New program at Iowa aims to offer midwifery services in more rural areas

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:17 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Erin Almelien of Washington, Iowa is just one of many parents who has benefited from UIHC’s midwifery services. She and her partner welcomed their first born, Anders, with the help of a midwife.

But soon after, their local hospital shut down.

“Like so many of the county hospitals, our hospital, between the two years we had our two children, had closed down,” said Almelien.

Soon, they were expecting their second child, Ellis.

UIHC’s midwifery services were eventually offered in Washington.

“I had all my check ups here in Washington even though we knew the birth would be there in Iowa City at the University,” she said.

Other rural areas also saw their regional hospitals close or limit services.

That’s why Dr. Lastascia Coleman, Certified Nurse Midwife with UIHC, spearheaded a new masters program in midwifery to extend services to those areas.

“We know that there has been significant hospital closures throughout the state which has left a lot of patients without convenient care options,” said Dr. Coleman.

There are no other programs in the state of Iowa that can provide nurse midwifery education at this level.

Dr. Coleman says she hopes this program will persuade nursing students at Iowa to stay in the state and help expecting parents all over.

“We intend to have a focus on providing care to those who have health disparities or those who live in rural areas,” she said.

Students can enroll in the program beginning in the fall of 2022.

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