Elsie Cressman Award Winner 2017
Judy Rogers brought midwifery care back to a small northern community by establishing Midwives of Georgian Bay, a midwifery practice that provides care for clients in Parry Sound and surrounding communities.
Her first goal was to provide midwifery care to a population that hadn’t previously had access to it, including the residents of seven First Nations communities. Judy’s second goal was to work with the family physician group and hospital administration to keep maternity services and care in the local community. And her third goal was to increase the pool of obstetrical providers enabling off/call holiday time for maternity care providers and reduce possible burnout. It would also ensure maternity care for families who were not attached to family doctors in town, such as the cottager population.
Judy used innovation to achieve her goals. She obtained an Alternate Practice Arrangement with the College of Midwives of Ontario that enabled her to work with nurses in the hospital Birthing Unit. And with no obstetrician in town, she expanded her scope of practice to include intubation and vacuum-assisted deliveries. The year before she moved north, she became certified through the College and also put medical directives in place for expanded scope laboratory tests and medications.
Judy made sure that all the requirements to be part of the obstetrical coverage rota for the hospital were put in place. Since she established the practice in the winter of 2014, she has been on call for the rota for one week out of every six. She attends births, and provides urgent prenatal and post natal assessments in hospital. Having an inter-professional on call rota has increased understanding, trust and respect between the care provider groups. Family physicians, nurses, and other stakeholders who were surveyed last spring reported that not only was midwifery a valuable addition to health care in the community, it also allowed for the continuation of obstetrical services.