Campus News - April 23, 2001
Love Me Tender
Midwifery's Montoya provides 'patience' care
By Laurie Mellas-Ramirez
mijita, how are you? Liz Montoya greets me with a gentle hug the
same warm welcome she offers every patient who visits University Hospitals
Midwifery Clinic on the 4th floor of the Ambulatory Care Center.
Montoya assists two midwives who see, on average, 40 women a day all
members of la familia. I take a personal approach, she says. I
love her like shes my daughter. I want her to feel like shes important
and that I truly care for her, I do.
Extended visits and individual care set midwives and Montoya
apart. Most people focus on the precious new arrival, but for these caregivers,
Montoya guides me to her office Albuquerques Graceland for moms-to-be
where I get my second hug from Elvis Presleys memory. The King occupies
every nook and cranny of Montoyas space from posters and photos
to the computer screen saver and electric clock with hips that swing time away.
Hes more than an idol to this mother of two and wife of 30 years; the
rock and roll legend is her mentor. Much of her memorabilia are gifts from patients
gratitude for her time.
Oh, Elvis. Hes such a beautiful person, sighs Montoya, a
devoted fan since age 10. I loved his personality. The main thing about
Elvis is that no matter how rich or how famous he was he took time with people.
He was so generous. And look at the time he took with his parents, he adored
Montoyas mom recognized her daughters generosity of spirit and
created a photo collage of young Liz surrounded by patients children my
Montoya began her career in patient care in 1972 at a nursing home in Colorado.
In 1974, she worked in labor and delivery and got on the job training.
It was neat. I was fortunate to catch three babies by myself! she says.
In 1987, she moved to New Mexico and came to work at University Hospital on
the high-risk obstetrics floor. During that same period, her pregnant daughter
turned to the midwife clinic. I saw the care that they gave her and the
education and love. I knew I needed to be here, shares Montoya who has
been at the clinic since 1989.
As the medical assistant, Montoya handles every detail from the moment
the patient calls. She schedules appointments, evaluates the patients
condition upon arrival, monitors blood pressure and weight and follows
through to make sure her visit was a happy visit, she says.
In 1993, Little Liz was honored as employee of the month and also
earned an award from the Peoples Choice Committee for excellent organizational
Nurse midwives are trained to help women during labor and delivery and offer
prenatal, postpartum, normal newborn and routine gynecological care.
The nice thing about midwives is that they focus on the woman
everything about her, Montoya says. They can stay patients forever
and get all their annual exams here.
We listen to women thats our motto, she adds.
University Midwifery Associates employs 13 certified nurse-midwives staffing
seven facilities: University Hospital, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque
Indian Hospital and four local First Choice clinics. They welcome more than
800 new lives into the world each year.
Midwives receive referrals from around the city. Nearly 28 percent of the women
receiving care last year at the University clinic were teens. Sometimes
their parents are mad, the boyfriend abandoned them and the girls need extra
love and support, Montoya explains.
The clinic puts an emphasis on education. Pamphlets abound and videos play
regularly in the waiting room on topics such as breastfeeding and what patients
can expect when they arrive at the hospital. By the time they have the
baby they are totally prepared, Montoya says.
Patients love her and frequently visit with their recent additions and later
as they grow.
Ive had a love for babies all my life, shares Montoya, the eldest in a family of 11 children. I tell my patients thats my baby and we have to take care of my baby. My babies are very important to me.
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
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