AAFP Highlights Importance of Rural Maternal Health Care

On Feb. 15, Julie Wood, M.D., FAAFP, the AAFP’s Senior Vice President of Research, Science, and Health of the Public; the Robert Graham Center’s Yalda Jabbarpour, M.D.; and AAFP member Drew Miller, M.D., FAAFP, presented at the National Rural Health Association’s Policy Institute Conference to discuss how family physicians play an instrumental role in providing maternity care in rural communities

Miller shared the novel ways his practice is providing pregnancy and delivery care in rural Kansas. Jabbarpour shared research from the Robert Graham Center that highlights the important role family physicians are playing in maternity care deserts. Of note:

  • More than one-third of counties in the United States have been identified as maternity care deserts. 
  • Family physicians deliver babies in more than 40% of all U.S. counties, and more than half of these counties are located in nonmetropolitan areas.  
  • Family physicians are the sole maternity care clinicians delivering babies in 181 maternity care deserts, serving more than 400,000 women.