WILLIAMSPORT – Nurse midwives at UPMC Susquehanna recently celebrated an important milestone – 40 years of providing care and services in Williamsport. As the first midwife in the region, Rosalie Kaleda, CNM, received care privileges in 1979. At that time, midwifery was a new alternative to the traditional doctor-patient model, designed to help address the physician shortage in obstetrics and gynecology.
“As a midwife and a woman, I was able to provide one-on-one care to women throughout the entire journey of childbirth,” said Kaleda. “The program here was the first of its kind in that the physicians supported the midwives and saw the value they could add to the practice as well as the benefits to patients. Over the years, more and more patients and physicians started to support the program and midwifery evolved to what it is today, where a midwife is with a patient through their full continuum of care.”
Certified nurse midwives are health professionals licensed to provide care to women from adolescence through adulthood, including OB-GYN and maternity care. Nurse midwives possess a four-year bachelor’s degree, ideally in nursing or a related field, as well as a master’s or doctorate degree in midwifery accredited by the Accreditation Commission of Midwifery Education (ACME). They must also pass a national certification examination.
Kaleda has retired but continues to be an advocate for midwifery in Williamsport and throughout the region.
“I was the first, but to reach a milestone like 40 years takes a team. Over the years, the team has continued in that progressive spirit by evolving the care to meet the patients’ needs and always doing what’s best for their patients,” Kaleda commented.