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NE KY AHEC has received a $9,000 grant as part of an effort to expand and diversify the nation’s maternal health workforce.

April 25, 2023

The Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center (NE KY AHEC) has received a $9,000 grant as part of an effort to expand and diversify the nation’s maternal health workforce.

NE KY AHEC is one of four regional AHECs selected for the “Maternal Health Learning Events” project, which is supported by the federally funded Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center (MHLIC). The National AHEC Organization (NAO) will facilitate a subcontract directly with the selected AHECs on behalf of the MHLIC.

“Northeastern Kentucky has a shortage of maternal health providers, which contributes to negative pre- and postnatal health outcomes for our region’s infants,” said NE KY AHEC Director David A. Gross. “Our hope is that this project will encourage more local students interested in health care careers to consider becoming obstetricians, gynecologists, and nurse midwives.”

Grant recipients will be expected to host a career promotion event with three primary components: screening of a maternal health-focused documentary, followed by a debrief of the film with its producer; providing an overview of maternal health status across the United States and specific to the region where the event is hosted; and recruiting a panel of local maternal health experts who will discuss the work they do and field questions from attendees.

AHECs are expected to cultivate an audience for the event that includes, but is not limited to, late high school students, early college students, and those who are enrolled in undergraduate health professions programs.

NE KY AHEC proposed holding an event in October 2023 for up to 150 students.

Nearly 20 applications were reviewed by a selection committee composed of representatives from the MHLIC, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the NAO. The following criteria were considered: demonstrated need or interest in maternal health workforce expansion; ability to connect the event to existing health careers pipeline programming; and tangible ideas for recruiting attendees from among the targeted student groups.