Maternal Care at Southcentral Foundation

Health care organizations in the United States are facing a maternal mortality and morbidity crisis. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alaska Native and American Indian people are twice as likely to experience pregnancy related deaths. As part of its commitment to high-quality health services, Southcentral Foundation provides comprehensive programs and services supporting pregnant customer-owners.

Customer-owners receive seamless services in SCF’s system of integrated care, including access to an integrated midwife, behavioral health consultant, and more. In addition, SCF’s OB-GYN Clinic offers team-based care to provide a full spectrum of services to Alaska Native and American Indian women from across the State of Alaska who have a more complex pregnancy and need additional expertise. The clinic is staffed by physicians, certified nurse midwives, advanced nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, behavioral health consultants, registered dietitians, certified medical assistants, and support staff. They work with the pregnant mother’s primary care team, no matter where they are in Alaska, to ensure that the best possible care is offered.

SCF’s OB-GYN Clinic works closely with SCF’s Health Education Department to ensure expectant mothers have access to thorough, timely, and relevant information as they prepare to have a baby. Learning Circles, which are peer-led support groups, are offered through Health Education and include Maternal Child Health and Toddler Time. SCF also operates the Nutaqsiivik Nurse-Family Partnership, which is a voluntary, home visiting program that provides education and support in a customer owner’s home as a supplement to regular prenatal care and well-child checkups.

SCF’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic serves Alaska Native and American Indian women (and their families) from across the State of Alaska who have the highest-risk pregnancies. The staff provide compassionate care for women with chronic health conditions and unexpected problems during pregnancy. The clinic works collaboratively with the pregnant mother, their family, and their primary care team (no matter where they are located in the State) to achieve the best possible health outcomes. Maternal-Fetal Medicine providers are OB-GYNs who have completed an additional 3 years of education and clinical experience focusing on the most complex pregnancies to develop specialized skills to support both the mother and the baby. The team includes board certified MFM physicians, registered nurse case managers who have specialized training in obstetrics and gynecology, labor and delivery, and fetal monitoring. The clinic also has two registered diagnostic medical sonographers who are specially trained in prenatal ultrasound and fetal echocardiography, the only two in the state with these skills.

The clinic also has a certified genetic counselor who works with pregnant customer-owners and their families who have an increased chance of having a baby with a genetic condition. During pregnancy, if a baby is found to have a genetic condition, the counselor helps the family understand the medical information–what to expect, how to prepare, and pregnancy options. The counselor can also take a detailed family history and offer appropriate screening and testing options, as well as counseling the family about the risk of having the same genetic issue in future pregnancies.

For more information about SCF’s care for pregnant mothers, or any other aspect of SCF’s Nuka System of Care, feel free to contact the SCF Learning Institute.