Women’s Healthcare Associates, LLC (WHA) will cease operations at the Midwifery Birth Center on October 28th, 2022 as part of a larger plan to consolidate its metro area services as a result of declining regional birth rates and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare staffing and expenses. WHA will also withdraw from Legacy Emanuel Medical Center at the end of October following the closure of its Lloyd District office on September 28th.
“These changes are in response to circumstances beyond our control,” said WHA’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Kelly, MBA. “Birth rates have been in decline for eight to 10 years and more drastically in the Portland area than other parts of the state and country. Our structure for delivering care is no longer suited to this environment. These changes will help us prepare for and evolve in the future—ensuring we are able to serve our communities for decades to come.”
WHA’s initial goal was to find new owners for the Midwifery Birth Center who could continue to grow the practice. “The team here has built something really special over the past five years and we hoped new owners could keep everyone together doing the work they love in service to this community,” said WHA’s Chief Medical Officer Marni Carlyle, MD. “However, we came to the realization that transitioning ownership of the business would be a long process with no guarantee of success. The uncertainty of this caused a lot of stress for our team members and for our patients.”
“Pregnant people who have chosen a birth center typically have specific reasons for doing so,” said WHA’s Director of Advance Practice Clinicians, Lauren MacKenzie, CNM, “whether that’s the feeling of home evoked by the setting, the low-intervention model of care or the intimacy of the care team and experience. This is not the news we want to be delivering, but, as with all shared decision making—our intention is to work with each person to help them choose the path forward that best fits their needs, preferences, values and goals.”
The team of certified nurse-midwives at the Midwifery Birth Center is currently working with patients on alternate prenatal care and birthing plans. Options include transferring care to another out-of-hospital birth center or home birth practice or transferring to one of WHA’s six hospital-based nurse-midwifery practices, among others. Some people may also wish to follow members of the Midwifery Birth Center team to their new practice locations, and we will post updated information here as those details are finalized (see below).
Closure of the Midwifery Birth Center does not impact WHA’s Gateway office located in the same building—where certified nurse-midwives and OB/GYN physicians will continue to provide obstetrics, gynecology and wellness care. After the consolidation plan is complete, WHA will serve patients from four locations in Portland (two on the eastside, two on the westside); offices in Oregon City, Tualatin, Newberg and Hillsboro; and six regional hospitals. Find a WHA location and provider >
To schedule with the Midwifery Birth Center midwives after the closure, please contact:
- Marisa R. Bryman, CNM, MSN – Adventist Health Women’s Clinic, (503) 261-4423
- Kathleen Butler, MSN, CNM – Adventist Health Women’s Clinic, (503) 261-4423
- Kori D. Pienovi, CNM, MS – Adventist Health Women’s Clinic, (503) 261-4423
- M. Catherine Schaefer, CNM, ND, MSN – Adventist Health Women’s Clinic, (503) 261-4423
- Carissa M. St. Onge Carneiro, CNM, MSN – Adventist Health Women’s Clinic, (503) 261-4423
- Ashley Ulmer, CNM, MSN – Adventist Health Women’s Clinic, (503) 261-4423