“Unum est necessarium” translated from Latin as “One thing is necessary”- the motto for Venerable Bishop Baraga, and a phrase that I hope defines my professional and personal life.
I am originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Bishop Baraga spent much of his ministry. A graduate of Gladstone High School, I knew early on I wanted to be a physician. My premedical work was completed at Northern Michigan University, where I majored in Physiology and minored in Chemistry, and Philosophy. I then chose to follow in the footsteps of my mentor and attend Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, with the original plan of becoming a family medicine physician.
I met my husband Andrew in college, and we were married in 2003. We welcomed our first daughter, Eleanor, during my medical school years. It was the beautiful, natural birth experience I had, as well as an unexpected interest in surgery, that led me to choose obstetrics and gynecology as my specialty.
Next came four years of residency at the University of Michigan-West Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the end of the residency, we welcomed our second child, Francis, after experiencing secondary infertility for several years. I then spent the next 8 years in private practice in Marquette, Michigan as a board-certified OB/GYN physician. Our third and fourth children were born during our time there, Marie and Kolbe.
After six years in practice, I made the decision to become trained in Natural Procreative Technology, an approach to women’s healthcare that cooperates fully with a woman’s body, without suppressing or overriding its natural functions. It is the antidote, in many ways, to Assisted or Artificial Reproductive Technology, which uses means such as in vitro fertilization. I was very attracted to the fact that Natural Procreative Technology looks for the underlying cause of disease and dysfunction that my patients might be experiencing. It is a way of treating the female patient that honors her dignity as well as the sanctity of the family. Applying this medical care on a personal level, we were blessed with our fifth child, Georgia, in 2020.
The more I utilized this approach, the more I wanted to learn to be able to fully help the women and couples entrusted to my care. That led our family to Omaha, Nebraska in 2021 to complete the St. John Paul II Medical and Surgical Fellowship jointly offered by Creighton University School of Medicine and the St. Paul VI Institute, where Natural Procreative Technology was first developed over 30 years ago. Thanks to my family’s great sacrifice, I was able to learn the complex surgical techniques necessary to help women get to the root cause of their issues and to heal, with emphasis on complex endometriosis resection, and tubal microsurgery, robotic myomectomy, ovarian wedge resection, and pelvioplasty.
Fertility and Midwifery Care Center defines so many of the things that are so important to me- helping women embrace and care for their fertility, and supporting them in their pregnancies and the birth of their babies!
Looking back, the trajectory of my career has been so much bigger and better than I ever could have imagined as that bright-eyed kid starting my pre-med classes so many years ago. It hasn’t always been easy, or clear, but I have found that keeping in mind what is foremost ‘necessary’ has been the saving grace.