Bridging the Gap: Improving Maternal and Rural Health Symposium

Join Healthy Birth Day, Inc. for a day of learning about maternal health in rural Iowa. The symposium will explore solutions to improve birth outcomes for Iowa families.


Date: Oct. 30, 2023

Time: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: FFA Enrichment Building, 1055 S. W. Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, IA 50023

Registration: FREE, but it is required. Registration closes Oct. 20.

Continuing Education credits will be provided (more information below).

Continuing Education Approved

Des Moines University is the accredited provider and has approved this activity for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, American Osteopathic Association credit, nursing contact hours, and continuing education contact hours. The speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals, medical procedures, and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. No ineligible company provided financial support for this continuing education activity. If you have questions regarding continuing education credit, please email [email protected].

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CE Credit Information

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Bridging the Gap: Improving Maternal and Rural Health Symposium

Bridging the Gap: Improving Maternal and Rural Health Symposium aims to bring together healthcare professionals, policymakers, researchers, and community leaders for a day of education and awareness about maternal health best practices and policy solutions. Hear from experts across the United States and Iowa about rural inequities in maternal and infant health care and discuss and explore proven solutions. 

This Symposium will focus on current data and trends in maternal health in Iowa and the United States, specifically in rural areas, and the crisis surrounding the lack of access. Together we will discuss and address the unique challenges mothers and families face in rural areas. This conference will provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, best practices — and, most importantly, solutions. By fostering collaboration and dialogue, the symposium aims to develop innovative strategies to improve the overall well-being of mothers and rural communities throughout Iowa, with follow-up conversations in 2024.

This Symposium will focus on current data and trends happening in Iowa and the US in the maternal health areas and shared solutions. 

The viewpoints and opinions expressed in this symposium are those of the presenters and does not necessarily reflect the views of Healthy Birth Day, Inc. 

For general conference questions, contact Mandee Bose.


7:30 – 8:00: Registration and Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15: Welcome 

Morning Sessions: Addressing the Challenges and Solutions in Birthing Center Closures

8:15 – 8:45: The Landscape of Iowa Birthing Centers 

8:45 – 9:30: Opening Plenary Session: Setting the Stage – Research on Birthing Center Closures and Next Steps

9:30 – 10:30: Bridging the Gap: Innovative Clinical Approaches

Moderator – Jill Henkle, RNC-OB – Iowa Statewide Obstetrics Mobile Simulation Team

10:30 – 10:45: Break + Vendors

10:45 – 11:45: Keynote Session #1- Access to maternity care and Evidence-based supports for Maternal and Infant Health in rural areas: the Role of Geography and Equity

11:45 – 12:30 – Lunch

Afternoon Sessions: Analyzing the Intersections: Understanding Maternal Mortality and Solutions

12:30 – 1:45: Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Iowa– Root Causes and Key Opportunities

1:45 – 2:45 Keynote Session #2 – An intersectional look at prevalence, causes, and policy solutions for maternal morbidity and mortality in rural communities

2:45 – 3:00 – Break + Vendors

3:00 – 4:00 – Community-based Solutions – Panel Discussion

4:00 – 4:30 – Closing the Gap: Policy and System Changes for Maternal Rural Health – Closing Session Insights



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Event Sponsors and Exhibitors

Follow the link to learn more about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor at the Solutions Symposium.

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Symposium Partners

Thank You to Our Partners!

We are proud to partner with the following organizations to hold the Solutions Symposium. We are grateful for their support in exploring solutions to improve maternal healthcare and birth outcomes for Iowans.

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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
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The Wellmark Foundation
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Mid-Iowa Health Foundation
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Iowa Total Care
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Iowa Primary Care Association
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Molina Healthcare
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