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Frontier Nursing University president discusses Kentucky's high maternal mortality rate

Sue Stone, left, president of Frontier Nursing University, gave a presentation on Kentucky's high maternal mortality rate at the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
John McGary
/
WEKU
Sue Stone, left, president of Frontier Nursing University, gave a presentation on Kentucky's high maternal mortality rate at the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

Kentucky’s maternal mortality rate rose 70 percent from 2020 to 2022. That's according to the United Health Foundation. Sue Stone, the president of Frontier Nursing University, discussed the problem Wednesday morning at the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Wellness Roundtable. She said most maternal mortality cases are preventable.

“For the United States, the CDC says at least 60% are preventable. But in Kentucky, the Maternal Mortality Review Committee said 88% of ours are preventable.”

Stone said substance abuse played a role in 58 percent of the Kentucky deaths. She said a lack of prenatal care continues to be a problem.

“60 percent of women in Kentucky did not see any prenatal care for these women. And yet, when they had their baby, they were covered by Medicaid, so they could have been covered by Medicaid.”

Stone said other factors in Kentucky’s high maternal death rate include obesity, tobacco use, domestic violence and transportation barriers.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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