Maternity Care Provider ShortageAccess to maternity care services has been a major focus of the Partnership since it was created in 2006. The Partnership’s Provider Access and Shortage Areas Committee works to improve access to maternity care in the state. Many counties in West Virginia do not have a prenatal or birth facility and women have to travel long distances for care. Click here to view a map of the birth facilities in West Virginia. 

One way the shortage of maternity professionals is being addressed is through the development of certified nurse-midwife programs. Marshall University School of Nursing partnered with Shenandoah University in Wincester, Virginia, to offer a concentration in midwifery through the Master of Science in Nursing Program. In addition, West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon and Shenandoah University offer a master of science in nursing degree with a certificate of endorsement in nurse-midwifery.

An Obstetrical Fellowship Program is another important way that the maternity care provider shortage is being addressed in the state. In 2012, the Partnership provided matching funds to the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Eastern Division, for Dr. Konrad Nau to conduct a feasibility study for an obstetrical fellowship program for the Family Medicine Program. With the assistance of the grant and University Healthcare support, the WVU Rural Maternal Child Fellowship Program was created. The first fellow signed on in early 2014 and applications have been received for 2015. For more information about the program, contact Fellowship Program Director Angela Oglesby, M.D., moc.e1503019639racht1503019639laehu1503019639vw@ay1503019639bselg1503019639o1503019639.

Emergency Maternity Care and Communication Workshops are also an innovative educational method to better equip medical and nursing personnel for providing maternity care. Shenandoah University’s Midwifery Program, the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership and CAMC Health Education and Research Institute collaborate to provide continuing education to emergency medical technicians, nurses, practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, paramedics and physicians to prepare them to provide emergency maternity care when needed.

The Partnership’s Provider Access and Shortage Areas continues to make every effort to ensure that needed maternity care providers are available in the state and that certified nurse- midwives, nurse practitioners and physicians work collaboratively to provide services in underserved areas of West Virginia.

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