Shannon, who holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University, as well as master’s degree in Midwifery from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Nazareth College, most recently worked at Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse as the director of business development and hospital liaison for the Upstate Cord Blood Bank. Prior to that Shannon developed, implemented, and directed Upstate’s first full scope, independent, provider-based midwifery practice. The practice provided health care services to women of all socioeconomic status.
Having worked in administration the past few years Shannon felt the urge to return to practice and doing what she loves best, helping women take control of their own health.
“I want to be able to make a difference in our community,” said Shannon. “Returning to practice and interacting with patients is the way to accomplish that. As a nurse practitioner with OCO I will be able to help women throughout their reproductive years from adolescence to post-menopausal as well as men in regards to all aspects of their reproductive health, from routine checkups and preventative care, to the diagnosis and treatment of physical conditions with a focus on reproductive health.”
Shannon’s knowledge and experience as a midwife has allowed for a seamless transition to a nurse practitioner. “The medical scope of midwifery and nurse practitioner are very similar,” said Shannon. “Both are focused on encompassing all women’s health issues; including increasing their quality of life through health and wellness education and seeing to it that they regularly receive their routine checkups when needed.”
“With more than 20 years of experience as a certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner, Heather is a great addition to our team of providers,” said director of OCO Health and Nutrition Services Brian Coleman. “She is patient focused with a desire to help her patients make informed decisions about their health and health care.”
“With my passion for public health OCO is a perfect fit for me,” said Shannon. “I am looking forward to learning more about the population and what our patients’ needs are. For the medical staff at OCO’s Reproductive Health Centers it’s more than a patient coming in for a pap smear, the care doesn’t stop there, it continues into their social and personal lives. My goal is to be a trusted medical provider for women and make a positive difference in my patients’ health by giving them the knowledge to make better health decisions, and getting them in for their routine checkups.”
“OCO has an excellent staff of medical professionals that care deeply about what they do and who we serve. I’m happy to be part of the team and I am looking forward to collaborating with them on strategic planning, goal setting and program development,” added Shannon.
OCO Centers for Reproductive Health offer a wide range of comprehensive reproductive health services for women and men including:
- Birth Control/Contraception
- Pregnancy testing
- STD testing & treatment
- HIV testing & counseling
- HPV vaccine (age 18-26)
- Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)
- Breast & Cervical Cancer Screenings
- Infertility screening and counseling
- Routine and problem visits
- Referral to specialties and other agencies
“The skilled medical professionals at OCO’s Centers for Reproductive Health provide a high level of quality health care across Oswego County,” said Coleman. Last year our centers provided 5,556 patient visits to more than 3,100 patients. The addition of Heather to a staff that includes Supervising Physician Dr. Daniel Coty, and Physicians Assistants Dinah Olson and Lisa SouSou ensures that men and women throughout Oswego County have access to high quality healthcare at any of our locations.”
Services at OCO’s Centers for Reproductive Health are provided in a confidential and non-judgmental manner. With the knowledge that reproductive health issues are not always easy to talk about OCO’s medical staff treats every patient with dignity and respect and is vigilant about maintaining patients’ confidentiality.
OCO Centers for Reproductive Health accept most major insurances and a sliding fee scale discount program is available, making services affordable for most individuals. For the uninsured, they are able to enroll eligible patients in the NYS Family Planning Benefit Program which provides 100% coverage for reproductive health and STD services. They also refer the uninsured to OCO’s Health Insurance Navigator program which helps families and individuals apply to receive the medical insurance they need.
OCO Reproductive Health Services’ Fulton Health Center is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm; Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the third Saturday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Additional satellite locations include Oswego, Mexico, Pulaski, Central Square and SUNY Oswego; OCO can assist with transportation if needed. For more information on the services available at any of OCO’s Centers for Reproductive Health, or to make an appointment, contact them at 315-598-4740 or visit www.oco.org.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations. For more information, visit www.oco.org. Did you know? It’s OCO!