Local GRMC Maternity Care Impacted by UnityPoint Health Center of Excellence Grant Award

mom kissing baby's feet
(GRINNELL, Iowa – May 31, 2022) UnityPoint Health® was awarded the Center of Excellence Grant by the Iowa Department of Public Health and was one of only two health care organizations to receive it. This $212,500 grant will support the work of UnityPoint Health’s Women’s Health Service Line to establish Iowa’s framework to sustain access to high-quality, obstetric (OB) services for rural populations.

“We are very excited to be part of this groundbreaking work, especially as we see continued threats of OB units closing around the state and limited providers offering maternity care in rural Iowa,” says Sheena Kundid, MSN, RN, UnityPoint Health Women’s Health Service Line Operations Director. “By attaining this grant, we are at the forefront of working together with the State of Iowa to develop a foundation program for what care for these rural populations will look like moving forward.”

Focus areas of this grant include rural maternal health needs in Iowa, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama counties and maternity care services at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC). A team continues to finalize a plan on how to implement the grant dollars. This impact will be seen over the next couple of years.

“This grant is a great opportunity for our local hospital,” says Jennifer Havens, RN, MHA, FACHE, CEO of GRMC. “As a rural health care provider, it is important to have resources close to home for individuals who are expecting, trying to conceive or need postpartum support. We are excited to see our maternity services continue to grow and the positive impact this grant will create for our current and future patients.”

GRMC provides high-quality, close-to-home maternity care to women in a six-county region where maternal health care can be difficult to access.

“When you’re expecting, you count on the very best care – for yourself and your baby,” says Sheryl Baarda, RNC-OB, nurse manager of OB at GRMC. “This grant will allow us to care for more patients before, during and after pregnancy and expand on all of the great things already happening at GRMC.”

In 2020, 153 babies were born at GRMC followed by 202 babies in 2021. At GRMC, we deliver joy. To learn more about maternity services at GRMC, visit unitypoint.org/grinnell/maternity.