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Frankie and Katie: An unforgettable Meridian story of life & happy beginnings.

Mar 11

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Monday, March 11, 2013  RssIcon

MERIDIAN HEALTH SERVICES ADVOCATES “WHOLE person health” – that is, caring for all aspects of a patient’s well being. Physically, mentally, socially, Meridian seeks to integrate health care.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Francesca Maio, who prefers to be called Frankie.

Frankie, who is from Indianapolis, was visiting with her aunt, Kim Daum, who lives in Rushville and works in Meridian’s Rushville Clinic.

Then 17, Frankie told Kim her secret: She was pregnant.

“My first thought was, ‘I’m 17. I’m in no position to have a baby. I need to have an abortion,’ ” Frankie says. “So we set up an appointment, and I went in.

“Then I saw her on the screen, and I couldn’t do it,” she said referring to Katie, the infant daughter, whom she holds as she talks.

“I knew this would be the best place for her,” Kim says, “not just because I work here, but because I believe in the providers and their dedication and the love and support we show our patients every day. I knew that she would love it here.”

Along with medical and prenatal care, Frankie also received counseling.

“I didn’t know that they did therapy, which is something I didn’t think I needed,” she says. “But once I started it, I realized I really did need to talk to somebody. I needed to vent. I needed to get things out, because having a baby at 17, 18 is really hard.”

Dr. Sarfraz Khan, Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Meridian Health Services, heads up the MeridianMD program. To him, the story serves as evidence of its effectiveness.

A HEALTHY SUCCESS STORY. New mother Frankie Maio and her daughter, Katie, have been beneficiaries of Meridian Health Services’ clinic care.

“Once the medical community started to become specialized, we started providing better care but in the midst of the change, we lost the human touch. At Meridian, we’re bringing that back.”

Frankie was ready to place her unborn child up for adoption. That is, until she met the staff at Meridian Health Services.

“Without the care here and the people here, I probably wouldn’t have kept her,” Frankie says. “Honestly, they’re the main reason I did. And I’m very thankful for that, because she is everything to me.”

Frankie credits the Meridian staff with helping her get through her pregnancy.

“I received so much care here at Meridian,” she adds. “All my prenatal was done here. And even though I didn’t come until I was five months along, they took care of me. They got everything done in a great time. After Katie was born, I brought her here for pediatric care.”

That’s just how Dr. Nykki Boersma would have it. A family physician at the Rushville clinic, Dr. Boersma, who has delivered 112 babies in her 3 1/2 years with Meridian, says she entered medicine specifically to provide that quality of care.

“It’s actually, from my perspective, what family medicine is supposed to be about,” Dr. Boersma says.

“I take care of pregnant women. I see their babies. I see them grow up. I continue to take care of the family throughout their life span,” she said.

Dr. Boersma and the rest of the team have “adopted” Frankie and Katie.

“Frankie came frightened, not quite sure of what she was going to do,” Boersma said. “And it’s just the spirit of this clinic. The nurses and staff take people in and make sure they have the things they need.

“And we have just all fallen in love with Frankie, which is an easy thing to do, and with Katie, it is even easier.”

When people love what they do, they change the world.

Just ask Frankie.

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