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Angels on Horseback: Midwives in the Mountains

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In 1925, Mrs. Mary Carson Breckinridge led a team of spirited women to Leslie County, Kentucky and established a demonstration of providing unprecedented healthcare to rural Appalachia. Together, they improved the maternal and infant mortality rates, losing just two maternal patients over a span of 12 years.

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About the Show

In 1925, Mrs. Mary Carson Breckinridge led a team of spirited women to Leslie County, Kentucky and established a demonstration of providing unprecedented healthcare to rural Appalachia. Chosen partially for its remoteness, Breckinridge wanted a location so difficult to reach that it would serve as proof that her grassroots model could be duplicated anywhere in the United States.

Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) was the resulting organization, utilizing horses as transportation over mountainous terrain and foreign nurse-midwives as caregivers. Together, they improved the maternal and infant mortality rates, losing just two maternal patients over a span of 12 years. "Angels on Horseback: Midwives in the Mountains," a 60-minute documentary, explores Breckinridge’s driving force and highlights the trials and triumphs of these dedicated women.

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