According to national statistics, more than 54% of rural counties have no hospital-based obstetrics services, leaving 18 million reproductive-age rural women without access to care. Here in Wisconsin, there are twenty counties with no practicing OB-GYN. What are the consequences of these barriers to women’s health in rural areas?
Today on the show, guest host Chali Pittman explores this issue in depth with Dr. Carrie Henning-Smith, assistant professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota. Over the course of the hour, they discuss workforce shortages in rural areas, maternal mortality rates, challenges of mobile health units, and the role of midwives and doulas in increasing access to maternal care in underserved communities.