Birth Center crosses generations

Maureen Darcey

Maureen Darcey, CNM, originally brought her vision and plan for opening a freestanding birth center to Piedmont Health Services in 1995 after 11 years with Chatham Family Birth Center in Siler City, NC. Through collaboration with this community health organization, the birth center opened in 1996. For more than seven years, the center existed under the name Piedmont Women’s Health Center. The center grew from a few births a month to a total of 255 births per year in 2003. The women’s wellness and gynecology services grew similarly. When PHS decided in 2003 to end its relationship with the birth center, the practice was organized under a new name and ownership. The continuation of the birth center was made possible through the committed leadership and inspiration of Maureen and dozens of supportive staff members, former and current clients and community members. Women’s Birth & Wellness Center was incorporated on Oct. 13, 2003 as a 501(c)3 non-profit and continues to thrive as an important option for birthing and women’s healthcare in the region. It is the oldest, continually-operating free-standing birth center in the state.


Mission Statement

Women’s Birth & Wellness Center is dedicated to providing women of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds with comprehensive primary, maternity and lactation healthcare throughout the life cycle.


Philosophy

We believe that every woman has the right to a standard of excellence in her healthcare, to be treated with respect for human dignity and cultural preferences, and to be an active partner in her healthcare. We believe that the establishment of a freestanding birth center and women’s health center provides the best opportunity to succeed in our mission.


Purpose

To offer a comprehensive program of well woman health education that encourages women to take responsibility for their well being. To support women’s developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles, which will ultimately benefit not only themselves, but their families and communities.

To provide safe, satisfying and affordable healthcare services in a caring, supportive and culturally sensitive environment. To welcome women of all ages, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds who desire nurse-midwifery care.

To support the family, the cornerstone of our social structure, by recognizing and respecting those individuals who are identified by the woman as members of her family unit.

To respect a woman’s right to informed consent. To encourage her to be an active partner in her care and to support the decisions she makes in matters of her health care.

To offer and participate in community education focused on the benefits of midwifery care for women of all ages. To offer the birth center option for childbearing families.

To provide, to the extent possible, student midwives and other healthcare providers with a clinical experience of the midwifery model of maternity care. To participate in related research and evaluation.

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