The impact of National Health Service Corps physicians in the lowering perinatal mortality rate in Dade County, Florida

Hoa N. Nguyen, Mary J. O’Sullivan, Arthur M. Fournier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In some parts of Dade County, Florida, perinatal mortality rate have revealed serious problems in the delivery of health care to poor pregnant women. From 1982-1985, the reported perinatal mortality rates varied from 32-36 per 1000 live births, more than double the national average. Under the leadership of the Primary Health Care Consortium of Dade County (a federation of community health centers and other primary care providers), National Health Service Corps obstetricians and pediatricians served inner-city, medically needy patients as part of a coordinated perinatal plan from 1987-1989. Data on fetal and neonatal deaths, collected from census tracts adjacent to the community health centers, were used to study the impact of Corps obstetrician and pediatrician placement. The respective perinatal mortality rates were compared with those of 1986 as historic controls. Within a year, the overall perinatal mortality rate was reduced by 45%. As a result, an estimated 320 lives were saved between 1987-1989. This public health achievement represents a measurable impact due to assignment of National Health Service Corps physicians and can be used as a working model to reduce perinatal mortality in medically underserved communities in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Volume78
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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