Health Care in Mid Michigan – Part 2 in a Series

Health Delivery's HDI OB/GYN & Midwifery Services

Posted In: Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 721   By: Mike Thompson

24th February, 2011     0

Health Delivery Inc.’s HDI OB/GYN & Midwifery Services in Bay City doesn’t provide home delivery of babies.

Center Director Tammi Wackerle says it’s important to clarify the services are offered by modern professional midwives in hospitals, in contrast with the at-home lay midwives who may be more familiar to the general public.

The staff includes four certified midwives, three OB/GYN physicians and two gynecologists. Bay, Midland, Arenac, Ogemaw and Tuscola counties are served.

Wackerle notes that each of the midwives has achieved a master’s degree in nursing and then completed a special midwifery class.

“Mifwifery is for women who prefer a more natural course of childbirth. It’s our way of providing our patients with more choices,” she says.

“A midwife takes care of a patient throughout the pregnancy, and then during the birth a midwife provides labor support, helping with the different positions and performing massage. We explain to patients that we have an integrated practice, and that if a patient develops a high-risk pregnancy, then a physician becomes responsible because a midwife cannot do surgeries such as C-section or a forceps delivery.”

Clinics such as those run through Health Delivery in mid-Michigan emphasize prevention. Federal health care reform would provide insurance for needs such as surgery and other hospital treatment. Wackerle says Bay Regional Medical Center, the site of childbirth deliveries for the center’s patients, sometimes comes up with charitable funds when a surgery procedure is vitally needed.

Kathie Nerreter, a midwife at HDI OB/GYN & Midwifery Services, says she went through more than six years of study for her profession.

“We keep the mothers informed of the normal process of birth and labor and the birth process, and we educate her along the way so she can take care of herself and her baby,” Nerreter says.

“I have three daughters of my own. As midwives we want to provide care to women that we know is respectful of the birth process, safe and kind and gentle care. We start seeing young women even before they’re pregnant. We do more than just birth care. We do well-woman care, PAP smears for example. We see women in all age groups, basically.”

Another feature is on-site ultrasounds through the latest 4-D technology, which is capable of showing the features on a baby’s face

The center follows the Health Delivery concept of being open to women of all ages, but the majority of patients are in financial need. Some 57 percent qualify for Medicaid, and another 25 percent are uninsured. A sliding fee scale provides office visits for as little as $20.

HDI OB/GYN & Midwifery Services hosted 28,046 patient visits during the past fiscal year. A typical patient visited between four and five times.

Wackerle says the staff focuses on reaching mothers early during their pregnancies.

“We are doing an excellent job of reaching patients during their first trimesters,” she says.

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