Need: Arkansas had high rates of low birthweight babies, and pregnant individuals in rural areas had difficulty accessing specialty obstetric care.
Intervention: The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) created the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation (IDHI) High-Risk Pregnancy Program to increase access to care for pregnant individuals in an effort to improve outcomes for high-risk pregnancies.
Results: The program has increased access to care and improved neonatal outcomes for rural Arkansas individuals through a variety of programs and has been recognized by various organizations as a model program.
Need: In 12 rural southeast Georgia counties, high-risk pregnant individuals potentially face adverse birth outcomes, including maternal or infant mortality, low birthweight, very low birthweight, or other medical or developmental problems.
Intervention: An in-home nursing case management program for high-risk pregnant individuals in order to maximize pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their newborns.
Results: Mothers carry their babies longer and the babies are larger when born, leading to improved health outcomes.
Need: Hispanic women have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among any ethnicity in the United States.
Intervention: The development of a lay health worker (promotora) curriculum that provided information on cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine to Hispanic farmworker women living in rural southern Georgia and South Carolina.
Results: Significant increases in post-test scores relating to cervical cancer knowledge and increases in positive self-efficacy among promotoras.
Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural veterans, especially women, with a history of trauma.
Intervention: STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) is a 10-week program designed to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and increase emotional regulation and social functioning in clients.
Results: Therapists reported that clients attended more sessions when offered via teleconferencing, and clients reported satisfaction with the program.
Need: High poverty rates and lack of access to healthcare make caring for unborn and newborn children difficult for young mothers in Arkansas's Polk and Garland Counties.
Intervention: An Arkansas-based program provides a national healthcare service to expectant and young mothers. Prenatal check-ups, education, transportation, well-baby checks and child immunizations are all provided by the Healthy Connections, Inc.
Results: The program's results demonstrate an increase in first trimester prenatal care rates and child immunization rates, as well as a dramatic decrease in confirmed cases of child abuse.
Need: To provide personal development programs to ease isolation and provide resources for farm and rural women of Wisconsin.
Intervention: Wisconsin Rural Women's Initiative (WRWI) develops self-sustaining women's circles that work to maintain social connections and develop healthy practices in order to break down the isolating effects of rural living.
Results: WRWI has worked with rural and farm women in 67 counties, providing services that encourage and build self-esteem, teach skills for coping with change, and create an ongoing support system.
Need: To support pregnant and parenting women with a history of substance use, mental health, or co-occurring disorders in rural areas of Montana.
Intervention: One Health, a consortium of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), developed a team of "recovery doulas" – individuals who are dual-certified as doulas and peer-support specialists. The One Health recovery doula program offers group and individual services to women and their partners from pregnancy through the first years of parenthood.
Results: A team of nine recovery doulas (or doulas-in-training) employed by One Health offer services in ten rural Montana counties. Recovery doulas have provided essential support to women with substance use disorder, survivors of sexual abuse, unhoused individuals, and individuals facing other complex challenges.
Need: To improve maternal and birth outcomes in rural and underserved areas by increasing the number of family medicine physicians in these areas who have high-quality, evidence-based obstetrical care skills.
Intervention: The STRETCH-OB program trains a select number of family medicine residents at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford each year to provide high-quality maternity care, including surgical obstetrical care.
Results: The first two STRETCH-OB residents graduated in June 2023.