CNN honors Dr. Johnna Nynas as Champion for Change

8th annual special features changemakers across United States

CNN honors Dr. Johnna Nynas as Champion for Change

CNN has chosen Johnna Nynas, M.D., OB/GYN at Sanford Bemidji in Minnesota, as one of this year’s Champions for Change honorees, a recognition that highlights individuals making a difference in their communities and across the world.

Dr. Nynas is one of 14 people selected, joining leaders in industries from health care and education to fashion and art.

According to CNN, Champions for Change programming “spotlights the extraordinary stories of pioneers who are driving us towards a brighter future and changing the world.” Profiles in grit, creativity and innovation are highlighted on air and across CNN’s digital platforms, culminating in an hour-long special hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Dr. Nynas was recently featured in a CNN story detailing how Sanford Health provides vital access to medical care through telehealth for pregnant women living in rural towns throughout northern Minnesota. Sanford Health provides patients with a low-tech toolkit that includes a doppler to measure fetal heart rate and a blood pressure cuff to use for virtual prenatal appointments.

“We are delivering care to women rather than expecting women to come to us for care,” said Dr. Nynas. “Many patients may not have a reliable vehicle or money for gas, so when we bring the care to these women and make it easier, they’re more likely to engage in the recommended care and that contributes to better outcomes for our patients and their babies.”

Vital in rural maternity health grant

Nynas devoted her time to help Sanford Health attain a $3.67 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Maternity and Obstetric Management Strategies (RMOMS) program, which was used to create the Families First: Rural Maternity Health Collaborative. The regional collaborative is focused on improving access to prenatal, obstetric and postpartum care and reducing inequitable outcomes for women in rural, underserved and tribal communities.

As part of the RMOMS program, Sanford Health assembled a team to help set up doctor appointments, provide patient transportation and facilitate nurse home visits to assess what patients may need outside of medical care.

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, Bemidji, News, Physicians and APPs, Pregnancy, Rural Health, Virtual Care, Women's