HCN News & Notes

Baystate Ob/Gyn Group Welcomes Vanessa Thomas, Elina Koumjian

SPRINGFIELD — The providers and staff of Baystate Ob/Gyn Group Inc. recently welcomed Vanessa Thomas and Elina Koumjian to the practice.

After many years of building her nursing skills as a cardiac nurse, Thomas’s passion for women’s health and the birthing experience led her to focus her career on midwifery. She returned to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Elms College, a master’s degree from Philadelphia University, and her midwifery certificate through Baystate Medical Center. She gained experience over the years working closely with patients and their families as an advocate for health and wellness.

Thomas’s professional experience has included diverse work settings ranging from a registered nurse responsible for providing direct evidence-based care to patients, to a hospital patient placement manager, to a triage coordinator. Her experience with women’s healthcare has included collaborative gynecologic and obstetric care with labor support, promoting normal physiologic birth. For her commitment to her community, she won the 2015 Nursing Gala Community Service and Volunteerism Award.

Koumjian brings a full range of experiences in midwifery care, including labor and birth support and management, water birth, vaginal birth after C-section, CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care facilitation, gynecology, breastfeeding facilitation, and preventive healthcare. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Marlboro College and her master’s degree in nursing with a nurse midwifery specialty from Seattle University, she spent time in the U.S. territory of Saipan, fulfilling both nursing and midwifery roles in a low-resource hospital setting. There, she gained much experience in reproductive healthcare before she returned to the U.S., where she practiced midwifery in the Tacoma, Wash. area before returning to New England.

Over the years, Koumjian has developed a clinical interest in evidence-based botanical and complementary medicine, group prenatal care, and facilitating empowering childbirth. She has an intermediate understanding of the Russian language.