Nov. 27—Sheila Metzger saw a need in Muskogee for a total women's health care facility.
On Nov. 15, she opened Grace River Women's Health at 347 S. 37th St.
"I just felt like Muskogee needed a more holistic, whole woman-centered type care," Metzger said. "It's really not available here in Muskogee. We have some great OB-GYNs, but we just needed somebody that would sit down and listen to these women."
Metzger is not a stranger to Green Country. She was born in Wagoner and resides in Braggs.
"Being from here, this is where I get my medical care so I knew there was a need," she said. "I've always been passionate about women's health and Grace River was born. The Lord just opened it up and set it on my lap."
Having been open two weeks, Metzger said that patient response has been brisk.
"We've had lots of appointments," she said. "Women are reaching out. They do long for another woman to talk to and someone that understands how they are feeling."
Metzger is a board-certified women's health nurse practitioner and is licensed by the state of Oklahoma to provide care to women throughout their lifespan.
Her background includes international maternal health care in Haiti and Guatemala, mental health stabilization, correctional medical care — specifically women's health, international medical mission work and an adjunct clinical teaching position with Oklahoma Baptist University.
She believes her experience can help women through life's moments.
"We have peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women come in," She said. "I'm middle aged, so it's nice that I understand what they're feeling. I can also relate to those girls that are young — their periods are irregular or they're pregnant — I can relate to the gamut of things and that's nice. It's just a nice safe place."
Metzger said that while her facility is still new to the Muskogee medical community, she is seeing some referrals from area practitioners.
"They're still feeling us out which of course is natural," she said. "But they are sending some of their female patients over for annual well-woman visits because some of the APRNs in town don't specialize in women's health. We're not seeing a lot of referrals — yet — but they'll come."
Meet Sheila Metzger, APRN
EDUCATION: Connors State College (ADN); Oklahoma Wesleyan University (BSN); Oklahoma Baptist University (MSN-Global Health); Vanderbilt Nursing University (APRN-Women's Health).
FAMILY: Husband Todd, four children, one grandson, one great-grandniece.