New Mexico is one of a few states with large geographical challenges for those able to access maternal and child services. Pregnant mothers, newborns and families living in rural, tribal, and underserved communities face barriers accessing appropriate healthcare putting themselves and/or their loved ones at risk for further health disparities. Understanding the need to support and maintain positive health outcomes, professionals have taken on a hybrid approach to provide both in-person visits and telehealth visits. “The need to provide maternal and child health (MCH) education in the state was the impetus for developing a graduate certificate in maternal and child public health” (Tollestrup et al., 2022, p. S3). Why is this so important? The larger the land coverage, the more difficult it is to hire and maintain medical personnel. “Other barriers to access include general provider shortage, lack of affordable insurance, and having to travel long distances for routine and specialty care” (Tollestrup et al., 2022, p. S4). Increased support is needed for specialty care such as maternal and child health and more. Providing hybrid opportunities for those individuals and families living in rural or frontier lands creates a steppingstone for healthier outcomes overall.
Tollestrup, K., Thomas, T. L., Stone, N., Chambers, S., Sedillo, P., Perry, F., & Forster-Cox, S. (2022). The development of a Team-Based, hybrid inter-university graduate certificate program focused on maternal child health professionals. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 26(S1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-022-03455-w
New Mexico Dept. of Health-Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program
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New Mexico Perinatal Collaborative