News / Calgary

Calgary midwife practice won’t close; but situation isn’t perfect: owners

Calgary midwives Cassie Evans and Christy LeBlanc hope the government improves the midwifery funding model

Cassie Evans (left) and Nicole LeBlanc are grateful they received enough government-funding to remain open.

Jeremy Simes / For Metro

Cassie Evans (left) and Nicole LeBlanc are grateful they received enough government-funding to remain open.

Though Calgary midwives Cassie Evans and Christy LeBlanc are grateful their practice received enough funding to remain open, the duo hopes the funding model changes so that all women who want a midwifery birth get one. 

In March, Evans and LeBlanc’s practice, Honeycomb Midwives, was slated to close as there wasn’t enough government-funded courses of care — or number of family caseloads — to keep the facility afloat. 

That all changed when Alberta Health announced in April $11 million in midwife funding over three years. Thereafter, Honeycomb saw a doubling in courses of care after Alberta Health Services re-worked its allocation. 

Although Honeycomb can remain open, the practice had to let go of one midwife and is sharing another midwife with other practices so that she can still work, according to Evans. 

“It’s not an optimal situation because we don’t know what we’re going to get next year,” LeBlanc said. 

She said more than 400 women are on the wait list for a midwife in Calgary, underscoring the high demand for the practice. 

Nicole Matheson, president of the Alberta Association of Midwives, said the organization has been meeting with key stakeholders, including the government and AHS, to review how midwifery is funded in Alberta. 

She said negotiations for next years contracts will begin at the end of June. 

Evans said she hopes there isn’t a cap on courses of care, similar to how the practice is funded in B.C.

“Our view of our maternity care is an opportunity and invest in these women and help them make their own decisions about their health care,” she said.

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