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Cathy Collins-Fulea, CNM, MSN, FACNM

Candidate for Vice President

Read Cathy Collins-Fulea's CV here

Question: What are the top priorities for ACNM? Explain why these are the top priorities and how you anticipate addressing them within the prospective position you are seeking with ACNM.

Answer: Top priorities for ACNM include promotion of normal birth, marketing midwifery to consumers, legislative advocacy, collaboration with other organizations, and membership growth.

Promotion of normal birth is at the heart of our vision to advance the health and well-being of women and newborns. As the experts in normal birth, we must lead a cultural change back to an acceptance that most births are normal and do not need the interventions that are now viewed as standard care. Every woman deserves the advantages of evidenced-based care. As Vice President, I will continue to advocate for implementation of the Normal Birth Task Force recommendations and I will find opportunities to present to decision makers like the American Hospital Association, the American Health Insurance Plans, and legislators.

Women in the US still do not understand midwifery or know that it is an option for their care. The Our Moment of Truth campaign is aimed directly at educating women about midwifery care, and as Vice President I will continue to use the campaign’s materials to promote normal birth. Once we change the mind set of women, they will seek out midwifery care in increasing numbers until we become the provider of choice for normal healthy women.

To achieve this, we must ensure that laws and regulations support the independent practice of midwifery. ACNM must be present when policy for maternity care is set at the federal, state, and local level to amplify women’s voices on health issues and to advocate for legislation that will protect the practice of midwifery. I will ensure that we are at the table where and when decisions are made.

To be successful in our mission, we also need to combine our voice with other organizations – namely ACOG, the US MERA groups, and AWHONN. Over the last 2 years we have grown our relationship with ACOG into one of mutual respect and trust. We are welcomed at their district and state meetings and are developing resources to help members of both our organizations build successful collaborative practices. The US MERA groups have all made monumental shifts in their understanding of each other, enabling us to let go of the past and build a future for midwifery in the US that will be consistent with international standards. I have been intimately involved with both of these groups and will continue this work, building bridges between organizations that provide care to women and partnering on the issues where we have agreement.

In order to be able to accomplish all this we need to grow our membership. This includes increasing the number of midwives we graduate as well as bringing in practicing midwives who are not currently members. As Vice President I will devote time to understanding the needs of our students as well as providing value to our members.

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