News and Information

October 4, 2013

Franciscan Celebrates 33 Years of Midwifery

October 6 is National Midwifery Week

For 33 years, Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) have been an integral part of Franciscan Health System Women’s and Children’s services. October 6 is National Midwifery Week and we honor all our Certified Nurse Midwives for their care and support that they give to expectant mothers.

A CNM is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) with formal education and training in well woman, gynecological and primary care that allows them to practice medicine and care for a woman’s needs. All of Franciscan’s CNMs either practice in a clinic or deliver in the Family Birth Center.

“Last year, our midwives delivered 40 percent of the babies born at St. Joseph Medical Center, “said Mary LaFalce, Associate Vice President, Franciscan Women’s & Children’s Services. “Our midwives are an invaluable part of our medical team. They bring professionalism, compassion and dedication to their work that makes Franciscan a wonderful place to bring your child into the world.”

All of Franciscan’s CNMs hold a Master’s degree and are board certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board. Midwives can prescribe medications and offer pain relief during labor. They also care for women beyond pregnancy and some midwives see women through non-childbearing years.

Franciscan has 17 midwives located at the following facilities:

  • Franciscan Women’s Health Associates – Pearl Place (Tacoma)
  • Franciscan Women’s Health Associates at St. Clare (Lakewood)
  • Franciscan Women’s Health Associates at St. Joseph (Tacoma)
  • Franciscan Women’s Health Associates – Gig Harbor (opening November)
  • Franciscan also enjoys a partnership with GroupHealth and their Certified Nurse Midwives who deliver at the Family Birth Center at St. Joseph Medical Center.

    Franciscan Health System includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Harrison Medical Center and Harrison HealthPartners, Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas; Franciscan Hospice House, University Place; Franciscan Medical Group clinics and providers, Pierce, King and Kitsap counties; and the Franciscan Foundation. Franciscan is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. Currently, CHI ranks as the nation’s third-largest faith-based health system, with annual operating revenues of $10.7 billion and approximately 78,500 employees. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.

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