Cochrane Community Midwives Team

Shianna Pace, RM

Since I was a young girl I have had a passion for babies and pregnancy. This passion flourished while growing up in a large family, and gained focus after experiencing the birth of one of my younger cousins. The realization that this passion could become a career was made when I chose to “career shadow” Joy in a grade nine work experience project. I later discovered that my paternal great grandmother had also been a midwife. After graduating from Cochrane High School I began actively pursuing a career in midwifery. This led me to a midwifery education program in the USA which involved a year of practicum in the Philippines, fulfilling my longstanding desire to aid the less fortunate in the developing world. While in the Philippines, I was able to acquire extensive midwifery skills while working with the diverse maternal and neonatal complexities facing the third world. After six months in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, my husband Brad and I had the opportunity to establish a charity birth centre serving poverty stricken families and woman from the tribes who were unable to access health care. Upon completion of my year in the Philippines I returned to Cochrane, obtained Alberta Midwifery Registration, and joined Cochrane Community Midwives. While working as a midwife I have developed a strong commitment to enabling woman to make their own personal health care decisions. I believe that a woman should leave midwifery care empowered by her birth experience, and confident in her body. I look forward to helping more women to accomplish their goals.

Carly Scrymgeour, RM

My passion for birth and women’s health care began when I was pregnant with my first child in 1995. Through this pregnancy I learned that pregnancy and birth are transforming events in a woman’s life and events that most women remember for the rest of their lives. After graduating from the University of Calgary in 2001 I began work in the field of social work working with adults with disabilities in supported employment. Although I loved this work I knew that it was not my calling. In 2004 I began to attend births as a doula, and would volunteer my time to families that could not afford the fee. I felt honoured to share these precious moments with the families I served. It was during this time that I began to seriously consider pursuing a career in midwifery. However, these plans were put on hold after the birth of my second child in 2006. I enrolled in the midwifery program at Bastyr University in 2009, and graduated with a Master of Science in Midwifery in June 2012. After completing my final clinical rotation in my hometown of Cochrane, AB with Cochrane Community Midwives, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join their team of midwives, and have the honour of providing care to women in the Cochrane area. I believe that birth is sacred, that women deserve to be cared for by a caregiver who is educated and competent, that will empower them with information, get to know them as a person, and treat them and their families with the gentleness and respect they deserve. On a more personal note, I am fortunate to have the support of my partner Greg, my two wonderful children – Nicholas born in 1995 and Maya born in 2006, and I am looking forward to welcoming another baby into our family in January 2017. I often think that the most powerful educational experiences I have had were these pregnancies and births. I am truly grateful to all the families I serve for choosing me to care for them, and for allowing me to be a part of their special day.

Joy West-Eklund, RM (On-Leave)

I have been practicing community based midwifery care for many years and was a founding member of the longest established practice in the Calgary area. I was born and raised in the Springbank, Alberta area, completed my R.N. in Calgary, and apart from living in Australia while completing my midwifery education, have lived in the Cochrane rural area most of my life. My husband , Lindsay, and I ranch in the Jumping Pound area southwest of Cochrane, where we raise and market natural beef. I was blessed to have given birth naturally to three amazing daughters, Jennifer, Lara and Emily. I am privileged to be step-mom to Travis, Shane and Lori-Anne, and now enjoy six beautiful grandchildren! I was actively involved in the development of the Arbour Birth Centre in Calgary and was a founding member of the Foothills Midwifery Project, and of Briar Hill Midwives where I cared for hundreds of families over many years. I have been involved politically for over twenty years in the areas of midwifery regulation, the establishment of regional hospital privileges for Registered Midwives, and in the successful integration of midwives into the Alberta health care system . In addition to serving as president of the Alberta Association of Midwives, I was for several years the Regional Division Chief of Midwifery for the Calgary Health Region. My strong and passionate belief in the innate strength and ability of women to give birth, and in their right to make informed decisions about where and with whom they choose to do this, are fundamental to my practice of midwifery.