As Advanced Practice Providers, nurse midwives play a crucial role in patient care
Marti Churchill, CNM, still remembers the first time she “caught” a baby. It was a bit of a surprise, as the baby was coming faster than the physician on call. But from day one, she was hooked, and nearly 2,100 babies later, the experience is still one that provides her with deep personal and professional satisfaction.
Churchill is one of our Advance Practice Providers, or APPs (advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, anesthesiologist assistants and radiologist assistants). These clinicians play an essential role in patient care.
Churchill began thinking about nursing during high school. In her senior year at Georgetown University School of Nursing, she worked next to midwives at a city clinic and fell in love with helping give birth to a new family.
“I love being able to support women through this incredible journey, seeing their transformation to becoming mothers and families. I feel honored to be a part of it.”
Churchill has had a rich career as a nurse-midwife in Pennsylvania, Washington and here at the UVM Medical Center. During her very busy days – and nights – she helps women through the birth process, provides prenatal care and prescribes medication. She also provides well-woman gynecological care.
She leads her fellow midwives in providing care across the spectrum. “It’s an amazing, cohesive team,” she says. “We are all united in our passion for supporting women during this incredible time in their lives.” One, Sandy Wood, CNM, is also a mental health nurse practitioner, offering patient and family members access to extra mental health support.
Churchill sees patients in the clinic one to two days a week and directs Midwifery Program operations. The team works collaboratively with physicians in the Women’s Health Care Service, easing the transfer of patients to a higher level of care when needed. Midwives also teach residents, nursing and medical students from The University of Vermont.
How she fits all this in is unclear, but she says she naps easily – and is driven by doing what she loves. “It’s a calling,” she says. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”