, members of the public, and others on maternal health data, particularly what data are most useful and what levels of data should be available. Deadline to submit comments is March 4th.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health Resources & Services Administration's Maternal & Child Health Bureau
Feb 1, 2024 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking comments on the usability, feasibility, and likely uptake of a measure of severe maternal morbidity to be validated, refined, and maintained by the quality indicators program, with the goal of providing data for maternal health service improvements. Comments are due by March 4, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
Jan 25, 2024 - Highlights challenges with accessing maternal care on tribal lands and in rural Minnesota. Discusses workforce shortages and low reimbursement rates from Medicaid as drivers of department closures. Notes high infant and maternal mortality rates for Indigenous Minnesotans.
Source: Minnesota Reformer
Jan 24, 2024 - Summarizes a recent study finding that a peer breastfeeding support program increased rates of breastfeeding among Minnesotan Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants, with the greatest increase seen in rural residents.
Source: Medical Xpress
Jan 23, 2024 - Profiles a hospital in rural Utah offering obstetric services. Discusses labor and delivery closure trends across the country, training for nurses, and the economic benefits of rural hospitals.
Source: The Times-Independent