"The Willow Model of Care is one where women are the leaders of the team..." - Cheryl Heitkamp
By Erin Stertz-Follett, LCCE, CD(DONA), HBCE, Owner of Flutterby Birth Services, LLC
As the first part in my new blog series, "Meet the Midwife," I recently had the chance to interview Cheryl Heitkamp, APRN, CNM and owner of Willow Midwives in Minneapolis! The first of its kind, Willow is the only certified nurse midwife owned and operated women's wellness clinic/freestanding birth center in the state. Willow opened on the banks of Lake Calhoun in 2014, but Cheryl herself has been a fixture in the Minnesota birth community for many years. In addition to serving women at the birth center, the midwives at Willow have hospital privileges at Abbott Northwestern's Mother Baby Center - Allowing them to care for a multitude of families with varying goals and desires for their birth. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Cheryl!
Q: How long have you been a midwife?
A: Since 1989, with 11 years away [from practicing] for my own childbearing/child rearing.
Q: Where did you receive your training and education?
A: I have a Master's Degree from the University of Minnesota.
Q: Where did you practice before Willow?
A: I've most recently worked for Park Nicollet in the Shakopee location [St. Francis Hospital].
Q: Tell me about the other midwives at Willow!
A: Candace and Emily are really wonderful midwives. They are very cohesive and compassionate. Candace relocated to MN after meeting her husband while in college at Bethel, and Emily and her husband recently settled in Minneapolis (having grown up in Chicago). Our primary value is the respect we share for women and their families, and their desires for participation in their care.
Q: What makes Willow unique? What is your model of care?
A: The Willow Model of Care is one where women are the leaders of the team in the selection of their health lifestyle. We see ourselves as experts in normal pregnancy and childbirth, with experience that allows us to care for some moderate risk clientele. We have hospital privileges and value the hospital as one option for place of birth. We can be their care provider in either location they choose.
Q: What are the future plans for growth and expansion at Willow?
A: Oh...there are plans! Initially, I want to get comfortable with the role of business owner. I hope to continue to build relationships with consultant physicians and expand the network of providers Willow can reach out to.
Q: What else do you want to be sure readers know?
A: I want readers to know that I want them to come and see our space (Wednesday's are open for walk-through visits and we offer tours every-other Monday at 5:00pm). I want them to be cared for and listened to; no matter where they land. And I want them to know we value a very high standard as measured by our accreditation, licensure, hospital privileges, and insurance coverage. Good care is available and people deserve to be heard.
Q: How can families get in touch with you to initiate care?
A: Call 612-345-5920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Willow Midwives is located in the Lake Calhoun Executive Center, 3033 Excelsior Boulevard, Suite 585. Check out their web site for more details on their services and approach! http://www.willowmidwives.com/
Flutterby Birth Services, LLC provides childbirth and breastfeeding education, doula care, lactation support, car seat installation/checks, placenta encapsulation, new mamas support groups, and more! Flutterby is located in Edina near 494 and France Avenue. Follow Flutterby on Facebook!
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner