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Bridge over troubled waters

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Last summer, we had a young woman come into Memorial Hospital of South Bend whose water had broken several weeks early. She underwent an emergency C-section and her son was in the intensive care nursery.

However, this woman’s problems weren’t limited to the already daunting one of having a premature child. She told us, her nurse midwives, that she had just left an abusive relationship and she was being evicted from her home. She was going to lose everything she had, and had no family or friends willing or able to help her. She and her children were alone in the world.

The hospital social worker arranged for her and her young daughter to move to the Women’s Shelter, but she was very worried about losing all of her belongings. So, Soledad Robledo, the family health coordinator, and Sommer Griffin, the office coordinator, made a plan.

On a hot summer afternoon, we gathered a team (including Kristy’s husband) and carried all of the woman’s possessions from the home she was about to lose into a truck and moved it to a storage facility. There was no hesitation—we found a group of people who were ready and willing to help. That may have been the most encouraging thing to our patient—to know she wasn’t alone.

Plus, now she had two less things to worry about: Her son was doing well, and she wasn’t going to lose everything.

She eventually moved to the Center for the Homeless, which helped her and her children get into transitional housing. Last we heard, she had gone back to school and was doing well.

Laura Mabry, RN, CNM, MSN, and Kristy Kile, CNM, nurse midwives at Memorial Neighborhood Health Center Central Clinic, South Bend, Ind.

Memorial Health System, Inc., established in 1984, serves as the parent company of Memorial Hospital, as well as Memorial Health Foundation, Memorial Home Care, Memorial Health & Lifestyle Center, HealthWorks! Kid’s Museum, Memorial Children’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Group. These organizations provide a variety of health care services to the community, ranging from inpatient care to home care, medical supplies, pharmacy services and occupational health services, as well as primary care physicians and specialists.

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