EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care will open for patient care at the end of September.
Last fall, the private practice that previously provided midwifery care at the significantly reduced it’s midwifery staff and services. In response, how important those services are to the community and requested the Hospital create a new midwifery practice to keep those services available.
In the Spring, the hospital’s board answered the call and voted to establish a hospital based midwifery practice. That practice, EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care, will open in September.
In mid-September, the new practice will begin scheduling appointments for prenatal care to begin later in the month. They will accept patients with a low-risk pregnancy at any stage of gestation. The practice will be comprised of five full-time midwives and one half-time midwife. Patients of the midwives can rely on 24/7on-call midwifery care for labor and delivery as well as a full team of supportive OBs for back-up.
The good news does not stop there. The team at EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care will include four midwives from the Center for Women’s Health. Shana Burton, CNM, ARNP and Michelle Jackson, CNM, ARNP will join the practice full-time at the end of September. Janice Smith CNM, ARNP (full-time) and Heather Bradford CNM, ARNP (half-time) will join the practice in January 2013. The team also includes Cathleen Distor CNM, ARNP (full-time). The other midwives will be announced when employment details are final.
EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care will also offer well-woman care to former patients of the midwives at the Center for Women's Health, as well as on-going well-woman care for women who come to the practice as prenatal patients. The Hospital will consider offering well-woman care to the community at large within six months of opening the practice.
EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care will not accept VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) patients when it opens in September. However, we can report that there is a good deal of support among the medical staff and administration for adding VBAC Support to the practice. The hospital understands the importance of VBAC support to the community and wants to make sure they do it right. The hospital has committed to investigate accepting VBAC patients within six months of opening the practice.
VBAC support is an important component of care. The community advocates, known as Support Midwifery at Evergreen, who have worked with the hospital and community to build support for the practice will continue to advocate for adding VBAC capability to the services offered at EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care. In the meantime, 24/7 midwifery care is returning to Evergreen for a large portion of the patient community.
Laura Latta is a writer, attorney and stay-at-home mom. She lives in the Juanita Neighborhood of Kirkland with her husband and one year-old daughter.