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New Nonprofit Seeks to Improve Maternal Health Care in Arkansas

2 min read

A new maternal health nonprofit announced the launch of a digital platform for Arkansas parents to share their personal experiences before, during and after pregnancy, with the goal of improving to raising public awareness and improving maternal health care in the state.

AIM for Arkansas will advocate for pro-family policies, including:

  • Improved access: One of the most significant barriers to access results from inadequate public health insurance reimbursement rates. Low rates cause issues for hospitals in hiring doctors and nurses. To address the access gap, AIM said it will support increasing reimbursement rates for providers who deliver babies (both doctors and midwives).
  • Improved affordability: The 2023 Arkansas Maternal Mortality Review Committee report recommended extending insurance coverage from 60 days to one year postpartum “to monitor the mother’s physical and mental health.” AIM will support the bipartisan effort to increase Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. Arkansas is one of only eight states that has not passed this life-saving legislation.
  • Improved quality: All Arkansans should have access to highly skilled and licensed OB/GYNs and perinatal care providers. To ensure mothers and infants have the highest quality of care, AIM will support increasing funding for workforce training through medical schools and increasing the number of residency slots to train providers in the state

AIM for Arkansas is led by Executive Director Ashley Bearden Campbell of Little Rock, a 15-year veteran of the public affairs and consulting industry who has served on the boards of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Race for the Cure and 3 Miles of Men.

Campbell has personal experience with the maternal health issues that AIM for Arkansas is looking to address. In May of 2022, she delivered her daughter via emergency cesarean at 28 weeks. The child weighed just 2 pounds and 4 ounces and had numerous health complications. A nurse recognized that Campbell had signs of postpartum depression, anxiety and PTSD and provided recommendations for mental health services.

“A child’s future starts at home,” Bearden said in a statement. “We know that when moms do not have access to quality healthcare when they are pregnant, children are more likely to suffer over the long term.

“Not getting the right start in life can diminish educational outcomes and even erode our collective public safety. Arkansas must listen to these families in order to ensure a brighter future for our state and all its residents. With some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the country, Arkansas policymakers have no time to spare.”

 

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