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Chloe Walker pushes around her sixteen-month old daughter, Everleigh, outside the home they share with her parents and grandmother in Newton, TX, on Jan. 3, 2023.

After a hospital stopped delivering babies, Deep East Texas faces a growing maternity care crisis

Women in Deep East Texas drive over an hour to give birth after the last obstetrics unit in the area closed in 2019. But if closing the unit was hard, reopening it is proving nearly impossible.

A woman stops to take a photo of the sunset on the east side of B. A. Steinhagen Lake on Jan. 3, 2023.

Welcome to Jasper

Registered nurse Ginger Kalafatis talks with her husband and six children while visiting her mother’s home outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 30, 2022.
Retired physician Ron McMurry on his ranch outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 28, 2022.

The disappearing family physician

Retired physician Ron McMurry on his ranch outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 28, 2022.
Retired physician Ron McMurry on his ranch outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 28, 2022. McMurry returned to his hometown of Jasper after serving in the military and completing medical school to deliver hundreds of babies during his career.
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Jasper Memorial hospital in Jasper, TX, on Jan. 3, 2023.
iRetired physician Ron McMurry drives the handful of miles from his ranch to his home on the Angelina River outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 28, 2022.

Lives on the line

Chloe Walker and her sixteen-month old daughter, Everleigh, play outside their home in Newton, TX, on Jan. 3, 2023. Walker’s high-risk pregnancy forced her to have bedrest at 24 weeks and drive over two hours round-trip to see her doctor.
Chloe Walker and her sixteen-month old daughter, Everleigh, play outside their home in Newton, TX, on Jan. 3, 2023.
Chloe Walker and her sixteen-month old daughter, Everleigh, walk through the pine trees outside of the home she shares with her grandmother in Newton, TX, on Jan. 3, 2023.
Jasper, TX, on Jan. 3, 2023.

Stabilizing the system

Retired physician Ron McMurry closes the the painted gate to his ranch outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 28, 2022.
Registered nurse Ginger Kalafatis in her mother’s home outside of Jasper, TX, on Dec. 30, 2022.

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Health care Politics State government East Texas