Meet the midwives of Covington Medical Center
With the opening of the new 58-bed inpatient hospital at Covington Medical Center April 24, a new Family Birth Center opened as well.
The birth center is focused on high-touch, low-intervention care and providing a home-like setting to patients who want the comfort of a home birth.
Covington's team of midwives will work as a group practice, meaning that patients will have access to four health care professionals familiar with their pregnancy and care plan. This allows patients to be seen sooner and more frequently by someone even if their chosen midwife is not available.
Meet the four midwives:
Jane (Simmons) Allen
Jane (Simmons) Allen has been a certified nurse-midwife for two years. Her philosophy is rooted in education — she works with patients to help them achieve optimal health and wellness throughout their lifespans.
"It is my greatest pleasure to guide families during pregnancy and childbirth in a nurturing and supportive environment,” she says.
Allen's work has taken her around the world, experiences which only further instilled her belief that personalized and patient-centered care is necessary. That's something she brings to the Covington midwife team.
"We are able to give patients the comfort of a home birth with the safety net of a hospital," Allen says. "Pregnancy is a life-changing experience for patients and families, and the goal is to help our patients have the pregnancy and birth experience that they hoped for, whatever that may be."
Tina (Dawdy) Gearheart
Tina (Dawdy) Gearheart has been a certified nurse-midwife for 12 years. When she began her career as a nurse, Gearheart wasn’t sure which direction she would go. When she was pregnant with her first child, she was recommended to a midwife.
"After my very first appointment with [the midwife], I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do,” she says.
One of the biggest midwife myths she wants to debunk is that you cannot get an epidural when delivering with a midwife.
"We have full prescription privileges," she says. "Our goal is for our patient's pregnancy to be personal to their expectations and needs. We are here to support their pregnancy and labor and create the environment that they want and need for a successful birth.”
Bree Herndon has been a certified nurse-midwife for two years. She works to empower her patients to take an active role in their health care.
"The model of care is based in experience and education," she says. "We work to create a space where care can be personalized, especially for diverse family structures.”
The care she speaks about extends beyond just pregnancy and labor – midwives are women’s health care experts and provide gynecological care, including annual exams, birth control and family planning.
“Pregnancy, hormone changes, menstruation — these are all normal parts of life. We work with our patients to support these natural events in their lives and help make the experience feel stress-free and manageable.”
Clare Sherley has been a certified nurse-midwife for three years. A staple of midwife care is the personal and individualized care provided to each patient and family. Clare also specializes in serving families with diverse structures, transgender patients and surrogate or adoptive families.
“Building relationships and taking the time to listen to my patients makes it possible to integrate best practices and find the best path forward for each individual or family,” she says.
The midwife team at the MultiCare Covington Birth Center will be available to their patients 24/7 by phone, which further helps ensure continuity of care, which is crucial to creating a strong, trusting relationship with patients.
About The Author
Brittney Lott is a social media specialist for MultiCare and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. She has a black belt in telling stories for digital platforms. That means gifs, <280 characters, Insta stories, Boomerangs and anything else that captures your attention and makes you stop scrolling. You can reach her at [email protected]. More stories by this author