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Midwifery Liaison chosen for Wood Buffalo

IMAGE. Alberta Health Services appointed current clinical midwifery director Heather Martin as the midwifery liaison for Wood Buffalo and the North Zone. She will work alongside the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre to establish a new midwifery practice. Supplied by Wood Buffalo Woman and Baby Care Association/Facebook and Alberta Health Services.

Wood Buffalo is a step closer to getting a midwifery practice.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) appointed a clinical midwifery liaison to partner with the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC).

Kayla Lushman, the co-chair of the Wood Buffalo Woman and Baby Care Association (WBWBCA), says building the foundation is critical.

“We want the midwives are entering an environment that is collaborative, and we want everybody who works at our hospital to feel confident in these additional services being added to the community.”

AHS conducted their search for a midwifery liaison in June.

Without having the protocols in place at the hospital, Lushman said delivery of essential services becomes more difficult.

“Historically, when communities do not [establish] privileges or protocols, often that creates a more rocky environment for midwives, and it really disrupts the continuity of care specific to midwifery.”

She added the client-midwife relationship is long-term, so familiarity when addressing prenatal and baby care is important.

For the role, AHS chose the current clinical midwifery director for Edmonton, Heather Martin.

Lushman said Martin’s expertise make her a capable midwifery liaison for the region.

“[Martin] is a midwife, who works out of Edmonton, [and] she has a strong relationship with Alberta Health Services so she’s really the best person we can get.”

She added Martin is familiar with working in northern Alberta and with rural communities.

Martin starts on September 1, 2019.

At that time, she and hospital staff will lay the groundwork for a new midwifery practice at the NLRHC.

The practice should be ready to house midwives and accept clients on November 30, 2019.