Hello. I am a Nurse Practitioner/Midwife in practice since 1987 when I finished my Masters Degree at Georgetown University. My interest in Women’s Healthcare dates back to my college years—I graduated Hamilton College with a BA in Film and Photography. When there I started The Women’s Resource Center creating a clearinghouse of local healthcare options and encouraging health education and self understanding. When I returned to school, obtaining my BS in Nursing from New York University, I volunteered at the Chelsea Women’s Health Collective where I was a “Lay cap fitter” (really). That was my first clinical position. We were an FDA clinical site for the original cervical cap research. Lots of water under the bridge since then.
I came to Charlottesville in 1985 but left for graduate school in 1986, returning in 1989. I began my local practice of gynecology and birth care in 1990. At that time I introduced Midwifery care to Martha Jefferson Hospital. I attended births there until 2006 when I ended that aspect of my practice. Sorry, I no longer provide pregnancy or birth care, I focus my care on gynecology care–women’s healthcare.
After I stopped attending births, in addition to my private office, I worked part time for a few years at the local Health Department in the Family Planning and Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinics. I have worked in two physician owned practices most recently with Dr. Siva Thiagarajah, who remains my collaborative physician. In 2001 I started my own practice, WomanCare.
My practice is unusual: It’s in my house. It is private, comfortable and professional. There was a time when I was in my office and also working in other more traditional “medical” settings. I find that when I am in my office I slow down. I take more time. I ask more open ended questions. I listen better. I set my own schedule and I give myself the time I wanted in order to actually care for my patients. The end results in more satisfaction both for my patients and for me.
Caring for people is a very rewarding experience. Creating a warm, pretty, private office environment helps my patients feel relaxed and more able to discuss issues that are important to them. Women’s healthcare is by it’s nature very private and personal, so setting is ever so important. I can’t tell you how often I hear from my patients some variation of: “ I so look forward to my annual exam, my friends don’t believe it when I tell them”. Then their friends come and see.
I don’t think what I do is exceptional. I do think that it is a form of practice that unfortunately is less and less available in these times of large busy practices.
Originally from New York City, I have now been in Charlottesville many years longer than the city of my birth. No doubt however, I am a New Yorker, but a lot softer one than in the years before. I share my home with my husband, Mark Farrington, he is a Clinical Nurse Specialist working for the Veterans Administration in a chronic pain clinic. We have three children between us and two very lovely grand daughters.