Midwives Recognized at RGH

October 24, 2018

On the third floor of Raleigh General Hospital, past the reception area to the right, the pale blue walls are adorned with photos. 

The first set of photos on the right recognizes the sets of twins delivered at the hospital. A few steps down the hall, a new mural showcases the first moments of life — both the newborns welcomed into the world, and the midwives who delivered them. 

The night shift nurses on the labor and delivery floor crafted the mural, featuring a wall-length, hand-painted tree with seven framed photos, along with the words, "Love Delivered Daily." 

The nurses crafted the mural in recognition of National Midwifery Week, Sept. 30-Oct. 6. Virginia Ward, RNC (registered nurse, certified), came up with the idea, and Cassie Wilson, RNC, hand-painted the tree. 

"We are all very appreciative," said Beth Ross, CNM (certified nurse midwife), APRN (advanced practice registered nurse). "It was heartwarming to see the nurses take their own personal time and money to create a mural that spotlights the care that midwives give every laboring woman."

Ross, who is also the president of the West Virginia affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives, said she got her start as a labor and delivery nurse. 

"I was always interested in women's health and obstetrics," she shared. 

When she moved to Beckley from Martinsburg, she was inspired by the collaboration among AccessHealth midwives and physicians, so she decided to go to graduate school — the Midwifery Institute at Philadelphia University. 

Upon her 2009 graduation, she was offered a position. She boasts the patient-focused approach at Raleigh General Hospital, where a midwife and physician are in-house 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

"If you happen to have an emergency, you can be seen in-house by a practitioner or provider within minutes of getting here," Ross said. "For patients, that has to be comforting know you have a local facility where you can be seen within minutes of arrival."

She said having both midwives and physicians on staff offers patients emotional, personalized care, paired with advanced medical care. 

"We're blessed to have the professional relationship we have with the nurses and physicians here," Ross said, also acknowledging scrub techs and administrative assistants. "We're a well-oiled machine." 

By Wendy Holdren, The Register Herald