Spectrum News: Maternity Care Declining in Rural Areas

Spectrum News interviewed Sue Koller, NP, of St. Peter’s OB/GYN – Valatie, for its story on limited access to maternal care in Columbia and Greene counties.

St. Peter’s OB/GYN opened in Valatie in August 2020. Koller and one of her patients, Caly Bermel, discussed how the new practice is helping to fill the void in care in that region.

From the story:

“There were a lot of women coming to our Albany office for obstetrical care, but also gynecological care and then they did a market analysis to show that there was very little access down in Columbia County, so we opened the office then,” said Koller.

That means expecting moms who want to deliver with St. Peter’s, like Bernel, no longer have to travel to Albany or Troy for frequent prenatal care visits.

“To cut hours off your travel to get care here has been really helpful and great for access for patients and also has improved the health of the pregnancies because they’re getting care,” said Koller.

Since patients are still as far as an hour away from the hospital where they’ll give birth, Koller said she takes that into consideration in her conversations prior to them being full term and helps guide them.

Bermel has peace of mind knowing she has a place close by in case of emergencies.

“I feel like the drive would just make things so much more stressful, so having someone local is a lot easier, more convenient; takes one less thing off of the whole pregnancy plate,” said Bermel.

Click here to watch Spectrum’s full report.

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