Saturday, July 2, 2016

Serving the Underserved, Kingston Midwives Need Our Help

Posted on Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 4:48 PM

click to enlarge Megan O'Connor and Liz Pickett
  • Megan O'Connor and Liz Pickett

Liz Pickett and Megan O'Connor are that rare breed of health care practitioners: They're not in it for the money. Committed to taking all forms of insurance including Medicaid, and loathe to turn anyone away for lack of funds, the two certified midwives have been on a mission to offer quality women's health care to Kingston's families regardless of where they fall on the income spectrum. But they might not be able to continue without the help of the community they devotedly serve.

Capital Region Midwifery, their parent company for the past year, has made a difficult, bottom-line business decision to close the Kingston office of Pickett and O'Connor on August 1. Determined to offer seamless care to their current patients (including pregnant women in need of consistent prenatal, labor, and delivery care), Pickett and O'Connor have created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to launch their own midwifery practice in Kingston.

"Although we have patients who travel from all over the mid-Hudson Valley to obtain our services, our base is the city of Kingston where 38.1% of families live in poverty according to the 2015 Poverty Report issued by New York State Community Action," says Pickett on her campaign's GoFundMe web page.

Yet it's not only their dedication to underserved populations that makes Pickett and O'Connor's practice so unique. As reported in Chronogram's December 2015 feature story "Midwives Rising," the duo offer their patients the rare advantage of working with independent midwives who provide holistic, individualized, women-centered care. Both Pickett and O'Connor would like to keep practicing independently - rather than under an increasingly corporatized, numbers-driven model of care that is becoming the new norm in OB/GYN practices nationwide.

To help Pickett and O'Connor continue offering their personalized brand of women's health care, consider making a donation on their GoFundMe page. And spread the word about a campaign that has positive ripple effects for local women and families from all walks of life.

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