At Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center, we recognize birth as a natural, normal part of life.

We believe in partnering with you to ensure that your health care is an empowering experience. Our mission is to provide a safe, home-like environment to women of all ages for their health care needs – from preconception, through pregnancy, and through menopause.

Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center, LLC was founded in 2012 by midwife Patty Kandiko and her husband and business partner, Dick Kandiko. The birth center is:

  • a nurturing place where you receive personal attention

  • a sanctuary where mothers give birth

  • a learning place for intimacy, birth and family

  • a supportive community for women and families

  • an integral part of the Western Slope and eastern Utah health care system

  • a midwife’s place of business

  • a clinical training site for midwives


As defined by the American Association of Birth Centers, a birth center is “a homelike facility, existing within a healthcare system with a program of care designed in the wellness model of pregnancy and birth. Birth centers are guided by principles of prevention, sensitivity, safety, appropriate medical intervention, and cost effectiveness. Birth centers provide family-centered care for healthy women before, during and after normal pregnancy, labor and birth”. To learn more about birth centers and get involved in the birth center movement, please go to the American Association of Birth Centers website for resources for parents.

Certifications: In accordance with Colorado birth center regulations, our midwives are certified nurse-midwives (CNM) and our birth assistants are registered nurses (RN) with special training in labor support and infant care.

Certified nurse-midwives are registered nurses who went on to complete a graduate midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), and passed a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) to receive the professional designation of CNM.


Our Staff

Patty Kandiko
Certified Nurse Midwife, Director, Co-owner

Birth Calling: Patty Kandiko has been fascinated with birth for as long as she can remember. As a teen, she learned about midwives while reading novels about nurses. Her first summer job as an nurse’s aide in an obstetrics unit of a hospital confirmed her passion. In her entrance essay for nursing school, she wrote that her long term goal was to become a midwife.

“The birth center is a result of both my passion for birth and public health. We need more birth centers and options for women and families today.
— Patty Kandiko, CNM

Over the years, Patty and her husband, Dick Kandiko, moved their family several times to facilitate his career.  Each time, Patty looked carefully for nursing positions in places that supported mothers, babies, and families in birth. She had the good fortune to work with midwives at Family Hospital in Milwaukee, WI and a birth center in Greenville, SC. Patty recalls, “I loved every minute of it and often thought: this is the way it’s supposed to be. Someday I’ll have a birth center.”


  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), American Midwifery Certification Board, 2012.

  • MSN Nurse Midwifery Program, Frontier School of Nurse Midwifery, Hyden, KY, 2012.

  • Bachelor Science Nursing, Marian University, Fond du Lac, WI, 1993.

  • Diploma Program Graduate RN, St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, Peoria, IL, 1974.

  • Current Ongoing Certifications: CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation


  • American Association of Birth Centers, member since 2009.

  • American College of Nurse-Midwives, member since 2009.

  • CO Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives

Public Health and Prevention: Her quest to find a good fit while raising her family also led to positions in public health, working with young pregnant families.  Patty says, “Public Health to me has always meant prevention. Instead of treating people for heart attacks, what can we do to prevent the heart attack from happening? With young families we focused on good nutrition, quitting smoking, preventing the problems that can make the baby’s health less than ideal. ”  She taught parents how to use car seats correctly, helped families decrease lead in their environment and supported children as their school nurse.

Starting a Birth Center: After graduating from midwifery school and moving to Grand Junction to be near her grandchildren, Patty’s dream of starting a birth center blossomed. She found support in the local birth community and gathered help from Dick, her husband and business partner, as well as their daughter, neighbors and friends.

Patty is a preceptor and takes on this teaching responsibility so that more women can have their maternity care and wellness taken care of by certified nurse midwives.


Jeana Smith
Certified Nurse Midwife

Jeana, a native to the Grand Valley, joined the Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center in 2015 as a Certified Nurse Midwife.

Jeana is excited to be a part of the Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center family.  With a Bachelors in Nursing, 10 years of nursing experience, and a Masters in Nursing / Midwifery from Frontier Nursing University Jeana is now a Certified Nurse Midwife and able to take care of all of your pregnancy and well woman needs.

When I was 12 years old I witnessed the birth of my little sister. I will never forget as her little face emerged from my mother’s womb, the pure awe I experienced. I can hardly put into words how special that moment was for me.
— Jeana Smith, CNM

Jeana is passionate about helping protect the normalcy of birth by caring for women before, during and after pregnancy.  She joined the Birth Center to serve families and help women become mothers.

Jeana was called to support natural birth at a young age.  “When I was 12 years old I witnessed the birth of my little sister.  I will never forget as her little face emerged from my mother’s womb, the pure awe I experienced.  I can hardly put into words how special that moment was for me.”


  • Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Midwifery, Frontier Nursing University, Hyden KY., 2015

  • Current State of Colorado nursing license, BCLS, NRP.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction Co., 2004

You will see Jeana at the Birth Center doing your prenatal exams, providing helpful advice, guiding you in your pregnancy and partnering with you through the birth of your baby as well as helping answer your questions before and after.

Jeana is a great resource for all of your questions, needs, and any pregnancy advice.  She has four children and two of them were by VBAC. She enjoys helping moms meet their natural birth and pregnancy goals.

Visit the Birth Center today to meet Jeana and see how she can help you with your natural birth and well woman care.

Jeana is a preceptor and takes on this teaching responsibility so that more women can have their maternity care and wellness taken care of by certified nurse midwives.


Dick Kandiko
Office Manager, Co-owner

Dick Kandiko brings a well-rounded business perspective to the birth center. He worked in management for most of his professional life, in hospitals and in procurement at a Fortune 100 corporation. He also helped his wife, Patty Kandiko, raise alpacas on their farm in Wisconsin for 16 years and grew that enterprise into a successful business.

A lot of people have helped us along the way and we have had a lot of good fortune. Now we hope to return the favor and brighten the lives of women and families in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah by providing a location where they can give birth their way.
— Dick Kandiko

At Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center, Dick handles the accounting and finances.  He is happy to be your initial contact for questions regarding insurance coverage, and for those who want to self-pay, he is glad to review with you possible payment plans.


  • MHA, Masters in Hospital Administration from Xavier University, Cincinnati Ohio, 1977.

  • BA, History from Bradley University, Peoria Illinois, 1974.

Dick says, “People like to have good information and a variety of choices when making decisions. I can assist families in the analysis of their financial questions and explore payment options with them.”

Dick also enjoys biking, swimming, beer-making, and playing with his grandchildren.



Nona Wiley

With an Associate of Applied Science Nursing degree from Mesa State College, Nona joined Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center in 2015. She has 11 years of nursing experience and a passion for providing care that meets the needs of her clients.

Natural birth is an amazing process. Its the moms - watching them grow, witnessing their strength, and sharing in their joy as they bond with their new baby
— Nona Wiley, RN

She joined the Birth Center family because she was excited about the new opportunity in the Grand Valley for women to give birth.  She is passionate about new life, building relationships, and helping patients through their maternity journey. 


  • Mesa State College (now CMU), Montrose, Colorado Registered Nurse, 2010

  • Delta Montrose Technical College, Delta, Colorado Licensed Practical Nurse , 2008

In many ways, Nona is the face of the birth center. She is the kind nurse on the phone, patiently and thoroughly answering questions about pregnancy, health concerns, and calling you to remind you of your appointments.

You might see Nona around the Birth Center assisting with births, taking fetal heart tones, vitals and assessments in order to help provide general care for mothers and their babies.

One story that sticks out in Nona’s mind is a water birth that she helped assist with.  This water birth was very peaceful and calm without stress or worry.  When baby was born he did not cry, as he was placed on his mama’s chest.  He simply opened his eyes and looked up at his mama as if to say, “ Hi mama, it’s sure good to see you.”

Nona is also a great resource for any fears or concerns you might have around pregnancy.  She enjoys helping people with what they need through compassion and caring.

Visit the Birth Center today to meet our staff and see how we can help you with your natural birth.



Karin VanderVelde

Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Karin VanDervelde comes from Mississippi and she is our newest staff member at the birth center starting in 2017.  She will work with mothers through exams and by helping catch their babies.

Birth is a normal physiologic process which should not be interfered with unless there is a medical indication.
— Karin VanderVelde, CNM


  • Nursing Diploma earned at University of Alberta Hospital School of Nursing in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1977

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing earned at Chamberlain College of Nursing in Downers Grove, Illinois in 2013

  • Master of Science in Nursing, Midwifery Program completed at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky in 2016

  • Post-master’s Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Certification completed at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Kentucky in 2017

As a student nurse Karin witnessed her first birth and knew then that she wanted her career to be centered around caring for women during pregnancy and during the labor and birth process.  Karin’s foundational philosophy is that birth is a normal physiologic process which should not be interfered with unless there is a medical indication. After completing midwifery training, Karin also trained as a women’s health nurse practitioner, believing that the additional education would better equip her to provide care to women across the entire age span: well woman checkups and care for women with common illnesses, in addition to partnering with women during pregnancies and births.

In addition to her professional experience, Karin brings plenty of personal experience to our birth center.  She has seven children, all home-schooled and the last two born at home.  These home birth experiences generated a passion for and a confidence in the safety of out of hospital birth.


Aimee Baxter


Aimee joined the staff at Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center in 2017. She has a passion for healthful pregnancy, natural birth and natural motherhood that first began with the pregnancy and birth of her oldest child.

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“Natural birth is possible, even when mom is fearful of the process (been there, done that!), and it’s so rewarding to watch a mom joyfully welcome her baby into her arms after the hard work of labor is done.”
— Aimee Baxter, RN

Supported by her husband, Aimee’s primary work is with her growing family, but she very much enjoys the hours she gets to spend at Bloomin’ Babies with our moms and babies. She shares call with our pool of on-call nurses, so our clients typically see her if they come in to have their babies during her on-call weekends. She considers it a privilege each time she has the opportunity to support our moms and assist our nurse midwives during births at the center.


  • Beth-El School of Nursing and Health Sciences, UCCS, Colorado Springs, Colorado Registered Nurse, 2004


Aimee joined us with a varied background of experiences- from a foundation of nursing at a community hospital in Southeast Alaska, to supporting pregnant and breastfeeding moms enrolled in WIC, to volunteering as the nurse at remote, summer Bible camps.

When supporting, caring for, and empathizing with our laboring moms, Aimee draws from the personal experiences she’s had in her seven births- in hospitals, at home, and in the birth center. She has found her out-of-hospital births to be safe and relaxed with fewer interventions and less stress, and with more time for uninterrupted bonding.


Additional Staff