Policy Research Shop Students Present on Maternity Care and Mental Health

On Wednesday, June 1, 2022, two teams of researchers from the Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop presented their findings before an illustrious panel of health care practitioners affiliated with Dartmouth Health and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice—Dr. Sally Kraft, Vice President for Population Health, DH, Greg Norman, Senior Director, Community Health, DH. Maggie Rose Minnock, Director, Regional Program for Women's and Children's Health, DH, Barbara Farnsworth, Director, Community Health Partnerships, DH, and Jackie Pogue, Research Project Manager, TDI. The panel also included NH State Senator Suzanne Prentiss and Integration Services President and CEO Mark Belanger.  The two research projects were commissioned by the soon-to-be-launched Center for Advancing Rural Health Equity (CARHE) at Dartmouth Health. 

The first project—"Maternity Care Deserts in Rural New Hampshire," PRS Policy Brief 2122-06, was presented by Madeline Gochee, Kiara Ortiz, Halle Troadec.  Fiona Sleigh also joined the team as a co-author.  The PRS students highlighted the problems associated with the lack of maternity care coverage across the state and presented a series of possible solutions derived from programs and initiatives found in other states.

The second project—"The Peer Support Solution: A Community-Based Model for Closing the Gap in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Workforce Shortages," PRS Policy Brief 2122-07, was presented by Peter Leutz and Kelly Zeilman.  Miles Rubens also joined the team as a co-author.  Peter and Kelly outlined the shortage in certified mental health and SUD clinicians and offered some innovative solutions that focused on mobilizing peer support networks to provide assistance to those in need.  Models from Connecticut, Maine, and New York City were presented. 

Each presentation generated many engaging questions from the panel.  Each panelist expressed gratitude for the efforts of the two teams.  Dr. Sally Kraft concluded the meeting by expressing her thanks to both teams: "This was excellent, and you can be assured that these papers and notes from your presentation are going to be feeding into the work that we do as we are establishing the Center for Advancing Rural Health Equity.  It's all about looking at who is getting what care and how do we eliminate the unjust variation in health outcomes across our rural environments.  Maternal health is a huge focus; behavioral health—mental health and substance use disorders—another huge focus. We've got to find innovative ways to reach out and help people to achieve their healthiest possible state."