Sunday, November 5, 2023

Bill Crawford: Meridians Hope to Reduce Deadly Maternity Care Deserts

“Maternity deserts can be deadly” headlined a recent story in the McComb Enterprise JournalThe March of Dimes defines maternity care deserts as counties with no hospitals that provide obstetric care and no certified obstetric providers.

Unnecessary deaths are no surprise in a state where 42 of 82 counties qualify as maternity care deserts, which suffers from a critical shortage of maternity care providers, and which boasts the highest rates for infant and maternity mortality.

Two separate conferences held last month in Jackson focused on improving access to health care. The American Cancer Society partnered with non-profit Together for Hope at Duling Hall. Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church focused its annual T.W. Lewis Lecture Series on Jesus and a Just Society on “Access to Health Care: a Gospel Response.” At both events, key solutions identified to help reduce maternal care deserts included: 1) integrating midwives and their model of care into hospitals; and 2) training more physicians in obstetrics care.

Two medical professionals with Meridian connections are at the forefront of efforts to do just that.

Meridian native Janice Taleff Scaggs, D.N.P, leads an initiative to implement the midwife model of care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Long-time Meridian physician Lee Valentine, D.O., helps lead an initiative to train family physicians in obstetrics care.

“Research shows that integrating midwifery care into a healthcare system improves maternal and neonatal outcomes and is a cost-effective safe option for maternal care,” explained Scaggs. Dr. J. Martin Tucker, chair of UMMC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, brought Scaggs on board in 2020 to help integrate midwifery back into the system. “Having CNMs as team members and collaborators enhances patient care as well as student and resident education,” he told UMMC News Stories.  

Dr. Valentine, a co-founder of the EC Health Net family medicine residency program in Meridian, and Dr. Melissa Stephens are designing a one-year fellowship program to qualify family physicians in prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care.

Valentine told Mississippi Today that most family physicians avoid delivering babies because of high costs for malpractice insurance. That cost falls considerably when physicians get obstetrics training and can prove competence to a malpractice insurer.

“Patients sometimes don’t get any (prenatal care) and they show up in the emergency room delivering,” Valentine told Mississippi Today. “That’s got to change.”

“UMMC is poised to provide an evidence-based intervention for improving maternal and neonatal outcomes in Mississippi that could be a model for the rest of the state,” Scaggs explained. As her program grows, Scaggs foresees UMMC expanding nurse-midwifery clinics to serve maternity care deserts – first in deserts near UMMC in Claiborne, Copiah, Simpson, and Yazoo Counties then later in other parts of the state.

Mississippi moms and babies need both initiatives to succeed.

 “Do not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother” – Deuteronomy 15:7.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.



Anonymous said...

Yessss! Let us keep spending taxpayer money on the non-productive breeders! That will definitely help this impoverished state!

Anonymous said...

I understand that Mr. Crawford is trying to earn his hospital association salary, but every once in a while he should slip the truth in. That truth being that the high infant mortality rate is mostly the fault of the mothers having poor health.

This comes straight from the Mississippi State Department of Health;

Mississippi has a high rate of women with chronic medical conditions. Preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the leading cause of infant death in Mississippi. Infants born preterm are at an increased risk of breathing complications, infections and brain injury.

No amount of money, no number of buildings, no number of caring professionals, can overcome poor personal choices. Obesity is rampant in this state, with morbid obesity quickly gaining. In my opinion, this problem should be addressed beginning in the elementary school years.

Anonymous said...

Follow the lawsuits. A fair/competent judicial system and jury pools are key considerations for any investments and business establishments.

Anonymous said...

Before I clicked on this story, I knew that the commenters would have something against efforts to reduce infant mortality. And, boy, y'all didn't disappoint. Y'all apparently prefer kids to be dead--at least if they are born to poor mothers.

Y'all are morally disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the middle-aged rum-drinker in Belhaven @ 1:26. Time to flip them wangs on the hibachi.

Anonymous said...

Not-too-sure about the rum-drinker... or Belhaven..? But we get get your point.

Anonymous said...

@1:26. I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

I know of Ob/Gyn doctors that stop doing OB because of insurance. I can't imagine why a Family Practitioner would want to take on the dual patient liability of delivering babies. Prenatal care is one thing but actually delivering with a "trained" FP but a hospital that lacks the training and proper nursery care seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

The post at 10:08 posits a much better perspective than the virtue signaling shared by 1:26.

Anonymous said...

Can't fix population loss with wasteful subsidies. You can't live in Podunk and expect taxpayers to backstop the bill for the same full range of health care options as offered in dense population centers. If you want a ready availability to everything health care under the sun move your asses out of those areas of Mississippi that have, and are, folding like lawn chairs.

Anonymous said...

8:45 is right.

There is only so much one person can do FOR someone else. At some point the second person has to take responsibility and do some work himself or herself.

Anonymous said...

November 5, 2023 at 8:50 AM "non-productive breeders", really? Shame on you. You will have to answer for that one day.
Pregnancy complications occur in "productive" citizens as well.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS