GRAND JUNCTION,CO – After delivering more than 10,000 babies over 37 years, Mesa Midwives has closed its longtime clinic doors. It’s the end of an era for women whose families have trusted these midwives’ hands for generations.
The practice offered skilled pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and well-woman care from a holistic perspective. Another of their specialties was in fostering a welcoming environment for low-income Medicaid recipients, immigrant families, and other marginalized populations of women who often face obstacles in accessing health care.
The practice was opened in 1983 by Janet Grant, who was the first Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) to apply for privileges at St. Mary’s Hospital. This pioneering act brought women further into local medicine, and brought midwifery into the Grand Valley.
Six years later Grant was joined by nurse-midwives Cindy Busker and Ruth Ann Price, and the team delivered babies for more than three decades. Midwives came and went from the practice, each leaving their own mark on the community, and many of them still practice locally.
Women from all segments of the community got access to birth control, annual exams, and lifelong healthcare at the clinic. “Mesa Midwives and Janet helped me transition from a young lady to a mother,” explains Jenifer Broderson, whose husband and four children were all delivered by Janet Grant.
“The reason that Mesa Midwives had such success is because Janet Grant founded it on inclusivity and nonjudgmental care,” explained Karen Ady, the most recent CNM to operate Mesa Midwives.
Since 2017, Ady is the CNM whose hands have been trusted by Mesa Midwives patients. Her recent relocation to California ended the most recent chapter of the practice. Ady explains that it’s “amazing to think that Janet Grant worked alone for so many years to establish midwifery care here, and now there are so many choices for women who choose a midwife.”
Most current patients of Mesa Midwives have transferred to the ten other CNMs currently practicing at three different practices in Grand Junction, with a majority choosing to continue their care at Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center. “The midwives at the birthing center practice evidence-based midwifery care, have long appointment times, and guarantee that you’ll have a midwife at your birth,” Ady said.
The main difference at Bloomin’ Babies is that their deliveries primarily occur in their freestanding birth center on 7th Street. Patients seeking to deliver with midwives in a hospital setting can also find CNMs at Canyon View Women’s Health and SCL Health Medical Group OB/GYN.
These options represent a flourishing of local midwifery care, with the founding of Mesa Midwives at its root. The practice has been a fixture in Grand Junction for almost four decades, and will be remembered by those 10,000 babies and their thousands of mothers and families.
Photos by Laurel Carpenter