Mississippi Public Health Nurses and Midwives: A Partnership That Worked


Address correspondence to Rene M. Reeb, Ph.D., University of Mississippi School of Nursing, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505.


Abstract At the turn of the century maternal and infant mortality rates were high in this southern state. Untrained midwives conducted many of the deliveries. Initial support for locating and training midwives by public health nurses was provided by the American Red Cross and the United States Public Health Services. Later, funding from a philanthropic organization (Rockefeller International Foundation) provided a mechanism that brought Mississippi public health nurses and midwives to a partnership that endured for over a half a century, and contributed to better maternal-infant health care outcomes for that state.