Supporting More Effective Integration of Midwives into the Health Care System
Nearly every MANA stats contributor has had the opportunity to work with Jen Brown, BS, in her capacity as DOR project manager. What you may not know about is her role in supporting efforts to more effectively integrate Alaskan midwives into the health care system. As part of her MPH program in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology, Jen spent the summer working as an intern with the Alaska Division of Public Health.
Alaska has the nation’s highest rate of community births, with about seven percent occurring at birth centers or at home. When the Alaskan Perinatal Quality Collaborative wanted to integrate midwives, Jen helped to identify effective strategies by conducting focus groups with community providers, capturing key areas where home and birth center providers’ needs and concerns overlapped with those who work in the hospital. As in many regions, safe and smooth transfer emerged as an issue where further support, including learning from other state-level transfer initiatives, could make a difference. Jen connected the group with resources such as Washington State’s Smooth Transitions program and provided them with a report on other potential next steps.
To learn more about Jen’s work, contact her at email@example.com.
Additionally, the Alaska Division of Public Health wanted to learn more about who is receiving birthing care in the community setting in the state. Jen conducted a data analysis of the community births using birth certificate data, examining transfer rates, regional variations (which are particularly important given the geography of the state and lack of transfer options in some areas), and other key variables.