A Culture of Caring is Sometimes the Best Medicine

Mary Granholm, BVMI’s nurse practitioner, wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when Sara came in for a routine check-up to monitor her arthritis. During the exam, Mary was surprised to see a blood pressure reading of nearly 200/100, dangerously high for someone who usually had a normal reading. 

Instead of writing a prescription, Mary spent some time talking with Sara to see if there was something unusual going on. She conducted a thorough physical exam and asked Sara to share what was happening in her life. Normally upbeat, Sara loved to chat about anything from the weather to her family. This time, she burst into tears.

Her only daughter was pregnant with her first child, and had just been told the baby was at high risk for Down’s Syndrome. Her son-in-law was adamant that she have an immediate abortion, and she and her daughter were distraught and anxious.

Mary recommended that Sara talk with her daughter about having an amniocentesis to confirm the diagnosis. Neither the mother nor the daughter could pay for the test, so Mary continued to help them explore their options. Eventually, Sara and her daughter borrowed money from friends and family to have the test done, which showed no evidence of Down’s Syndrome.

Just a few weeks ago, a beaming Sara walked into BVMI with her daughter and newborn granddaughter for a follow-up visit to check her blood pressure, which was normal.


No prescriptions, no pills, no medications. All Sara needed was a loving, attentive ear.