UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Receives Maternal Health Excellence Grant


Regional Impact to Maternity Services across UnityPoint Health – Grinnell


(GRINNELL, Iowa – June 18, 2024) UnityPoint Health® – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) was awarded the Center of Excellence Grant by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services for July 2024 – June 2025. The $212,500 grant is a targeted continuation of the Iowa HHS grant of the same name, with the initial planning period monies presented to UnityPoint Health in December of 2021, and subsequent continuation awarded to UnityPoint Health – Grinnell each year since to establish Iowa’s framework to sustain access to high quality, obstetric (OB) services for rural populations.

“We remain dedicated to providing quality maternal health care for patients and families in our rural region,” says Laura Juel, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, vice president of nursing and clinical services at GRMC. “We are committed to the growth and outreach of this vital healthcare service, including education and resources, prenatal care, labor and delivery services and postpartum support.”

From July 2023 – June 2024, GRMC focused grant funding on maternal health outreach, postpartum support and connecting new parents with the resources they need. These efforts resulted in 171 OB visits completed from July 2023 – May 2024 at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell’s clinic outreach in Marshalltown. Additionally, 111 postpartum home visits were completed by the public health team during the July 2023 – May 2024 grant period.

UnityPoint Health – Grinnell launched a postpartum support group in December 2023 to provide healthcare expertise as well as an avenue of peer community for postpartum mothers. Postpartum support group is available to all caregivers in the rural GRMC maternal health region through the first year of postpartum and is offered twice a month. Participants do not need to be a UnityPoint Health patient to attend.

Six certified lactation experts support patients through inpatient, public health and clinic care, providing education and one-on-one assistance for a breastfeeding parent, helping them reach their individual breastfeeding goals. Lactation guidance is also offered to postpartum support group attendees.

In the new grant period, UnityPoint Health – Grinnell will continue maternal health and postpartum outreach, postpartum support group, and connect patients to education, resources and supports they need, including mental health services. Additionally, GRMC will finalize floor plan designs for a fourth labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum (LDRP) room and renovate the existing LDRP rooms at GRMC. Construction is tentatively expected to start in Fall 2024 with a multi-phased approach to ensure the 24/7 unit remains functional. Completion of the project is projected for mid-2026.

UnityPoint Health – Grinnell provides high quality, close-to-home maternity care to families in a six-county region where maternal health care and OB delivery can be difficult to access. As of January 2024, 61% of rural Iowa hospitals no longer have an OB unit, leaving only 36 rural hospitals in the state still providing OB care.1

Providers at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell’s Family Practice Clinic and Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic provide OB outreach at the UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown Multi-Specialty Clinic to bring OB care offerings closer to more parents-to-be. They are accepting new OB patients. Call (641) 236-2905 to schedule an appointment to see an OB provider in Grinnell or Marshalltown.