The Rural Ob Access & Maternal Service (ROAMS) grant for Northeastern New Mexico

By Colleen Durocher, ROAMS Executive Director

The health and wellness of a woman is critical to achieving safe outcome for her and her baby. Access to care is vital because it allows providers to identify, treat, and stabilize chronic conditions; address behavioral health needs; and plan for a healthy and intentional pregnancy.

The Rural Ob Access & Maternal Service (ROAMS) grant awarded to Holy Cross in partnerships with Miners Hospital in Raton, Union County Hospital in Clayton, the Questa Health Center and Taos Firs Steps program, aims to improve mothers’ access to medical and continuum of care support services. Much progress has been made in the planning year and we hope to begin implementation in September 2020.

New Ob equipment has been received for two new pre to post-natal exams rooms at the Quests Health Center and in Clayton at the Union County General Hospital, as well as updated Ob equipment for Holy Cross and Miner Colfax Medical Center. The ROAMS Clinical Team is coming up with schedules to see patients at the new clinics in September. Taos practitioners will see patients at the new Questa office, so mothers don’t have to make the drive to Holy Cross. Telehealth appointments in which mothers can meet with a Taos Ob from their home, or Questa Health Center, will also be offered. As a result of feedback from local Mother’s Surveys regarding their Ob care, the Clinical Team recommended that the ROAMS Network establish a Telehealth relationship with a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) group. This will result in local high risk mothers being able to get more pre-natal care locally with the support of MFM Telehealth.

Agreements with social service providers in Taos, Colfax and Union counties are also being developed. ROAMS is partnering to support mothers and young families to access the services that are available to them. Focus areas are: breastfeeding, home visiting, parenting classes, wellness, signing up for Medicaid or insurance, accessing financial support, and reducing incidence of unwanted and teen pregnancies. ROAMS will support pre to post-natal social service providers through advertising and providing lap tops and tablets for social service Telehealth.

ROAMS is working to ensure that high quality Labor & Delivery and Maternal Health Services remain in Northeastern New Mexico. In 2015 72% of births in NM were paid for my Medicaid and the reimbursement rates are not covering the costs. ROAMS is meeting with Medicaid to advocate for better reimbursement and the scope of services covered. ROAMS Network facilities only deliver about 60% of the babies born in the region each year. Many private payers are not accessing the ROAMS Network hospitals. ROAMS is investigating the market loss through surveying local mothers. Currently there are Survey Monkey links in English and Spanish on the ROAMS Facebook page and when it is safe to meet in person again, ROAMS will form a Mother’s Advisory Council to continually provide an opportunity input. A ROAMS website is also being developed.

Let’s Work Together!

If you have suggestions or want to collaborate contact:
Colleen Durocher, CDurocher@TaosHospital.or

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