Rural Maternity Medical Home
Maternity Outreach Project
The Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) offers a program for pregnant women to support Governor Holcomb’s agenda to decrease Indiana’s infant mortality by 2024. The IRHA Rural Maternity Medical Home Access program is being offered through grant funding received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program D04RH31782.
This program is offered to pregnant women in an eight-county region of west central Indiana which includes Parke, Clay, Sullivan, Vigo, Greene, Putnam, Owen, and Vermillion. These targeted counties are plagued by significant sociodemographic and economic disparities that, when combined, contribute to a high prevalence and incidence of risk-taking behaviors, poor lifestyle choices, and ultimately poor quality of life among pregnant women, their newborn infants, and children.
Our unique prenatal program aims to promote healthy behaviors and places more emphasis on reducing risks associated with low birthweight before pregnancy occurs. We focus on education, identifying at-risk and high-risk pregnancies early, connecting women to resources for identified health related topics, and improving access to enhanced perinatal care services. Women are connected with trained Perinatal Navigators who support and guide women and their baby through postpartum and up to baby’s first 18 months.
Given the broad longitudinal impact of early health interventions and outcomes, the opportunity to effect Indiana’s infant mortality rates overall, as well as, the negative consequences of suboptimal maternity care for the U.S. healthcare system and for society in general, it is of utmost importance to improve care for this population. The maternity medical home offers a means to organize and anchor other interventions and ensure coordination of often-fragmented social, behavioral, and health services.
Cindy Large, BSN, RN