With women, for a lifetimeTMCommendation
Bronson Women's Service (Kalamazoo, MI)
Length of Service: June 23, 1993 to present
Since its inception in 1993, the certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) of Bronson Women’s Service (BWS) have established midwifery as a high profile women’s health care option in the Kalamazoo area by providing care to thousands of women.
Bronson Women’s Service has grown into Michigan’s largest CNM practice and is one of the most successful in the country, documenting nearly $4 million in CNM charges for three consecutive years.
The CNM staff has worked in concert with the Bronson organization to develop a full time lactation consultant service and a breastfeeding boutique. BWS also offers water birth and supports vaginal birth after cesarean section. Bronson Women’s Service helped create interest in, and implemented the development of, a midwifery position within the high risk perinatal service to complement the high tech perinatal care.
BWS’ model employs CNMs as first line care providers, creating a referral base for our physicians, who primarily see the complex gynecological cases and consult/collaborate on our obstetric cases. The CNMs provide 24 hour in house coverage and are responsible for all unassigned obstetric patients as well.
Several CNMs in the practice have either dual certification or have incorporated advanced skills into their repertoire so as to provide comprehensive health care to our clients. BWS has contributed to, or been profiled in, three ACNM publications:Getting Paid,Vacuum Assisted Birth in Midwifery Practice, andThe Midwife as First Assistant.
Our CNM staff also volunteers in numerous ways including speaking in schools, staffing booths in health fairs, and providing community education on topics from childbearing to osteoporosis.
Bronson Women’s Service has participated in the clinical education of over 40 student nurse-midwives from the CNEP program, The University of Michigan, Case Western Reserve University, Georgetown University, SUNY and others. Two members of our staff have been on the academic faculty of the CNEP program. Additionally we participate in the education of nursing students, medical students and family practice residents. This year, we offered our first midwifery internship to two CNMs who wished to gain additional clinical experience prior to starting a new practice in Cadillac, MI.
The success of BWS has led to the development of three satellites in neighboring communities. Two of which, Vicksburg (15 miles south of Kalamazoo) and Plainwell, (15 miles north of Kalamazoo) contribute to the Bronson delivery base. The third satellite in Paw Paw (20 miles west of Kalamazoo) provides the only obstetrical services in Paw Paw at Lakeview Community Hospital.
Each year, Bronson Women’s Service participates in the benchmarking pilot and demonstrates excellent clinical outcomes, competitive cost measures, and superior patient satisfaction when compared to our peers. BWS accepts all forms of payment, including federally subsidized programs, and does not withhold any services based on ability to pay.
Attrition is very low at BWS, due in part to the fact that CNMs are well respected in our organization, we have a great deal of autonomy, and the physicians and administrators are supportive. In fact, 11 of the current 12 have been with the service at least five years.
BWS demonstrates that that the heart of midwifery is their core value by maintaining a midwifery philosophy within a large regional medical center. BWS staff are empowered to do what we do best – be “with women for a lifetime.”