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The purpose of this study is to describe the design and impact of a rural community supported doula program. The Washington County Mental Health Doula Project is a unique collaboration between the Central Vermont Medical Center and Washington County Mental Health Services, whereby doula support services are offered for at risk patients during their pregnancy, through the birth process and the post partum period, and up to one year post delivery. Many more typical doula programs are of significant cost to the patient, making this support inaccessible to those that may need it the most. This program is unique in that not only are the doula services free for patients in need, but also the program is funded by a collaboration between a hospital and a community organization. What further sets this program apart is the case management background of the doulas and the significant logistical support offered to these clients who have a host of needs that go beyond just birth support. The WCMHS Doula Project has been a crucial element of women’s healthcare services in this rural community over the years, but no formal research has been conducted to evaluate the impact of the program. Through a qualitative analysis, this project seeks to give voice to the clients receiving the services in order to demonstrate the unique design and impact that such services have in the lives of patients facing numerous hardships during their pregnancy and early parenting period in rural Vermont.

Clinical Site

Central Vermont Medical Center


doula, community, collaboration, social work

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medical Education | Primary Care

The Design and Impact of a Rural Community Supported Doula Program