$4 million of federal funding awarded to help pregnant women, moms in rural Arizona

June 3, 2024
Jordan Grossman

FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AZFamily) — It’s not always easy for people in rural Arizona to access health care, especially for pregnant women and moms.

According to the CDC, maternal mortality rates are on the rise and are even higher in rural communities.

However new federal funding aims to fight these statistics and provide more resources in our state.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will provide the Mariposa Community Health Center in southern Arizona with $4 million over four years.

HRSA Deputy Administrator Jordan Grossman said this money will help moms in rural communities across the state.

“That money is going to go to start and scale new strategies for how do we work together to get moms the care that they need,” Grossman said.

The money will be provided through their Rural MOMS program.

Daniel Prevost with Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales said without funding like this, rural hospitals will continue to shut down.

“We have had a shortage of OBGYN providers,” Prevost said. “Almost two years ago now we almost completely lost our OBGYN labor and delivery department.”

Thankfully, they didn’t have to close but are still rebuilding. Prevost said this new funding will help them grow back that program.

“But you still need somebody on call 24/7 because you never know when something is going to happen,” he said.

Up in Flagstaff, Dr. Madeline Wetterhahn with Northern Arizona Healthcare said she sees patients in the rural area struggle with long drive times, a lack of telehealth and other issues.

But they’ll be there to treat everyone and hopefully, this funding will help them do more.

“I’m hopeful that the funding will also go towards outreach programs helping patients understand that even if they do have health care issues that we’re here to help them even if it isn’t about their pregnancy,” Wetterhahn said.

See the story on KOLD