New Research Report: Access to Maternity Care in Rural Pennsylvania

Dr. Sharon Bernecki DeJoy and Dr. David J. Doorn of West Chester University of Pennsylvania examined access to maternity care in rural Pennsylvania. It included a workforce analysis and a survey of stakeholders and key informants.

The research projected that the supply of obstetricians in rural practice will not increase over the next five years. However, there was a projected growth in the number of midwives and family practice physicians in the next five years, which may partially help with the shortage of obstetricians.

Eighteen rural Pennsylvania counties are or are forecasted to be “maternity care deserts,” where there are not enough providers to ensure access for all pregnant people.

Three broad areas for policy development : recruit more maternity care providers to work in rural areas, encourage innovation in interprofessional maternity care models, and maintain and place resources for maternity care in locations where they are scarce.

Here’s the full report, Access to Maternity and Obstetric Care in Rural Pennsylvania.