Maternity services expanding in upper Elk Valley
The recently formed Maternity Collaborative Initiative is continuing to improve services for pregnant women, newborn babies and their families in the Elk Valley.
The outreach maternity clinic to Elkford and Sparwood, which has allowed pregnant women access to care in their home community, has added new education and coordination of services, an additional nurse and an additional physician.
Dr. Virginia Robinson has been travelling to Elkford and Sparwood for seven years, working in conjunction with the local health clinic physicians and public health to provide easy access, high quality multi-disciplinary maternity care. Now she will be joined by Dr. Joel Stimson, and community nursing professional Amanda Green.
Amanda will expand assessment and educational services for moms who may suffer from anxiety or postpartum depression as well as helping develop birth plans and negotiate the sometimes overwhelming options when it comes to genetic screening. This new primary care maternity nursing position will also allow Amanda Green to be present in hospital either during and/or after delivery to provide labour support and help women care for their newborn, up to six weeks postpartum.
Amanda is a welcomed addition to the already existing maternity team in Sparwood consisting of primary care nurse Jo-Ann Decker and public health nurse Marni Barlow. This team has been providing integrated, multidisciplinary care for many years. The team plans to integrate with the already great work provided by the Bellies to Babies program in Sparwood.
The Elk Valley team is proud to offer close to home deliveries by your own prenatal physician at the Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie where maternity nurses are staffed 24/7.
The Operating Room is working towards being opened 365 days per year with minimal weekend closures in 2019 and anesthesiology services are provided on an on-call basis, 365 days per year. At times, when surgical services are not available or in the case of higher risk pregnancies, expecting women may require delivery in a regional facility.
The Maternity Collaborative Initiative has also started an information focused Facebook page: Elk Valley Maternity and can also be found on Instagram where patients can access the names of maternity providers, and hear about new research related to delivering and newborn care.
Dr. Robinson and Dr. Stimson are currently accepting expectant mothers as patients in both Sparwood and Elkford. To make an appointment please call Sparwood Health Centre – 250-425-4501 or Elkford Health Centre – 250-865-2215 or have your family doctor refer you.
Lead image: Left to right – Dr. Joel Stimson, Amanda Green RN, Dr. Virginia Robinson. Photo submitted