By Sandy Grantello
October 21, 2020
Having been born and lived in poverty while raised by a single woman as well as being a single woman herself, Sandy Grantello has experienced firsthand the challenges that women face with regards to being a mom and raising their families. She can identify directly with the struggles and challenges faced by pregnant women, making her more aware of the support pregnant women and moms need in the community.
Sandy received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Luke’s Hospital System in Kansas City, Missouri. She specifically chose women’s health to make improvements in women’s health. Sandy says, “if I didn’t do it, then who would? Who else has that perspective, can empathize with women living in poverty, in difficult relationships or undergoing difficult times?”
Sandy chose to initial work in the safety net hospital system – and specifically the county hospital – as she wanted to give back the community and work with those women who are the most vulnerable. During her career, she has worked in antepartum, postpartum, NICU, and med surge with OBGYN focus. She has worked in the inpatient, bedside care setting of a hospital to working in the clinic setting as a case management coordinator for high risk clinic patients. In collaborating with the maternal fetal medicine physicians and medical residents, it gave Sandy an opportunity to see the gaps in woman’s health and how nursing can impact and fill in those gaps to improve patient care.
Today, Sandy works as an obstetrician practice consultant and has the opportunity to impact the outcomes for more women by working directly with OB/GYN physicians. She provides resources to medical providers in the perinatal community and supports the medical care team by ensuring they know the most up-to-date quality measures and ways for improvement.
Sandy’s greatest advice to a woman: “You should know your own self, know your body and ask yourself the question, do you want to become pregnant within the next year?” If a woman does not want to be pregnant, then she should use her preferred method of contraception as well as practice good preconception health, which includes eliminate drugs and alcohol, as well as using vitamins and seeing a medical care provider to ensure her health conditions are being addressed.
During pregnancy, a woman should take care of herself. A woman should follow the instructions of her health care provider for her treatment and have a care plan for her pregnancy. Sandy iterates, “if a woman is not comfortable with her physician, she has a choice to seek care elsewhere. A woman must feel comfortable with her provider, as it is an intimate relationship.”
Sandy adds, “take care of your body. You can do this by eating well, exercising, talking to friends and family and creating boundaries. This is your experience.”
In the postpartum time, after a woman has had her baby, Sandy counsels, “be prepared for expectations. No one knows how to parent, we’re all learning together. Ask the people you trust, such as doctors and nurses, for help. It’s okay to ask for help and to make a connection.”
Sandy is committed to improving maternal health in Harris County because she did not want to be part of the problem, rather she wants to be part of the solution.