LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Alabama Rural Health Association calls it "Alabama's Obstetrical Crisis": Not enough obstetricians, not enough pre-natal care, and not enough facilities delivering babies.
Lawrence County Medical Center is a perfect example of a good rural hospital. But they don't deliver babies any more.
And the days of going to the health department for prenatal checkups are over. But the local health department can get you going in the right direction.
Cathy Sanderson is a nurse at the health department.
"They can call us, and we can access them to "Best Start." Best Start is the Medicaid-managed system that handles maternity clients that don't have private insurance," said Sanderson.
The program may have a different name in various areas of the state. They are all in the Medicaid waiver network.
The woman is assigned to a social worker who will see she has an OB/GYN, and that may be in another county.
Transportation is no longer a concern.
"The case managers can help them get transportation and provide funding for them to get to the OB/GYN visits," said Sanderson.
The woman, leading up to delivery, is also given access to the Women Infants and Children program, where she can get fresh food for herself and her children up to age 5.