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Rural Obstetrical & Maternity Sustainability Program

Visit the ROAM-SP webpage

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. 

Participants at a simulation in Campbell River, BC
“Without ROAM and our regular team meetings, we would not have been able to avoid the loss of maternity services.”
Survey Respondent


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

In 2022-23, ROAM funding was available for 31 rural maternity teams. With this funding teams undertook a variety of activities to support local priorities and enhance sustainable maternity services in their communities. Many teams used ROAM funds to come together to review cases or scenarios, develop tools and initiatives, create and review care plans, and facilitate relationship building among maternity care providers. Coaching also played a valuable role, with activities including one-on-one and team coaching, coaching by local providers, and with providers from outside of the community.

Other teams choose to use ROAM funds for simulations and educational sessions on priority topics. Finally, some teams undertook other activities according to their local priorities, such as working on a perinatal substance use project, connecting with teams for learnings on building interprofessional collaborative clinics, conducting activities to promote local birthing, and more.

Through these activities, and as a result of participating in ROAM, the evaluation found that 81% of survey respondents indicated that working relationships among members of their local maternity team had improved, 78% said their skills as a maternity provider had increased, and 69% said that their satisfaction with practice had increased.

Hosted eight professional networking events across BC

ROAM hosted eight network events during 2022-23 for the ROAM maternity teams. Topics included coaching, a presentation and discussion about a collaborative model of care, introducing a nursing skills comfort survey and patient experience survey tool, a presentation by Pathways BC, and presentation and discussion about the ROAM evaluation findings. These events created an opportunity for networking, sharing, learning and cross pollination across rural maternity teams from around the province.

Enabled providers to build better functioning maternity teams as a result of ROAM

An evaluation of ROAM for the previous 2021-22 period was completed. Through this evaluation, the team found that ROAM funding has played a valuable role within rural communities, enabling interdisciplinary providers to identify local needs, build relationships, learn together, and create better functioning maternity teams. This in turn has led to increased skills and confidence, practice satisfaction, and is contributing to increased sustainability and stability of maternity care in these communities.

The team are currently finalizing the evaluation for 2022-23.

Explore the Numbers

31 Teams Funded

31 Teams Funded

ROAM funding was available to support local priorities and enhance sustainable services in 31 rural maternity teams during 2022-23.

8 Events Hosted

8 Events Hosted

In 2022-23, ROAM created the opportunity for rural maternity teams to come together, share and learn at networking events around British Columbia.

81% Improved Relationships

81% Improved Relationships

Survey respondents indicated that working relationships among members of their local maternity team have improved following participation in ROAM.

79% Skills Improvement

79% Skills Improvement

From the survey, 79% of respondents reported that their skills as a maternity provider had increased due to participation in ROAM activities.

Plans for the Future

In the coming year, ROAM plans to continue it’s ongoing support for rural maternity teams through funding for local activities and will be hosting more network events on new topics.

“Relationships and team dynamics have both benefited from the coaching and case review meetings, increasing communication pathways, exploring near misses or gaps in process and knowledge and providing a platform for team members to express their concerns, struggles, hopes and expectations for maternity care in [our community].”
Community Report

A new stream of funding will also be available for Indigenous engagement, and the team is exploring further opportunities to strengthen networks and facilitate provincial conversations about rural maternity care. 

“It has enhanced the quality of care that we’re able to give there. You get to know what people’s specialties are and their areas of interest and sometimes I know which [provider] I can reach out to, to ask specific questions about or to consult with about a certain patient because I’m like ‘Oh they have a lot of experience with this’ or ‘I remember talking to them about that, before.’ It just really helps us work with our colleagues in a way that’s effective.”
Midwife interviewee
“The mapping and team building that we have undertaken has allowed for improved communication, collaboration, and workflow within the community, leading to standardized, improved maternity and newborn patient care.”
Community Report 
“The ROAM support has fostered a very collegial atmosphere and has definitely contributed to the retention of maternity care providers.”
Survey Respondent

Team Members

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