Kelly Horn, Allison Thorpe and Gail Clark share a passion for helping women, and as certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), they are uniquely qualified. The three women, who practice within Parkview Physicians Group – OB/GYN (PPG), offer individualized care for women – and not just during pregnancy.
Horn explains, “Midwives can enhance care at all stages in life. From a teenager’s first well-woman visit to pregnancy to menopause, every age span can be touched. It’s really about reproductive health.”
“The connotation is that all we do is deliver babies,” adds Thorpe. “We really take care of women throughout their lifetime.”
Of course, PPG’s certified nurse-midwives devote much of their time to pre-and post-natal care and deliveries. From the beginning, the midwives work with each patient to understand her health and social history, her views and the desires she has for her birth experience. The midwives work closely together to keep appointments fluid so they can spend as much time with each woman as necessary.
“Our goal is to make them feel comfortable all the way through the process,” says Thorpe. “We tailor their care to the ultimate goal of a happy, healthy mom and baby, and we do whatever we can to accomplish that.”
Ensuring each woman’s health within the context of providing individualized care is their primary focus. Each PPG midwife is highly trained, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing as well as a Master’s degree with a specialty in midwifery, and then passing a national certification exam. Although many types of midwives exist in the U.S., all PPG midwives are advanced-practice nurses with the CNM designation.
In addition, PPG’s midwives work collaboratively with their physician counterparts to ensure patients have access to a full palette of care options. When cases deviate from the norm or become more complex, they work closely with a physician to ensure a seamless continuation of care. And though they will make the environment as home-like as possible, PPG midwives deliver only in the hospital.
“One thing that’s really nice about being a midwife at Parkview is that we work with both the hospitalists and OB/GYN physicians,” says Clark. “Patients aren’t going to get less care with a midwife. We collaborate with everyone to provide the best care possible.”
Horn, Thorpe and Clark all agree that what many women find appealing about seeing a midwife is the personal care they receive. Empowering women, say the PPG midwives, is extremely rewarding to them.
“As advanced practice nurses,” says Thorpe, “we build huge bonds with our patients; if they become part of our practice, they become part of our family.”
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