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A Passion for Women’s Health
Midwives MaryEllen Levine and Tina Colella are proud to work for a practice like Advocare The Women’s Group for OB/GYN, which always puts its patients’ needs first.

by Staff

MaryEllen Levine and Tina Colella of Advocare The Women’s Group for OB/GYN have always known they wanted to be midwives since the start of their nursing careers. They became close friends, along with another midwife in the practice, Jennifer Travis, CNM, WHNP, while working together more than 25 years ago as labor and delivery nurses. So it only seemed natural they would both decide to pursue their doctorates and fulfill a lifelong dream. The practice that Dr. Wendy Martinez has built certainly has roots!

“When deciding to go on to advanced practice in nursing, we both decided to pursue doctoral degrees, specifically the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), with the goal of advancing our clinical skills and knowledge to the highest level,” Levine says. “Our extensive clinical training has equipped us to address the complex health issues that we face in our specialty and the knowledge needed to provide the latest evidence-based care to all of our patients.”

Levine and Colella attained a dual degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in MIdwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. People often wonder what the difference is between a DNP in Nursing and a Ph.D. in Nursing—the DNP is a practice or clinical doctoral degree and the  Ph.D. is a research doctoral degree. 

“I have always been drawn to caring for women and their families,” Colella says. “Pregnancy and childbirth are exciting yet normal events in a woman and her family’s lives. Helping to support a woman to trust her body and the natural processes of pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding (if she chooses)  is such a gift for me. We know the less we intervene, the better the outcomes for mom and baby will be. The maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rate here in the U.S. is one of the highest in the world. In countries where they utilize midwives to a greater degree the rates are significantly lower.” 

Dr. Martinez has always been supportive and an advocate in team members advancing their degrees, and believes in women’s health nurse practitioners and midwives practicing independently under her guidance. “Adding doctorally prepared nurses to our group has rounded out our practice and added a new dimension for the women we care for,” Dr. Martinez says.

Colella’s focus is on fostering a compassionate and nurturing environment for her patients where they can feel seen, heard and valued. She brings a holistic approach to health care, focusing on the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of her patients while simultaneously bringing the latest evidence-based practices to the forefront of her care. From supporting teenagers with their unique health care needs to guiding women through the challenges of menopause, she is dedicated to building a life-long relationship with her patients.

“Through the years, my passion for caring for women has expanded beyond pregnancy and childbirth to caring for women throughout their lifespan,” Colella says. “My doctoral project focused on women in menopause and I feel passionate about educating and supporting women on how to best transition into this special time of their lives. Women will spend one-third or more of their lives after menopause yet we do not give this stage the same time and attention we do for the relatively brief time they are of childbearing age. I feel sad that many women feel they need to just accept all the things that go along with menopause when there is so much we can do to help. I never thought I would feel this way, but talking about menopause has become one of my favorite discussions to have with my patients.”

Levine started her career in women’s health in 1991 as a medical assistant at The Women’s Group for OB/GYN when it was founded by Dr. Martinez, and has continued to pursue her love for the specialty ever since. She considers it a privilege to be able to care for women across the health care continuum, from adolescence through menopause and beyond. 

“Advocare The Women's Group for OB/GYN has been a big part of my nursing career from the beginning and the catalyst for moving me forward to attain my DNP,” Levine says. “I am blessed to work alongside women who I admire and respect and who are my closest  friends—it doesn't get any better than that.”

Both Levine and Colella could not be happier to be working for a practice that puts its patients first. 

“We love being in an all-women practice,” they say. “There is no one who is going to understand a woman better than another woman. Also, our practice has the unique distinction of having the most midwives in any private practice. We are very proud of the fact that we hold one of the lowest cesarean section rates in our health care system. We attribute that distinction to being in a midwife-dominant practice. If a woman is in labor and under our care, we are in the trenches with her, caring for her and advocating for her to have the  labor and delivery experience she desires while providing the best care for her and her baby. We all participate in our obstetric patients’ care during their pregnancy and we get to know them and their families well. By delivery time we have bonded with them, which gives our patients a sense of assurance.”

Advocare The Women's Group for OB/GYN

(856) 770-9300