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COORDINATE RURAL HEALTH PROJECTS

Rural Obstetrical & Maternity Sustainability Program

The Rural Obstetrical and Maternity Sustainability Program (ROAM–SP) funds maternity teams in rural British Columbia to strengthen their peer, facility and regional networks and enhance rural maternity care services. ROAM also helps rural communities to develop and roll out tailored plans that address the specific needs of their maternity care providers.

Attendees at the 2023 Rural Maternity Summit
“The opportunity to access ROAM funding has been a source of inspiration and support to our local maternity network, and is helping to create positive engagement opportunities, and enhance attendance at events within our maternity unit. We are very appreciative of this funding, and its efforts to support rural maternity care.”
Community Report 

Achievements

Funded activities led to improvements in working relationships, skills and satisfaction

With funding support for 32 teams in 2023, participants were able to use these funds to pursue a variety of initiatives focused on local priorities designed to enhance maternity services in their communities. ROAM funds were used to bring together teams to review case files, create and review care plans, organize education and simulation sessions and to facilitate relationship building among maternity care providers. The availability of team and personal coaching brought additional value to local care providers.  

This funding model allowed for teams to focus on truly local priorities including the planning and integration of new providers, changes in the model of care, streamlining prenatal care education, addressing transport challenges, and coaching for additional birth attendants.  

Hosted the Rural Maternity Summit 

The Rural Maternity Summit, co-hosted by RCCbc and PSBC, held in-person over two days on November 30 and December 1, 2023, brought together nearly 80 participants from Health Authorities, Indigenous organizations, the Ministry of Health, Physicians, Midwives, Learners, Nurses, Professional Organizations, Educational Institutions, and others.

In looking ahead, the Rural Maternity Summit was an opportunity to identify and discuss trends in rural maternity care including how to properly value care teams, staffing and resourcing facilities, fostering teamwork, relationships, and community building, and the support of networks and corridors of care.

Feedback from the post-summit evaluation has been very positive. Themes brought forward through post-event evaluation include the value of shared rural maternity stories, the opportunity to exchange learnings, success stories and energy when working with others, commitments to action made at the end of the Summit, and the time for networking, connections and relationship building. Several respondents requested holding similar events, both virtually and in person, in the future.

Launch of Indigenous Partnership Funding 

The 2023 launch of a new stream of funding by the ROAM team focuses on fostering partnerships between maternity care providers and Indigenous, First Nations and Métis communities and organizations. Enhanced connections, smoother transitions and culturally safe maternity care have been identified as goals worth pursuing. Working in collaboration with local Indigenous communities or organizations, ROAM-eligible teams may jointly submit proposals to access one-time funding up to $10,000 for engagement, network development and relationship building.  

Five teams have thus far begun to access this funding for projects ranging from community meetings and events, to outreach prenatal care and baby naming ceremonies.

Explore the numbers

32 Teams

32 Teams

32 maternity teams across BC participated in ROAM during 2023

7 Events

7 Events

7 ROAM Network Events were held throughout 2023 

100% positive feedback

100% positive feedback

100% of Maternity Summit Evaluation respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Summit provided an opportunity to build relationships with other partners in rural maternity care

92% optimistic responses

92% optimistic responses

92% of Maternity Summit Evaluation respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they were optimistic they will be able to follow through on the commitments they made at the Summit

Plans for the Future

In the year ahead, ROAM teams will continue to enjoy funding for ongoing activities to support maternity service sustainability. We will work closely with community-based teams with a focus on supporting higher needs team and/or who have not yet used ROAM funding to its full extent. The Indigenous Partnership Funding will also be available for teams to access.

Following the 2023 Rural Maternity Summit, the team will begin planning a follow-up virtual meeting for the Summit group to maintain the momentum initiated through the Summit and continue the conversations and relationships. In particular we will continue to nurture our close partnership with PSBC and build on our knowledge of what it means to work in inter-organizational collaborative teams.

Team Members

Click on a team member to explore which other projects they have contributed to in the past year.

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