Join the conversation about the impact of Medicaid for individuals, families, and communities.
Shana is a nurse midwife at a clinic in Oklahoma City. She worries that her patients aren’t getting the routine primary and preventive care they need because they’ve lost their health insurance due to the pandemic.
Shana has been a nurse for almost twenty years and practicing as a certified nurse midwife since 2006. She is passionate about helping women feel safe, empowered and in charge of their healthcare decisions. “When you empower women to take care of their health, you have the potential to impact the health of the whole family,” she said. Unfortunately, Shana often sees women who are unable to manage their own health care needs because they don’t have access to the care they need.
Many of Shana’s patients gain health insurance through Medicaid during pregnancy but are not eligible for the coverage before or after their pregnancy. This means she sees patients who haven’t had preventive care leading up to their pregnancy and as a result might not know if they have a condition that could affect the outcome of the pregnancy. It also means that when the new mother loses her Medicaid, any follow-ups from complications from pregnancy, as well as well woman exams, routine pap smears, contraception and other important preventive care is not available to her. In an already challenging time – adjusting to life as a new mom – women also fall back into the uncertainty of being without health insurance coverage.
“I became a nurse midwife to empower women, and I think that I’m able to do that through the care I provide to my patients,” Shana said. “But a mother’s health care needs don’t end after her child is born.”
Special thanks to Variety Care for their partnership.