Local Midwifery Program Plans Go Forward
HOSPITAL RESPONDS TO LOCAL COMMUNITY CONCERNS
In response to questions from the community, Acting CEO Carol Smith says “fit with this community is essential!”
Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Northampton, MA) has a longstanding commitment to providing a range of childbirth/women’s health services to Hampshire and Franklin residents, but since June, certified nurse midwife-assisted deliveries here have not been an option.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Acting CEO Carol Smith, RN expects that to change shortly.
While Smith does not have an exact date of when the new midwifery program will be available to area women, she respectfully requests that community members continue to be patient.
“Many women are extremely frustrated, and rightfully so,” states Smith, citing feedback she has both heard from patients and read online. “We understand their frustration, but there are many aspects to developing a new health program that the public does not see, and that take a lot of time.”
Since June, under Smith’s guidance, the hospital has advanced its commitment to develop a new certified nurse midwifery program. Steps in that process include:
- hosting community discussions with new moms, dads and others interested in locally available midwifery services,
- recruiting a program medical director,
- hiring a midwife consultant to partner with Cooley Dickinson to develop the new program and
- renovating a former private residence on the hospital’s campus to house the midwifery practice.
A major step in the process, Smith says, is recruiting and hiring the program’s medical director. Smith describes the recruitment process for this position, which started in July, as “an ongoing search to find a midwifery medical director who meets all of the medical and personal criteria for excellence which the community, through the various public discussions and other input, has outlined for us.
“The community has told us what they want, and we look forward to meeting their needs. The medical director position and the certified nurse midwives are pivotal to the program’s success. And the fit with our community is absolutely essential.”
Continues Smith, “the medical director search is ongoing. We owe it to our community to have the best possible person in this position.”
In addition to the medical director search, CDH started recruiting certified nurse midwives using newspaper advertising and online job forums to find prospects. Once hired, these individuals will report to the program’s medical director. Additional employees to staff the practice will be hired at a later date.
For more information about the Childbirth Center and women’s health services at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, visit www.cooley-dickinson.org.