New Clinic To Be Staffed by Nurse-Midwives

The new year will bring Chicago’s first free-standing clinic staffed entirely by nurse-midwives who will serve both disabled and able-bodied women.  The Aviva Women’s Health and Midwifery Care program at the University of Illinois at Chicago will resolve some of the issues expressed by women who have previously avoided getting healthcare.  According to one Logan Square resident who uses a wheelchair, “A lot of us are afraid to go to the doctor.  There are women with physical difficulties who are embarrassed about being different, women who don’t speak English or who have trouble paying for medical care.” 

The nurse-midwives staffing the new clinic are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board, an organization that is recognized by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Additionally, they are registered nurses with postgraduate degrees and already assist in births at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center on Chicago’s near northwest side.  Aviva nurse-midwives also provide healthcare services at two clinics – the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago’s facility in Logan Square and the Chicago Public Health Department’s West Town Neighborhood Health Center Humboldt Park.  The new Aviva clinic will provide prenatal care, gynecological exams, menopausal counseling and other services.  Patients will have the ability to join groups for networking and follow-up care. 

According to Mary Bauer, Aviva’s director, the clinic will employ four full-time and three part-time nurse-midwives.  Bauer noted that women – with the assistance of nurse-midwives and volunteer doulas – can deliver babies without needing to take pain medication.  “You have to understand that pain in childbirth is OK, but suffering isn’t,” Bauer said.  “We offer a full range of pain medicine.  About half of our patients use epidurals.  Most of our patients are prenatal.  But if it comes up, we are trained to treat a cold or flu.  If they have a broken arm, they need to go to the ER.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply