Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Health Administration


College of Health Professions

First Advisor

Kit N. Simpson

Second Advisor

Daniel Brinton

Third Advisor

Michelle Owens


Objective: Performing a retrospective analysis of all live births to Mississippi residents for 2018, using the HCUP SID database; this study examines the relationship between individual and community-level socioeconomic characteristics to high risk and low birth weight outcomes among maternity health care deserts in Mississippi. Methods: Statistical differences between the subjects and the reference group were examined using Chi-square (χ2) tests and Fisher’s exact test. Logistic regression was used to assess mothers' risk in OB desert county for any adverse event after controlling for race and gender. Results: On average, babies in OB desert county had a likelihood of neonatal death 29.26% vs. 22.14% (P=0.0457). Black, female gender, and delivered by Cesarean Section (P=.0001) with a greater likelihood of an adverse event. Conclusion: There are many consequences associated with limited access to care. Besides low birth weight, prematurity, and maternal morbidity, there are increased risks for Cesarean Section. Findings indicate a need for collaborative efforts to improve access to care and improved advocacy for vaginal birth.


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