Certified Nurse-Midwives Returning to CHP in Great Barrington

Posted: August 4, 2017

Community Health Programs and Fairview Hospital are collaborating to recruit two certified nurse-midwives for South County’s women’s health care CHP Barrington OB-GYN. Recruitment is under way.

By adding certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) to its Great Barrington practice, CHP will answer a desire among area women who want the option of CNM care for pre-natal, maternity and other women’s health care. Barrington OB-GYN has been without a certified nurse midwifery since 2014, when its certified nurse-midwife retired.

During the last year, CHP and Fairview have collaborated to evaluate women’s health care and maternity services in South County. CHP-Barrington OB-GYN is the only women’s health practice south of Pittsfield and works closely with Fairview, which maintains the maternity and surgery services to support the practice.

CHP Barrington OB-GYN will also welcome a new board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, who will be joining the practice to replace Dr. Jill Samale, who has relocated to a Pittsfield practice, Berkshire Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We are grateful for Dr. Samale’s contributions to Barrington OB-GYN and its patients over the past two years, and we wish her well in her new practice,” said CHP’s CEO, Lia Spiliotes. “At the same time, we are so excited about reviving the certified nurse-midwife practice model for South County women. Dr. Antoine El Khoury and Dr. Robert Grover — who arrives this fall — are looking forward to incorporating this health care option as well.”

Although the birth rate at Fairview Hospital has declined slightly in recent years – along with the number of women in the 20-40 age category — the number of women over age 50 is on the rise in the area. For example, 2016 census estimate shows Great Barrington’s population of women over age 50 is 28 percent of the town’s female population – 1,738, compared with 1,614 in 2010.

The American College of Certified Nurse-Midwives summarizes the CNM role this way:

“CNMs are licensed, independent health care providers with prescriptive authority in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. CNMs are defined as primary care providers under federal law.

CMs [certified midwives] are also licensed, independent health care providers who have completed the same midwifery education as CNMs. CMs are authorized to practice in Delaware, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. CMs have prescriptive authority in New York and Rhode Island. The first accredited CM education program began in 1996. The CM credential is not yet recognized in all states.

While midwives are well-known for attending births, 53.3% of CNMs/CMs identify reproductive care and 33.1% identify primary care as main responsibilities in their full-time positions. Examples include annual exams, writing prescriptions, basic nutrition counseling, parenting education, patient education, and reproductive health visits.3

In 2014, 94.2% of CNM/CM-attended births occurred in hospitals, 3% occurred in freestanding birth centers, and 2.7% occurred in homes.2

More than 50% of CNMs/CMs list physician practices or hospitals/ medical centers as their principal employers.4

Medicaid reimbursement for CNM care is mandatory in all states. Medicare and most Medicaid programs reimburse CNMs/CMs at 100% of physician rates. The majority of states also mandate private insurance reimbursement for midwifery services.”

Learn more about the CNM model of care here.




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