24/7 CNM Coverage at DRH Launches Feb. 1

Obstetrical care that includes midwives is associated with better birth outcomes. States with high “midwife integration” into obstetrical practice, and midwife-friendly laws and regulations, have lower rates of premature births, cesarean deliveries and newborn deaths. The department's experience at the Duke Birthing Center would support these data; both the care provided and the education given to learners are better because of this group of highly trained and compassionate professionals.

The Duke Midwifery Service started over 22 years ago at Duke University Hospital, augmenting Duke Ob/Gyn's obstetrical team and antepartum service. Three years ago, Duke Ob/Gyn expanded beyond Duke University Hospital (DUH), incorporating midwives into the practices that deliver at Duke Regional Hospital (DRH). The advanced practice provider (APP) team at Duke University Hospital is able to support the antepartum service seven days a week (up from five previously)

Effective Feb. 1, 24/7 certified nurse midwife coverage became available at DRH, provided by Harris & Smith Ob/Gyn and Durham Ob/Gyn.

Two people in hospital room
Fan Lee, MD, and Lisa Barkley, MSN, CNM, at Duke Regional Hospital.

"We are so excited to have round-the-clock midwifery coverage at Duke Regional Hospital. Over the last few years, as the team has grown, we have seen increased camaraderie and team work between the certified nurse midwife, physician and registered nurse team, with a common goal of providing seamless, hands-on care for our patients," said Durham Ob/Gyn Division Chief MargEva Cole, MD. "Our patients enjoy the personal touch, great communication and continuity provided by our certified nurse midwife team, and they also know that the obstetric MD is always available in-house for consultation and escalation of care as needed."

Added Lisa Barkley, MSN, CNM, "It is an honor to be a part of one of the most important times in a family's life, and being able to share this time with patients is why I became a midwife. I look forward to many years of providing compassionate and safe care while empowering patients through comfort and support during their prenatal visits, labor and postpartum time. "

Over time, our goal is to eventually expand to 24/7 coverage at Duke University Hospital in order to meet our growing patient volumes and continue to provide world-class care.