EvergreenHealth establishes new midwifery group in Kirkland
By RAECHEL DAWSON
Kirkland Reporter Reporter
October 16, 2012 · Updated 11:51 AM
A new midwifery group has emerged at EvergreenHealth after the hospital-based Center for Women's Health at Evergreen made drastic cuts to its midwifery program last year.
The clinic’s decision to cut services was precipitated by an embezzlement scheme that caused CFWH officials to do an extensive audit,
Local support comprised of midwives, doulas and parents collaborated with Evergreen administration to create EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care.
When Center for Women’s Health lost three of its five midwives, 24/7 care fell too.
Now with four midwives - Michele Jackson, Shana Burton, Heather Bradford and Cathleen Distor - expecting families will be able to take advantage of around-the-clock care.
Bradford said she is thrilled to provide 24/7 care in the community again and says some women have been waiting for the midwifery program to open again before they get pregnant. One perk of being a midwife, Bradford said, is that relationships are developed and often patients come back for second and third births.
“It’s an honor to get to know the families,” she said.
The EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care, which opened Sept. 11, has helped deliver 13 births and expects to attend 25 births per month this Fall.
Recently, the midwives delivered their 5000th birth to Jodie and Kai Huang of Redmond. Burton helped deliver their little girl Hayley on Sept. 25. There were no complications with the birth.
Bradford hopes the program can accommodate 50 births a month.
“What’s most compelling is our C-section rate (between 10 and 15 percent),” she said. “We meet them at the door of the hospital, we’re with them during labor and we help with breast feeding.”
The national Caesarean rate is around 30 to 35 percent.
She also noted that midwives provide very hands on care to patients.
"Our hope to is to meet our patients at the door of the hospital and stay with them during labor, providing labor support," said Bradford. "After we deliver the baby, we stay with the family until breastfeeding is established."
Bradford, a midwife since 2001, worked per diem for the Center for Women’s Health at Evergreen before the changes. Jackson, a midwife since 2004, and Burton, a midwife since 2008, were full-time employees. And Distor, although a midwife for 25 years, is new to Evergreen’s practice.
The former administrator of Center for Women’s Health, Deborah Porter-Peterson, pleaded guilty on Aug. 22 to nine counts of second-degree theft.
According to a Kirkland police report, Porter-Peterson opened at least six business credit cards through the midwifery practice and paid for family vacations, food, entertainment and her gambling problem. Charging documents indicate throughout her employment, which began in 1998, she stole more than $500,000. She has paid $265,000 in restitution and owes another $210,000, the documents continue.
Her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the King County Courthouse. She could face up to 22 months in prison, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesperson for King County Prosecutors Office. Prosecutors will push for the full sentence.
For more information on EvergreenHealth Midwifery Care, visit their open house from 4-7 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Evergreen Health Medical Center, Coral room 225. To RSVP, call 425-899-4012.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Reporter Raechel Dawson at email@example.com or 425-822-9166 X5052.