NATURAL BIRTH CENTER: Lease or Own
Could my challenging circumstance be another’s wonderful opportunity?
I opened the Natural Birth Center in October of 2007. It is one of only two birth centers in Virginia, and is operated currently by licensed CPMs. It is located in Buena Vista, near Southern Virginia University. Myself and my midwifery partner, as Rockbridge Midwifery Care, have been practicing from there, making great progress both responding to and generating a good deal of interest in the region around birth center and home birth.
Due to my husband working in California, I made the enormously difficult decision to leave the practice and reunite my family there. My midwifery partner, Emily Friar, CPM, LM., plans to continue as Rockbridge Midwifery Care and scale back to a homebirth-only practice with an office elsewhere. This leaves open the question as to what to do with the beloved Natural Birth Center building/home.
Ideally, the Natural Birth Center could be leased (at a negotiable rate) to a midwife, as is, set up and functional. This makes it an opportunity to begin your own birth center practice with much lower start-up costs, in an established location. See the tour at http://www.rockbridgemidwifery.com, or contact me for photos. It looks even nicer currently. There is the possibility of a birth cottage or two being eventually added–replacing the rear sheds–a privacy fence and an outdoor play area for visiting children.
For a focused, energetic midwife this would be great opportunity to share your love of the benefits of midwifery care. I am willing to freely answer questions during the development of an incoming practice.
Virginia requires that one be a Certified Professional Midwife to become a licensed midwife, and a license is required to practice midwifery. Malpractice insurance is not required for CPMs. One challenge is that LMs in VA are prohibited from possessing, prescribing or administering medications. One adaptation has been asking clients to personally obtain a prescription for tablets to self-administer in the event of postpartum hemorrhage. Work is being done to rectify the medication situation at a state level. Certified Nurse Midwives may practice with collaboration, rather than supervision, in Virginia, with or without malpractice insurance.
There are currently no laws or regulations in Virginia around birth centers, although they are being discussed. The city of Buena Vista has been helpful and welcoming. Within a 7 minute drive is a level one hospital with OB. The surrounding region homebirth midwives stay quite busy. The main local insurer has been reimbursing for CPM care, and CPMs may choose to become Medicaid providers in Virginia. Virginia’s midwifery community has been supportive and welcoming.
Buena Vista is within a one-hour radius of Lexington, Roanoke, Staunton, Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Fishersville and Harrisonburg, and numerous universities and colleges. Buena Vista would be a good city in which to start a midwifery school, with excellent midwives within reasonable distance who could serve as faculty.
Buena Vista city public schools are well regarded, and housing is reasonably inexpensive. My rural 4 bedroom home (possibly furnished) on 2.3 acres, 5 minutes from the birth center, might also be for lease if there is an interest.
If you are interested in the Natural Birth Center opportunity, please contact Julie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-319-0933.
Thank you for reading this notice. Your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.
Julie Martin, CPM, LM