Mary’s passion for pregnancy and birth began in childhood when she would help her dolls birth their babies. When she was 11 years old she wrote a letter to the University of Calgary Medical School asking what she needed to take in high school to become an obstetrician. Her mother, who always encouraged Mary to live her dream, found the letter and sent it.
Her journey to midwifery took some time, starting when she graduated from the Practical Nurse program at Bow Valley College in 1986 and began her career at Foothills Medical Centre. This part of her career led her through long term care, neurosurgery, leading medical and neurosurgical outpatient clinics, cardiac research and research with the Institute of Health Economics.
With the sudden death of her mother in 1996, Mary’s whole world was rocked, this sad event led her to strive to reach her dream of being with families during their childbearing years. She continued on the path in 1998 at the University of Calgary Nursing Program and was the first nursing student to complete a practicum with midwives in the Calgary community. It was during this experience that Mary was convinced that midwifery was her calling. She started her nursing career working in labour and delivery at Foothills Medical Centre and as a Public Health Nurse in Airdrie.
In February 2005 Mary launched the final leg of her journey to become a midwife. This adventure took her to Flinders University in Adelaide Australia where she completed her Baccalaureate of Midwifery. While her husband and three daughters remained in Canada, Mary immersed herself in the art and science of midwifery. She also worked part-time in the Neonatal Intensive and Special Care Nurseries, experiences she values and which inform her practice today. Upon her return to Canada Mary started her midwifery career with Briar Hill Midwives before midwifery services were publicly funded.
Through the years, Mary has been instrumental in helping to progress midwifery in Alberta: she served as the Chair of the Midwifery Health Disciplines Committee from 2006 to 2013, worked with Canadian midwifery regulators to create a bridging program for internationally educated midwives coming to Canada, served as midwifery liaison at the Peter Lougheed hospital, participated on the funding negotiations team with Alberta Association of Midwives, and assisted Mount Royal University with the proposal to government for the midwifery program. Mary started teaching in the midwifery program in 2011 following completion of her Masters of Midwifery from the University of Sheffield. She took on the role of Program Coordinator and was instrumental in helping the program receive its first Campus Alberta Quality Council Approval in 2019.
In August 2019, Mary left her teaching position to return solely to clinical practice while remaining an instructor for Neonatal Resuscitation and Emergency Skills. Teaching in the midwifery program provided Mary with the opportunity to share her passion for midwifery and meet some incredible students. Cher was one of those incredible students and Mary is honoured and blessed to have Cher as her midwifery partner. Cher and Mary share a passion for birth and being with families on their unique journey through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
When Mary is not working, you can find her spending time with her husband, and love of her life, Tim. They share three grown daughters, their partners and beautiful grandchildren. Mary has had the privilege to be present at the birth of her grandchildren who were all born out of hospital. In the summer Mary can often be found hiking in the mountains, along a river or through the many parks in and around Calgary. In the winter you will find her curled up with a blanket and cup of tea, knitting or crocheting baby hats or reading a book to a grandchild. She loves to travel and looks forward to the day when she and Tim can board a cruise ship and travel the world again.