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Center of Excellence programs to expand in Iowa due to St. Anthony’s success

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Due to St. Anthony Regional Hospital’s success with the Center of Excellence program, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced she will implement two more programs in the state of Iowa. From left to right, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Jack Sayers, page for the Iowa House of Representatives, Trish Roberts, director of St. Anthony Foundation, Gov. Kim Reynolds, Allen Anderson, president and CEO of St. Anthony, Ginny Uhlenkamp, director of the Birth Place and Ashleigh Wiederin, outreach coordinator of the Birth Place.

In her Condition of the State Address, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced her plans for a maternal health care package — a program that has demonstrated success locally. 

On Monday, Reynolds said two additional Center of Excellence programs will be implemented in the state, which allows primary care providers to connect rural patients with OB-GYN services.

“To support our families, we need a strong healthcare system in every part of the state,” Reynolds said during the address. “While our healthcare system is in the top 10 nationally, we still face challenges, especially in rural Iowa.”

In the state of Iowa, St. Anthony Regional Hospital is one of the two hospitals to utilize the pilot program, alongside UnityPoint Health-Grinnell Regional Medical Center. 

“They’ve been so successful, I’m asking the legislature to expand the program to fund two additional centers,” Reynolds said. 

Reynolds also requested the Iowa Legislature to fund four OB fellowships for primary care doctors, which she said will help address the demand for services in rural areas.

Moreover, Reynolds announced she will increase funding for the health care apprenticeship program, which was created last year. The funding will be increased from $3 million to $15 million. 

The program launched at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in 2021, with the hospital now in its second year of funding. 

Receiving a grant of $212,500, the hospital used the money for updating The Birth Place. The additions included new furniture in the birthing suites and nursery, as well as new equipment such as fetal monitors and phototherapy equipment. 

Additionally, the grant helped staff members of the Birth Place staff become certified OB nursing providers. It also helped providers offer further lactation and parenting training, both in-person and online.

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