Great Expectations program celebrates first year birthday

The Missouri Ozarks Rural Health Network (MORHN) will host a one-year birthday party for its Great Expectations program from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at the Missouri Ozarks Wellness Center at 603 W. Broadway in Ava.
The network officially launched the program in January 2018, initially focusing on increasing access to comprehensive, coordinated, high-quality maternity care and improved birth outcomes. Partners from Ozark, Douglas, Wright and Texas counties, supported by an Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Health Network grant, say they have seen immediate results from their coordinated efforts.
Dr. Selma Taylor said nearly 100 healthy moms participate in the program and nearly 20 healthy babies have been born with the support of the Great Expectations program. The birthday party, she said, “is really about honoring those families we serve and their commitment to their health and healthy pregnancies.”
Missouri Ozarks Community Health CEO Tim Shryack said early and regular care is essential for ensuring a healthy delivery for both the mother and the baby. “By coming together to raise awareness, referrals and coordinated care, we are already seeing an increase in both the number of pregnant women that are getting care, and an earlier entry into the care system.” MOCH clinics operate in Ava, Cabool, Gainesville, Houston, Mansfield and Mountain Grove.
MORHN’s initial goals include fewer cesarean sections, fewer low-birth weight babies and other steps tha reduce the costs associated with high-risk deliveries.
Network partners include MOCH; Options Pregnancy Center; Jordan Valley Community Health Center; Cox Health; Mercy; the Gainesville Public School District; the Wright, Douglas, Ozark and Texas County Health Departments; Ava Public School District/Parents as Teachers, and Health Tran. Additional healthcare partners will be added in the future.
MORHN director Rebecca Gann said, “Improving birth outcomes in this four-county area is only our beginning.  We are already starting to plan and prioritize additional gaps and needs for this region.”
For more information call 417-683-4831 or visit

Ozark County Times

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