January 31, 2024

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

Capital Nurses Reunite to Guide Parents Through Complex Birth Differences

At The Fetal Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Beth Swartz, R.N., B.S.N, C-EFM, nurse coordinator, and Anna M. Connair, WHNP-BC, CNM, nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner, are part of a comprehensive team that extends beyond groundbreaking medical interventions. Both Capital alumnae consider it an honor to accompany patients on their journeys, even in difficult circumstances.

“We're doing really exciting things here in Columbus, and I believe that the opportunity for families to meet the doctors who will care for their kids after delivery is a pivotal moment in the pregnancy. It helps in developing a relationship that can be crucial for addressing potential lifelong issues,” said Swartz ’08. “We have some brilliant physicians here that are changing the trajectory of kids’ lives.  They are able to perform surgery on the fetus in the womb to promote better outcomes after birth.”

As one of the first points of contact for families referred to The Fetal Center, Swartz ensures a seamless transition into the specialized care they offer. Connair ’09 then steps in to provide guidance and support, sitting in on consultations and offering obstetric insights. Her role involves not only addressing medical needs but also providing emotional support and education to patients.

“We know that during the neonatal period, it’s pivotal to have the ability for moms and babies to stay together in one place. We’ve seen the benefits of that emotionally and physically for both mom and baby. I feel so fortunate to be here and be surrounded by people that care so deeply for patients and families,” said Swartz.

“That’s another aspect of this, we have a whole perinatal palliative care team that involves physicians and chaplains partnering with local birth hospitals. If we’re looking at a life-limiting diagnosis, we’re really making sure that time is well spent, and that the families are able to make memories. It’s not always a happy ending. I think just having the opportunity to journey with these patients is an honor and something special that we both hold very dear to our heart.”

While at Capital, Swartz was a year ahead of Connair, but they did cross paths. Together, they were members of the Student Nurse Association, fostering a connection that would later prove significant in their professional lives.

“Capital lays the foundation of what nursing is from the day you step on campus. I know nursing has evolved greatly since we’ve both been there, but there’s a focus on the culture of caring and compassion as the baseline for everything you do,” said Connair. “The science, especially biology, is, of course, important, but how you communicate, how you listen, how you care for people and their families is just as important.”

Inspired by the care they each witnessed during their moms’ battles with breast cancer, nursing became a passion.

“My nursing journey actually kind of echoes a lot of Beth’s. We both had mothers who have fought through breast cancer, mine was diagnosed when I was in preschool. I was at home with her or accompanied her through treatment and was fascinated by the medical care she received,” said Connair.

“I was always interested in labor and delivery. I would come home from middle school and watch ‘A Baby Story’ on TLC. I had an opportunity to actually shadow a NICU nurse when I was in eighth grade and watched a delivery. I knew then this was the field I wanted to work in.”

Connair’s and Swartz’s dedication to maternal and obstetric care at Nationwide Children's Hospital reflects not only their individual journeys but also the compassionate ethos instilled by their alma mater, Capital University.

For more information on The Fetal Center at Nationwide Children’s, visit http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/fetal-center.

To learn more about Nursing at Capital, visit http://9z.daleyzaairquality.net/academics/nursing/.