- Timothy Fisher, MD
- Stacey McMorrow, PhD
- Sarah Benatar, PhD
Research Project Description
Rural hospitals face significant challenges, including low demand, difficulty attracting and retaining staff, and socioeconomically disadvantaged patient populations. These issues may be exacerbated for labor and delivery services due to declining birth rates and Medicaid’s dominant role in paying for births in the US. In New Hampshire, several hospitals have shuttered their labor and delivery wards in recent years, including two more anticipated in 2018. This research proposes to investigate the causes and resulting consequences of recent closures of hospital maternity wards in rural New Hampshire. Using a mixed-methods approach grounded in Community Based Participatory Research principles, this project will explore what has led to these closures, how they may have affected maternal and infant outcomes, and community perceptions of these changes. The methods will include key informant interviews, focus groups with pregnant and postpartum women, and a rigorous analysis of New Hampshire birth records and hospital discharge data. The results of this research could provide critical information for providers and policymakers focused on maintaining access to high quality maternity care services for a rural population.
Timothy Fisher, MD
Timothy Fisher currently serves as the Ob/Gyn Residency Program Director and Interim Director of the Division of General Ob/Gyn at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Medical Director of the Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN).
Stacey McMorrow, PhD
Stacey McMorrow is a health economist and senior research associate in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. She uses quantitative methods to study the factors that affect individual health insurance coverage and access to care and to evaluate the impacts of state and national health reforms.
Sarah Benatar, PhD
Sarah Benatar is a Senior Research Associate in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. She studies how public policies impact vulnerable populations’ health and development outcomes, with an interest in the intersection between health care, health coverage, and child/family support systems. She has methodological expertise designing and leading large multi-site case studies.
Issue Brief: New Hampshire
Provider and Patient Perspectives on Labor and Delivery Unit Closures in Rural New Hampshire