September 5, 2003

VUSN Faculty Practice moving into Bedford County with new Midwifery Clinic

Featured Image

Jim Shmerling

VUSN Faculty Practice moving into Bedford County with new Midwifery Clinic

Pregnant women in Shelbyville and surrounding areas in Bedford County are without a single OB/GYN provider in their area. The Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s Faculty Practice Network has decided to help alleviate the problem by assisting Bedford County Medical Center to open a new Midwifery Clinic.

“We have signed an agreement to start and staff a hospital-based midwifery service in Shelbyville,” said Bonnie Pilon, DSN, senior associate dean for Practice Management.

The practice will be staffed by VUSN, but will be run by Bedford County Medical Center, who will be underwriting the cost of the services.

“We’ll provide the caregivers, but this is not our practice. However, we are very much invested in this, because we want it to succeed,” Pilon added.

Bill Macri, CEO of Bedford County Medical Center, says both of the OB/GYN providers who had been practicing at the hospital over the last year moved out. Howard Rupard, MD, a VUSM alum, and Lana Beavers, MD, a native of Shelbyville, have been handling deliveries in the area to cover the lack of obstetrical services for years. But Macri says he knew Bedford County Medical Center had to find a way to expand services.

“Statistics show somewhere around 60 percent of the women who are delivering are delivering outside of the city,” he said. Macri says the hospital had been looking for options to introduce new obstetrical services, and approached the Vanderbilt nurse-midwives.

“The midwives at Vanderbilt have been very successful. They fill a niche in obstetrics that is appealing to a great number of women, and we think it’s going to work out real well here in Shelbyville,” said Macri.

He says having Vanderbilt facilitate the staffing was a big advantage for not only their hospital, but their community as a whole.

“What Vanderbilt brings to us is the experience and the expertise to provide a higher level of service,” said Macri.

Bedford County Medical Center has a long-standing relationship with Vanderbilt. Their hospital has been managed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center since 1999, through a sub-contract with Quorum Health Resources, which specializes in the management of small, rural hospitals. Ann Hollingsworth, director of Vanderbilt’s physician liaison program, says the nurse-midwives will join other Vanderbilt providers currently staffing clinics at Bedford County Medical Center.

“We staff a cardiology and a dermatology practice and operate what is called VMG-Shelbyville,” said Hollingsworth.

Vanderbilt also provides Bedford County Medical Center with all of its continuing medical education. The hospital is also home to VUMC’s second LifeFlight base.

“We see the nurse-midwifery program as a new service there that builds on our current relationship, and provides new options to the community with a full spectrum of obstetric care,” Hollingsworth said.

VUSN will provide two nurse-midwives full-time to run the Midwifery Clinic. Susan Pendleton-Brown, CNM is the first person who has been hired to staff the clinic. Two other nurse-midwives will be contacted to work as on-call or relief help if needed.

The School of Nursing will also use the clinic “It’s a good thing for mom’s, babies, Vanderbilt, Bedford County, and for the School of Nursing,” said Pilon. The new Midwifery Clinic will be located in the medical office building next to the main hospital and is set to open in September.