Skip to main content

Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project Collection

Identifier: ASTATE-2018-10-23

Scope and Contents

The Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Program Collection (0.41 linear feet) consists of 8 series: Policies and Program Information, Administration (5 subseries), Correspondence (2 subseries), Grant Information, Addition to Mississippi County Health Department Building, Convention Information, Newspaper Clippings, and one cassette tape. The Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project Collection was compiled by the employees of the Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Program and only pertains to the administration of the project.


  • 1976 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access

This manuscript collection consists of physical materials. This collection has not been digitized. This collection is open for research use only in the Reading Room, it is not available for request through Interlibrary Loan. Please the archive via email ( at least a week in advance of your arrival to ensure the availability of the material.

Dr. W. Wayne Workman

(November 2, 1921-present) Dr. Workman began clinical practice in Mississippi County Arkansas in 1952. He worked as a practicing Obstetrition-Gynocologist, was chief of staff at Chickasawba Hospital (1963-1987), and was Mississippi County Health Director (1974-1988). In 1975 he organized the Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife program to combat the growing infant mortality problem in Arkansas. On April 1, 1988 Workman became the Medical Director of Women's Health at the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, Arkansas. That same year he also began teaching Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), a career that lasted 16 years.

Dr. Eva Dodge

(July 24, 1896-March 20, 1990) Dr. Eva Dodge was a pioneer physician and educator in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. She was an advocate for maternal health care and sex education for young people in Arkansas and across the United States. Dodge was a worldwide influence through her work with the Pan American Medical Women's Alliance (PAMWA) as an obstetric consultant. In 1951 she was named woman of the year by the Arkansas Democrat. Dodge was also a leader in the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). In 1977 she received the organization's highest honor: the Elizabeth Blackwell Medal.

Organizational Note

Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project began through cooperative efforts on January 1, 1976 by Dr. Wayne Workman and Dr. Eva Dodge, from the Arkansas Department of health. A federal grant was obtained and a non-profit corporation was formed. The program had three objectives: 1. Ensure patients received better maternity care 2. Lower the infant mortality rate (Arkansas infant mortality rate in 1975 was 18.3; Mississippi County mortality rate was 34.9 in 1975.) 3. Expand the existing health care system. A nurse-midwife would practice under the supervision of a board certified obstetrician. They would provide quality, low cost pre and post-natal care to both mother and child from offices located in the local county health department. Mothers would deliver in a hospital. On July 1, 1976 Barbara Upshaw became the first certified midwife and director of the project. The program did succeed and was responsible for the drop in infant mortality from 34.9 in 1975 to 11.6 in 1991 (per 1,000 births) and was able to provide many low income patients with quality maternity care. More than 6,000 children were delivered over the course of 26 years. However, the program never became self–sustainable and would always require government funding. Upon losing federal funds during the Reagan Administration, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) absorbed the program and later closed it.


.41 Linear Feet (This collection is contained within one document box and is comprised of 12 folders and one cassette case. )




Dr. W. Wayne Workman and Dr. Eva Dodge began the Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project in 1976 in order to combat the high infant mortality rate in Mississippi County. This collection consists of documents that pertain to the business side of the project including policies and program information, board minutes, budgets, fees, financial documents, contract information, correspondence (general and personnel related), grant information, structure addition, convention information, and newspaper clippings.

Other Finding Aids

Wayne Workman Collection


Further additions to this collection are not expected.

Related Materials

Wayne Workman Collection

Mississippi County Nurse-Midwife Project Collection Finding Aid
Flora Smith
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections - Dean B. Ellis Library Repository

Arkansas State University
Dean B. Ellis Library
P.O. Box 2040
State University AR 72467 United States
870-972-3199 (Fax)