Women's Health Specialist

Hope Wellness Center & Spa

Maria Jefferson-Walker, DNPc, APN, FNP-BC

Family Nurse Practitioner located in Beverly, Chicago, IL

Having a trusted women’s health care practitioner who understands your concerns at every stage of life can make a difference in your overall health and well-being. Maria Jefferson-Walker, DNPc, APN, FNP-BC, owner of Hope Wellness Center & Spa in Chicago, is a nurse practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in medical practice who understands the unique health concerns of her female patients. She offers women of all ages in the Beverly, Chicago area comprehensive women’s exams, testing, and preventive care in a compassionate environment. Call the office or schedule a consultation using the online booking tool.

Women's Health Q&A

How is women’s health different?

While some health concerns are unique to women, other conditions can happen to anyone, but they affect women differently, and therefore require a different course of treatment. Women’s health refers specifically to the preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment of health concerns and conditions that uniquely affect women throughout the stages of their lives. Women’s health care includes some common issues such as:

  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Birth control
  • Pregnancy test
  • Menopause
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Migraines
  • Urinary incontinence


At Hope Wellness Center & Spa, Maria offers screenings, including Pap smears and testing for STDs and a variety of other conditions and diseases that affect women. She takes a comprehensive approach to health care, and treats you as a whole person, with concern for your physical and emotional well-being.

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is part of a routine gynecological pelvic exam that checks for cervical cancer or any abnormalities in the cells from your cervix. During the test, Maria removes some cells from the opening of your cervix so they can be examined under a microscope for any signs of disease. For women over 30, the Pap test may also screen for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that is linked to certain types of cervical cancers.

What types of STD testing are offered?

If you’ve had sexual contact with others, you should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, especially since quite a few STDs have no obvious symptoms. Many STDs are easily treated with medications, so early detection is key. If you do have symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Symptoms of STDs may include any of the following:

  • Bumps or sores around your genitals
  • Burning, itching, and irritation in your genitals
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches, and swollen glands
  • Discharge from your vagina
  • Increased urination frequency


To avoid further complications to your body or spreading the STD to sexual partners, it’s a good idea to get tested as soon as you notice any symptoms.

What birth control options are available?

There are many ways to prevent pregnancy, and some birth control methods offer long-term prevention, while others are more temporary. If you’d like to explore birth control options and discuss the various methods, Maria answers your questions to help you choose what’s right for you and your lifestyle.


Maria is caring, compassionate, and open-minded about your individual needs, and she creates treatment plans and preventive methods that work for you. For all of your women’s health care concerns, call the office or schedule a consultation using the online system.