Budget cuts forces local hospitals to pick-up slack

LEXINGTON, Miss. (AP) – Some hospitals are increasing services for poor Mississippians, as county health clinics face tightening budgets.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports the University of Mississippi Medical Center Hospital in Holmes County will begin offering pre-natal care this year to some of the state’s poorest residents.

The decision to open the clinic is relatively new. Paige Lawrence is the hospital’s clinical director. She says most pregnant women in Holmes County had travel between Jackson or Grenada to receive care.

According to data collected by the Department of Health, Holmes County has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state. It also has a high percentage of women who have children with low-birth weights, a contributing factor in infant mortality.