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CMH honors outstanding women’s healthcare providers

LEWISTON, ME (October 5, 2023) — Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) is shining the spotlight on its outstanding midwives during National Midwifery Week which was celebrated Oct. 2-9. 

At CMH, midwives are the primary providers during labor and delivery, with doctors providing critical support for patients in high-risk circumstances. While many associate midwives solely with the birthing process, they are actually involved in their patients’ health, from teenage years through menopause. 

Midwife Cathy Heffernan cares for women at CMH’s rural practices, Bridgton Hospital specialty clinic for women’s health, as well as Swift River Healthcare in Rumford. 

“I chose midwifery after changing my major in college three times. I loved the idea of helping women and families feel excited about this huge piece of life and giving them as much power in the process. I’ve enjoyed educating, supporting and helping women through their labors. The excitement of birth is contagious!” 

Aleta Joy, lead midwife at CMH, describes midwives as being the experts in childbirth, having cared for women during this time in their lives long before obstetricians did. 

“My mother was a nurse and when hospitals used to have nurseries full of newborns, I would beg her to take me to the nursery – not only to look at the babies, but I wanted to watch the labor and delivery nurses. When I care for patients, my goal is to care for them as if they were my sister, my daughter or my mother. Childbirth is so life-changing for women and should be one they cherish. That’s how I focus my practice every day.” 

Central Maine Healthcare recently added three new midwives to its staff: Addison Bryant, Kristin Moody and Kelsey Weil. 

CMMC’s maternity team has earned a stellar reputation. For the second straight year, CMMC was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “High Performing in Maternity Care.” The hospital also maintained its “Baby-Friendly” designation from Baby-Friendly USA for providing mothers with the information, skills and confidence to breastfeed their babies. CMH is one of only three healthcare systems in Maine with that distinction. 

CMMC’s maternity department has also been recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield as a Blue Distinction Center+. This distinction recognizes hospitals that demonstrate more affordable care in addition to quality care, treatment expertise and better overall patient results.

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