Coleman leads by advocating for her patients and profession

Each September, the AMA recognizes Women in Medicine to "showcase the accomplishments of women physicians." This year, UI Health Care is celebrating our providers for the work they do, including Lastascia Coleman ARNP, CNM.

Lastascia Coleman, ARNP, CNM

What is your specialty?

I am a certified nurse-midwife (CNM). CNMs are advanced practice providers. We are licensed nurse practitioners and have masters or doctorate degrees. We take a board exam after are training is completed that is regulated by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs can provide care to women across the lifespan from puberty to menopause, including prenatal care and birth.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

I decided to pursue my career as a certified nurse-midwife initially because I wanted to deliver babies and take care of pregnant women and birthing people. As my career has developed, I really enjoy seeing patients back for well-woman care, contraception, and to help them get started with evaluation and referral for other health problems or concerns they may have. I have also enjoyed taking on teaching medical students and residents and working on quality improvement for maternity care here.

Who was a mentor to you that made an impact in your life? Why?

Jennifer Niebyl, MD, was a huge advocate for bringing midwifery services to University of Iowa. I had the opportunity to work closely with her before she retired when I was the OB hospitalist. She was very supportive and happy to share her knowledge and experiences.

What words of advice would you give to younger women hoping to begin studies or a career in medicine?

I would tell them the same thing I tell my daughter: Be yourself, be kind, and be brave.

What is a hobby of yours outside of work?

I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes and reading. I mostly read science fiction, fantasy, or suspense novels when I have time.

This year’s theme for Women in Medicine month is "Women in Medicine: Trailblazers, Advocates, Leaders." What does this theme mean to you personally?

To me, advocacy for patients and my profession are as important as the individual clinical care I provide. The leadership skills I have developed over the course of my career have made me a more effective advocate.