Meet Mary: CWHC Nurse Practitioner

Posted on November 4

Meet Mary Bowman, CWHC's newest Nurse Practitioner who brings both chainsaw skills and a critical analysis of health care to CWHC's Clinical Services and Primary Care clients.

Mary E Update Image

Q: What drew you to be part of CWHC, as one of our first-ever Nurse Practitioners?
A. Prior to embarking on my nursing career, I was a CWHC client and experienced the amazing level of respect and compassion which characterizes our care here. When I chose to pursue nursing, CWHC remained my pinnacle example of the ideal care setting and care model. Feminist, trans-friendly, sex-positive, education-predominant care is unfortunately a rarity in our health system, and so CWHC stands out as a revolutionary safe space which jives with my politics and philosophy of care.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a CWHC Nurse Practitioner?
A: The work environment is unparalleled. To be able to participate so fully in the direction of the organization, the creation of policies and programs, and to come to work each day excited to engage with my colleagues to continue our project of revolutionary feminist health care is a dream come true.

Q: What is the most challenging part of being a CWHC Nurse Practitioner?
A: Capitalism, but that’s not unique to CWHC. Our model definitely takes some of capitalism’s teeth out of our clients’ care, but it still pervades referrals to specialists, expensive lab testing and prescription medications. The part CWHC plays in making health care more accessible is sizable, but we’ll have to defang the entire for-profit health system to really give folks a chance to heal and live healthily.

Q. What are you hoping to see happen with CWHC’s Primary Care Programming and Services?
A: I’m already seeing CWHC Primary Care expanding the circles of safety, compassion and self-care for our clients by expanding accessible, comprehensive care. I hope to see that continue!

Q: Tell us one interesting fact about you.
A: I worked on a chainsaw crew in the San Andres Mountains in southern New Mexico before my nursing program began.

Q: Who is your feminist shero? Why?
A: Audre Lorde has been a very significant scholar and poet for me. I always return to the essays in Sister Outsider when I need clarification or insight into how to continue engaging in the struggle. Before entering health care, I studied writing and wrote poetry, so her dual status as a poet and a Black feminist theorist (not to mention her myriad of other identities & contributions to our movement) has strongly resonated with my own experience of the overlap of art and activism.