Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration


The final part in our four-part Defying Despair series, this webinar discussed ongoing efforts to increase access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder and guide people on a path to recovery.

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Maternal Health in Crisis: Ensuring Nationwide Access to Maternity Care Providers

August 22, 2017 | 11:00 AM
12:30 PM ET

MCH Workforce NumberNearly half of all U.S. counties lack a practicing OB-GYN, and the shortage is expected to grow, with projections showing as many as 8,800 fewer OB-GYNs practicing than will be needed in 2020. Maternity workforce shortages and maldistribution are of particular concern for the Medicaid program, which covers about half of all births in the U.S. Meanwhile, American women are dying from pregnancy-related complications at a higher rate than in any other developed country—a problem that’s exacerbated by limited access to providers.

This webinar, presented by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and NIHCM Foundation with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, explored the following:

  • The dynamics behind maternity workforce challenges, particularly in rural and other underserved areas
  • An example of a public-private collaboration to connect Medicaid mothers-to-be with prenatal care and resources like transportation to doctor visits
  • How financial incentives can be used to encourage medical professionals to specialize in maternal health and to work in underserved areas


Ashlyn Christianson
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Katy Kozhimannil, PhD
University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
Mallory Schwarz
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Lisa Kane Low, PhD
American College of Nurse-Midwives

Presentation Slides

"Addressing the Shortage of Maternal Care Providers," by Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
"Policy Solutions to Workforce Shortages in Women's Health Care," by Mallory Schwarz
"The Rural Obstetric Workforce in the US Hospitals: Challenges & Opportunities," by Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA
"Maternity Management for Medicaid Mothers-to-be: High Risk Pregnancy Pilot," by Ashlyn Christianson, MS

Additional Resources

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists