LewisGale Announces New Nurse-Midwife Service and Project to Redesign Maternity Center

New Nurse-Midwives practice to establish new service at LewisGale Medical Center

SALEM, VA – LewisGale announced today the formation of LewisGale Physicians Nurse-Midwives – the only practice locally catering to women who desire less medical intervention during low-risk pregnancy, labor, and delivery using a nurse-midwife in a safe, high-quality, hospital environment. This new service at LewisGale Physicians and LewisGale Medical Center, now the only local hospital offering midwifery, adds three, experienced Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) and, at the same time marks the start of a project to renovate the Medical Center’s labor and delivery unit.

“A trend in maternity care nationwide – driven by patient demand – is for less medical intervention, which is what the nurse-midwives service offers, in addition to primary health care services for women from adolescence through menopause,” explains Kris Conrad, DNP, CNM, Director of the nurse-midwives at LewisGale. “We’re providing patients the best of both worlds – a more natural childbirth experience focused on the labor process in a hospital setting. Patients will have access to the latest medical technology, should it be needed, and Certified Nurse Midwives working in partnership with patients’ primary care physicians, obstetricians, gynecologists, and pediatricians.”

Most recently practicing in the New River Valley, the three Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are Kristin Conrad, DNP, CNM; Laura Gayton, CNM; and Rebecca White, CNM. Conrad will begin seeing patients January 27 at their new office located on the LewisGale Medical Center campus, and Gayton and White will begin seeing patients in early spring.

“This new service clearly benefits patients looking for a choice in women’s healthcare and pregnancy and is an exciting addition to our OB/GYN physician group,” says John Harding, M.D., Department Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at LewisGale Medical Center. “While nurse-midwives specialize in low-risk pregnancies and births, they also are trained in collaborative care and work closely with Ob/Gyns who also specialize in treating medical concerns during pregnancy and birth.”

The maternity center’s renovations will include new hydrotherapy equipment in four of the nine labor and delivery rooms, including tubs designed to ease mothers’ discomfort during labor. Additionally, all nine rooms will receive new hydrotherapy pulsating showerheads and music therapy equipment, as well as softer lighting and color schemes that reflect a more soothing, homelike atmosphere. The second phase of the project will include the redesign of the nursery and nurses’ station areas to make better use of existing space and facilitate more streamlined, efficient mother and baby care. “This renovation reflects LewisGale’s ongoing commitment to our patients, their satisfaction, and, most importantly, quality health outcomes,” explains Lance Jones, Market President, LewisGale Regional Health System. “Additional projects at our facilities are already underway or planned for 2020, and are further evidence of our commitment to the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia as the region’s healthcare provider of choice.” Patient appointments with the team of nurse-midwives are being accepted now by calling (540) 772-3650.