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Laborists provide round-the-clock care for OB patients

Via Christi laborists

When Brooke Grizzell, MD, pictured at left, and Leah Brantley, MD, right, finished their residencies a year apart, both were eager to begin caring for expectant mothers.

But at the time, Grizzell and her husband had two young sons and Brantley and her husband were planning on starting a family of their own. Plus, both women were married to surgeons getting ready to start fellowship training in St. Louis.

Finding the balance

For Drs. Grizzell and Brantley, serving as full-time laborists in the Via Christi NewLife Center in Wichita provided the ideal way to balance their own family life needs with pursuing their chosen career.

They typically work two 24-hour shifts a week, delivering babies for mothers whose prenatal care provider either can’t make it to the hospital in time or prefers to rely on a laborist to do their deliveries. The remaining shifts are covered by nine other board-certified OB/GYNs who serve at Via Christi.

“Being able to work scheduled shifts as a laborist allows me to practice obstetrics and be the mom I want to be,” says Dr. Grizzell, who along with husband cardiothoracic surgeon Brett Grizzell now has three children ages 2, 6 and 7.

Via Christi’s laborist program also gives expectant mothers the added security of knowing that an OB/GYN will be on site around the clock to care for them during delivery and in the event of an emergency.

“We’re here to put mom and her family at ease and, in doing so, help ensure a safe delivery,” says Dr. Brantley, who, along with her husband, orthopedic surgeon Jeremy Stallbaumer, MD, now has a 2-year-old and a newborn.

Labor of love

Additionally, Brantley, Grizzell and the other laborists are there to mentor fellow physicians doing their residency training at Via Christi and to serve as a resource to NewLife Center staff.

“We are so fortunate to have such a high level of in-house expertise available to us at any given moment,” says Terri Francisco, director of the NewLife Center.

Likewise, Brantley and Grizzell both say they consider getting to be there to help welcome new babies to the world and still have ample time for their own families a blessing.

You could say it’s a labor of love for them both.

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