AU Health to receive grant for maternity, pediatric care
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - One of our biggest local hospitals has a big boost on the way from Washington.
Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff announce an over $300-million investment into Augusta University and Grady Health Systems.
The senators say the money will help improve access to maternity and pediatric health.
Here’s what this means locally.
“Maternal health crisis can have a life-long impact and I’m living proof of that,” said Tine Marie Marsden, mother.
Marsden is a Georgia mother living with pregnancy-induced heart failure.
“I was so severe the condition the state I was in,” said Marsden. “The nurse said ‘honey, if you leave, I cannot guarantee you will live to see two days.’”
This diagnosis came after she was initially misdiagnosed and sent home. She hopes this federal funding can change that.
“Once we get that funding to do all those things in the proper way to support the women that get the diagnosis that still have to live with this, and receive the support that they need, that’s huge because that didn’t exist twenty years ago,” she said.
Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia hope that means helping to combat the pediatrician shortage.
Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Valera Hudson, said, “Georgia’s at 76 so 76 pediatricians per 100,000 and there are two-point-five million children in Georgia so we do have some gaps in the workforce for pediatrics and for pediatric subspecialties.”
Hudson says the first step to doing that is expanding residency options for students.
“There are five residency programs in Georgia and with those programs, we have not been able to expand the number of positions because of caps in funding that occur at the federal level,” Hudson said.
For Marsden, more money for maternal health and pediatrics and better access to care can have life alternating impacts.
Marsden said, “That’s the difference between life and death not just for the mothers, but also the babies.”
There are also plans for funding to help improve preventative and chronic health care.
Augusta University was not able to get back to us on what they’ll do specifically with the money they get.
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.