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CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System Launch Region’s First Midwife Group February 24, 2020

Longview, TX – Thanks to a certain PBS show, more people than ever before are familiar with the midwife as a health care professional. Thankfully, in real East Texas life, midwife care is far more advanced (and far less dramatic) than the scripted drama. Midwives can play a crucial role in providing a community with a team-based, high-quality fetal medicine program. That’s why CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic is thrilled to announce the addition of its new midwife group and team of Certified Nurse Midwives who will begin seeing patients this month.

A midwife is a health professional who cares for mothers and newborns around childbirth, and the education and training for a midwife is similar to that of a nurse. Midwives are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) that work under the supervision of an OBGYN and play an instrumental role in ensuring that women and their babies receive a continuum of skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the important days and weeks after birth.

This new group, which includes midwives Sylyna Kennedy, CNM, Dionne Kittrell, CNM, and Jacqueline Weber, CNM, and is supported by Ricky Paul, M.D., James Dozier, M.D., and Graham Weaver, M.D., allows CHRISTUS Good Shepherd and CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic to expand access to important prenatal and post-natal care… and it is the only group of its kind in the area.

“A midwife is a health care professional who provides an array of health care services for women including gynecological examinations, prescriptions, and labor and delivery care,” said Brandy Moore, Vice President of Operations, CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic Longview. “Our team of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are trained and licensed in nursing and midwifery and are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. When combined with our Level-III NICU and the region’s only OB Emergency Department, we are able to offer the families of Longview and East Texas a truly word-class level of care before, during and after birth.”

“As midwife, we all operate with a philosophy of care that is directed toward women and their individual reproductive needs,” said Kennedy, leader of the CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic Midwife Group at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd. “Our aim is to provide high-quality medical care for our patients, offer a variety of options and seek to eliminate or minimize unnecessary interventions.”

This philosophy of care falls in line with Midwives Model of Care, which includes:

  • Monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • Minimizing technological interventions
  • Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention.

“For a large number of mothers, this model of care really falls right in line with their values and wishes – just as it does with ours at CHRISTUS,” said Moore. “We want to provide a comfortable and wholistic environment for our patients, filled with compassionate and expertly trained caregivers.”

While CNMs provide expert care during labor and delivery, their support of new mothers and children after birth is a specialty that makes midwives unique. Mothers often have lots of questions as they make important decisions that will affect their baby's health – from lactation support to advice in caring for a newborn.

“The midwife who supports the mother during birth can also help them learn more about parenting, about how they are feeling and about what they can look forward to,” said Kennedy.

Whether you need guidance as you start breastfeeding or have questions about choosing a pediatric care provider for your baby, the midwives at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd are professionals who know you and your family and are with you through the first weeks of new motherhood.

“Our midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting the women of East Texas to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period,” said Kennedy. “Our calling is to provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. We are proud to be able to offer that level of care and service to our patients and to support the mission of CHRISTUS Health to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ with that service.”