Comox Valley registered midwife Katie McNiven Gladman will again work as a locum midwife at St. Joseph’s General Hospital after a recent decision by the hospital board.
“This decision comes after 7.5 months of discussions between myself and SJGH, and after an astounding and heart-warming display of community support,” says Plum Midwifery’s McNiven Gladman on her website, www.katiethemidwife.com.
“I am truly grateful for all the words of support and encouragement that kept me motivated, and demonstrated a strong support for access to midwifery care in the Comox Valley.”
St. Joseph’s board of directors made the decision late last week to grant McNiven Gladman’s application for locum privileges at the hospital.
This decision comes after the midwife’s application was denied earlier this year based on a “lack of collegiality,” which hospital president and CEO Jane Murphy at the time said points to the inter-relationships staff have with each other at the hospital. She would not comment on McNiven Gladman’s application in particular.
In response to the rejection, supporters of midwifery services in the Valley rallied around McNiven Gladman. A petition to St. Joseph’s was signed by 1,200 people, and there was a well-attended rally in front of the hospital in June.
Murphy says midwifery “is an active and integral part” of the hospital, which is “completely supported” by the hospital, in a written statement.
“We are pleased to announce that Ms. Kathryn McNiven Gladman has fulfilled the board requirements for locum midwifery privileges with our hospital,” she continues.
According to her website, McNiven Gladman previously held long-term locum privileges at St. Joseph’s but gave them up voluntarily when she left the Valley to work in Vancouver for four months.
McNiven Gladman is a midwife in good standing with the College of Midwives of B.C.
Locum privileges are designed to provide relief to medical professionals like physicians, dentists or midwives who have active privileges at a hospital. When those with active privileges are away locums can step in. Particularly, in the case of midwives, it means a midwife delivering a patient’s baby in their home can attend that patient at the hospital if something goes wrong during the home-birth and the patient is transferred.
Though McNiven Gladman chose not to be interviewed about the matter, she thanked her supporters on her website, www.katiethemidwife.com, and notes she will be taking some time off from work in the future.
“I am expecting my first baby later this fall, and as I settle into preparations and ‘nesting’ for the new and exciting journey of parenting, it means so much to have this issue resolved, and to look forward to continuing to live and work in this wonderful community beyond my year of maternity leave,” says McNiven Gladman.