As a certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the Vanderbilt School of Nursing Nurse Midwifery Faculty Practice, I care for the obstetrical and gynecological needs of women of all ages. Education and respectful communication is crucial in the relationship between the midwife and her client. Listening to her, caring for the needs of her and her family, and empowering her to make decisions about her own care are the hallmarks of who I am as a certified nurse midwife.
I work with clients in 3 uniquely different environments. Our gynecologic clients as well as our low risk obstetric clients are served in our West End Women's Health Center. At this location, I am able to provide comprehensive annual exams and pap smears, preconception counseling, comprehensive family planning services, complete perimenopausal and postmenopausal services, infertility evaluation, as well as pregnancy and postpartum evaluation and care. In addition, I am a part of a unique collaborative care clinic at Vanderbilt at One Hundred Oaks. In collaboration with a maternal fetal specialist, I provide care for higher risk obstetrical clients. This unique way of providing care allows us to evaluate some higher risk conditions in pregnancy and create a plan of care that is unique to the individual and encompasses her and her baby's more in-depth medical needs and well as her normal pregnancy care. By participating in this model of care, a pregnant family can receive the high risk attention she needs while continuing to get the midwifery care she seeks. And in my most favorite setting, labor and delivery, I have the honor of attending the labor and birth of many fabulous families. It is here that I am able to counsel, coach, support and just simply be present to witness and participate in the miracle of birth. I am "with woman for a lifetime".
In addition to caring for women, I am actively involved in the education of nurse midwifery students and other students who aspire to become nurse midwives someday. I help coordinate their activities as well as their schedules. I also assist them in the office and in labor and delivery to learn both the art and science of midwifery.
In obstetrics, things are always changing. My challenge is also my opportunity. At VUMC we value an evidenced-based approach to the care of our clients. It is sometime challenging to educate women and their families about the care they are receiving with the certified nurse midwives at West End Women's Healthcare. What some consider as "traditional" or "routine" care may not be evidenced-based. By providing evidence-based care, we have the opportunity to provide supportive, empathetic, and empowering care to women with excellent outcomes for both mother and baby.
As an employee of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing for 17 years, I am most proud to have watched the growth of midwifery both at Vanderbilt and in the Nashville area. When I first started my career at Vanderbilt our practice was quite small, providing a handful of births a month. We are now 25 CNMs strong and assisting approximately 80-90 beautiful babies into the world each month.
When I am not busy helping with the growth of someone else's family, I am busy with my own. I have an amazing husband of 27 years and 4 beautiful children. We love to travel as a family and find that we grow both as individuals and as a family by experiencing different cultures around the world.