I joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2010 to escape the rigors of private practice (you know I may actually want to drink a glass of wine in the evenings). Coming to VUMC has afforded me many marvelous career opportunities. I currently work on Labor and Delivery two days per week where I am the attending for the residents for vaginal deliveries. I teach normal labor and deliveries to med students, OB/GYN residents and ED residents. This includes normal labor management, some higher risk labor management (pre-eclampsia and more), vaginal delivery and repair of any vaginal lacerations. Teaching residents affords me the opportunity to promote nurse-midwifery in a different way. These physicians will "grow up" with a CNM and expect to always work with them. Working with medical students and residents is also beneficial to me. Remember when you went to school and you had all this enthusiasm about your career path, but then you work for 20+ years and some of that light starts to fade? When teaching medical students and residents you get to see that light and enthusiasm every day. I also work in the OB/GYN clinic 2-3 days week where I see OB patients, Well Woman patients and some problem GYN patients. I often get to teach med students in this setting also. It is great having one on one time with the students.
There are of course, many challenges to working in healthcare, especially now. Women’s Health and OB/GYN care seems to be often overlooked by insurance companies, hospitals and communities. I feel the resources available to us (to give the care women deserve) are limited, especially in relationship to other areas.
I also assisted Vanderbilt with the opening of a satellite clinic in Thompson's Station, a town just south of Franklin. This clinic has afforded some higher risk patients easier and more convenient access to VUMC care. This clinic has grown a great deal over the last few years and it is fun to work in an academic setting that also gives the feel of a small private practice.
I have done outreach for VUMC by teaching EMS personal in a small community some emergency childbirth. I also go to area high schools and provide education about labor and delivery, nursing and midwifery.
When I was in undergraduate school I always had a desire to work with sexual assault victims. I even proposed a joint class between the Nursing and Medical Schools about treating Sexual Assault patients. Life and work happens and this was put on the back burner for many years. Thanks to April Kapu and Janet Myers I have been able to rekindle this issue. I have been helping VUMC train SANE nurses and collaborating with them to write a VUMC SANE Nurse Protocol. This issue has always been very important to me, so this has been an awesome opportunity.
Finally, and even more dear to my heart is giving education about the importance of Transgender Healthcare. In 2014 my youngest child came out as transgender to us. (Yes, I am sharing some personal information). I have conducted numerous talks to nurses, staff, and physicians about the health care discrimination that transgender individuals experience. My hope is that by educating as many people as possible life can be made a little better for transgender patients.
My hobbies are reading, traveling and enjoying time outside hiking and swimming, with my family.