Kathy is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and has a masters degree in nursing. She graduated from Columbia University’s midwifery school in 1986. Kathy has worked as a midwife in a wide variety of settings, including inner city, high-risk hospitals, neighborhood health clinics, and community hospitals.
In 2000 Kathy helped to open Westchester’s only midwife-owned, independent midwifery practice — Full Circle Women’s Health. Contributing to the “birth” and growth of this thriving practice, located in the holistic health center of Full Circle Family Care, has been a joy for Kathy, and inspires her to continue her work of educating and empowering women through all phases of life.
Areas of Interest
Kathy has a special interest in working with teens, helping to make their entrance into gynecological care a positive and empowering experience. She offers first exams with plenty of time to connect with a young woman, answer all questions, teach her about her body, perform a gentle and educational exam, and counsel appropriately.
Kathy also has a special interest in helping women who have had previous cesareans and are hoping for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). Having experienced this herself she can relate to the emotions and decisions that surround this issue and offers compassionate support from an insider’s perspective. Kathy founded the Westchester Chapter of ICAN (the International Cesarean Awareness Network), a support group, which meets monthly at Full Circle Family Care.
Kathy is certified in sex education and presents programs at area schools and at local churches. She presents programs to adults on postpartum and midlife sexuality, and how to talk with kids about sex. Kathy has also worked with women on sexual issues and welcomes any questions in this area.
My Path to Midwifery
My first experience with giving medical care was when my intense love of animals led to an after-school job working for a veterinarian. Although this seems far-removed from midwifery, those two years taught me an enormous amount about medicine, intuition, and compassion. I considered becoming a vet or a doctor.
At Wesleyan University, where I majored in psychology, I answered a plea for community volunteers and ended up spending three years at the local Planned Parenthood as a patient advocate and educator. I watched the nurse practitioners at work, and I was introduced to a kind of health care that the burgeoning feminist in me resonated with strongly: it was respectful, gentle, kind, and empowering. I was sure I had found my future niche, until one of the nurse practitioners told me about a profession where I could do everything they were doing and deliver babies too: midwifery! I was introduced to the midwife who worked at our college health center; she graciously took me under her wing for a semester, and I knew what I was meant to do.
After college I took the required first step and went to nursing school at Columbia University. I pursued a yearlong internship with the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital midwives, which enabled me to become the first new graduate ever hired directly to the labor and delivery unit at that hospital. I worked with both doctors and midwives and saw very different approaches to health care. After five years, my personal philosophy of health care had been finely honed, and I needed to answer my strong calling to midwifery. I returned to Columbia University, graduating from their midwifery program in 1986.
I began my midwifery career at a very busy high-risk city hospital and then brought that valuable experience to suburban clinics and community hospitals. In 1997, I came to Phelps Memorial Hospital where I finally found the supportive environment I had been seeking. Hospital staff embraced midwifery care and family-centered policies. My request to install tubs was granted and we began offering water births. When I was ready to start my private practice, Phelps became the only Westchester hospital to welcome an independent midwife to its medical staff. Full Circle Women’s Health midwives now attend births exclusively at Phelps Memorial Hospital and we continue to work with Phelps on integrating the most current and innovative family-friendly practices.
My Hope for Clients
My passion is helping women to be knowledgeable about and comfortable with their bodies, to be inspired to take good care of themselves, and to feel respected, supported, and empowered by their health care. In return, my patients have made me feel honored and privileged to be involved in so many intimate and profound moments in their lives. I feel very blessed to be a midwife.