St. Lawrence Health

CPH Receives Grant for Maternal Health

$750K awarded under the HRSA State Maternal Health Innovation Program.

Nov. 20, 2023 3   min read

This little bundle of joy was born in CPH's The Birthplace in 2023.

POTSDAM, NY – Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH) has been informed their request for grant funding under the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) 2023 State Maternal Health Innovation Program has been approved. CPH will receive $750,000 over the course of five years, or $150,000 per year, to assist in the reduction of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.

New York State Department of Health (DOH) was the lead applicant and partnered with CPH, Cardinal Health in Cortland, and the North Country Prenatal and Perinatal Council, which will each receive their own funding through the grant program. The St. Lawrence Health Foundation had a fundamental role in applying for the grant on behalf of CPH, and has been the backbone of effective fund development strategies for the Hospital for years.

The goal of the HRSA 2023 State Maternal Health Innovation Program is to improve maternal health throughout the United States.

“CPH is developing a Maternal Outreach Program as part of a rural healthcare strategy to assist our un- and under-insured Medicaid population. We will address barriers to care through a comprehensive outreach program that includes behavioral healthcare and social determinants of healthcare,” noted St. Lawrence Health President Donna McGregor.

“Funding through the HRSA grant will assist CPH in providing patient navigation, telehealth resources, and education to new moms, and therefore, assist their infants,” she added.

The Birthplace at CPH served 567 pregnant and postpartum women in 2022, and the number of births here are expected to increase by at least 33.5% to nearly 800 or more over the next two years. A decade ago there were 10 hospitals with labor/delivery services between St. Lawrence and Franklin counties; today there are half as many remaining.

American Congress of Obstetricians research studies indicate 40% of women do not attend a post-partum visit. St. Lawrence Health Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Lougheed explained CPH will be using a telehealth model for staff to visit with new mothers. This will help span any racial and/or economic disparities that may create a barrier for the mother and her baby to get to a medical office for an in-person follow-up.

Technology Assists in Follow-Up Care

“These telehealth visits are an ideal opportunity for our clinical staff members to make an assessment of the baby and promote his/her healthy growth and development, and to discuss the healing process of the physical demands of a pregnancy with the new mother. It also serves as a time to check on the emotional well-being of the new mom and her family,” Ms. Lougheed said.

“Providing post-partum assessment and education will improve the health status of our community, and have a long-term impact on the health of children as they mature into adulthood,” she continued. “As we assist in having healthier communities, we will see a decrease in chronic illness.”

CPH will be working collaboratively with a number of NY State agencies to develop the Maternal Health Program to improve the care of its postpartum patients.

“By identifying emotional stress in the postpartum phase, we will be better able to intervene and prevent maternal distress which could build up to illness, or even death, for some new mothers,” Ms. Lougheed said.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital is in the process of building a multi-million dollar Regional Care Pavilion which will include a new and larger obstetrics unit. Learn more about Women’s Health Services provided through St. Lawrence Health.