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For Immediate Release
May 28, 2014

Contact: Damaris Hay
Email: [email protected]
Office: (240) 485-1856

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ACNM Members Are Honored for Outstanding Service to Midwifery and Women

Silver Spring, MD – The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) honored 3 midwives during the 59th Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Denver, CO. During the 2014 Awards Dinner, ACNM’s highest honors were announced to honor members of the College.

The Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, named in honor of ACNM’s first president and a pioneer of the profession, is ACNM’s most prestigious award and is given annually to an ACNM member who has been certified for at least 10 years and has made continuous outstanding and/or historically significant contributions to midwifery, ACNM, and/or maternal child health.

Judith S. Mercer, CNM, PhD, FACNM, is the 2014 recipient of the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award. An avid learner, Judith is a graduate from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing diploma program in 1962, the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1973, Columbia University School of Nursing where she obtained a MS and certificate in midwifery in 1974, and the Catholic University of America where she obtained her PhD in 1989. Judith has spent the last 40 years as a midwife – working in the name of midwifery while continuously focusing on the baby's perspective at birth. She began her career at Booth Maternity Center in Philadelphia where she worked as a clinician and educator followed by 15 years of teaching midwifery at Georgetown University- the last 10 of these years as program director. In addition to Georgetown, she has held academic appointments at University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is currently Professor Emerita at the University of Rhode Island and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Judith also holds an appointment as Research Scientist at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence RI. Always a committed member of ACNM, she has served on numerous committees for ACNM. Judith was inducted into the ACNM fellowship in 1994 and has received ACNM’s Faculty Excellence Award. She is currently one of the world’s leading researchers on delayed cord clamping. Judith has received 3 research grants from NIH for her study of the effects of delayed cord clamping on preterm and term infants. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and numerous other publications in addition to giving many presentations all over the world.

The Kitty Ernst Award, affectionately known as the “Young Whippersnapper Award,” is named after the College’s fourth and youngest president, and one of its most dynamic living legends. The Kitty Ernst Award was established in 1998 to honor an ACNM member who has been certified for less than 10 years and has demonstrated innovative, creative endeavors in clinical practice, education, administration, or research relating to midwifery and women’s health.

Kim Q. Dau, CNM, MS, is the 2014 recipient of the Kitty Ernst Award. A 2001 graduate of Duke University and 2007 graduate from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), Kim is known for her ability to put vision into action. Currently, Kim works as a midwife at San Francisco General Hospital, and as assistant clinical professor and midwifery education program director at the UCSF School of Nursing. Kim’s passion for addressing health disparities and fostering a diverse midwifery workforce are clearly apparent through the contribution of her time and talents to ACNM. As the inaugural chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce, Kim has worked with the leadership of ACNM to acquire and synthesize large amounts of information related to updating ACNM’s diversity goals and objectives for the future. With strong leadership skills, Kim has made her commitment to the College visible through chairing ACNM’s Student Committee, Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC) Health Disparities Subcommittee, and the Health Policy Committee of her ACNM region in Northern California. An effective communicator and listener, Kim is committed to all aspects of midwifery care – from advocacy work, for which she was recognized at last year’s ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Nashville, to ACNM student members, to the future of the midwifery profession.

With their most prestigious honor – the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award – the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. honors midwifery’s “unsung heroes” who have demonstrated pioneering vision and innovative leadership. Award winners are exceptional CNMs or certified midwives (CMs) who are members of ACNM, have been certified for at least 10 years, and have not previously received the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award.The Lang Award is aptlynamed for Dorothea M. Lang, CNM, MPH, FACNM – past-president of ACNM and the A.C.N.M. Foundation, whose visionary leadership has advanced the profession of midwifery in countless ways.

Laraine H. Guyette, CNM, PhD, FACNM, is the 2014 recipient of the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award. As one of the earliest midwives practicing in Colorado, Laraine has been able to promote and sustain midwifery starting in its early ‘fledgling’ stages through its growth in reputation and numbers of practitioners. Laraine has spent many years on the University of Colorado School of Nursing faculty, nurturing and training future CNMs. She has served in many ways throughout her career: as director of the University of Colorado Midwifery Education Program, a reservist in the US Army – retiring at the rank of colonel – as well as practicing in private practice midwifery and public health settings. Laraine continues to work at Denver Health Medical Center, providing care in the OB screening room. Laraine has also worked internationally in Peru with Project C.U.R.E. She has contributed to MCH policy for many years as a member of the Colorado Maternal Mortality Review Committee. Always politically active, Laraine has testified before the Colorado state legislature, advocated for revisions to the Nurse Practice Act and for prescriptive authority, admitting privileges, and safe practice standards for home birth.As an early practitioner of hydrotherapy for labor and birth, she performed research, wrote her dissertation, lectured, and gave poster presentations to document the scientific evidence regarding use of this approach for comfort during labor and birth. Laraine has been a longtime leader within both ACNM and the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc., truly committed to the accreditation process and to the Foundation’s Midwifery Legacies Project.


To learn more about ACNM and the award winners, or to receive a photo for press purposes, please contact Damaris Hay, ACNM Media Relations Specialist at (240) 485-1856 or via e-mail at [email protected].

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery. More information about ACNM can be found at

8403 Colesville Road, Ste. 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374 · Phone: (240) 485-1800 · Fax: (240) 485-1818 ·

The A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote excellence in health care for women, infants, and families worldwide through the support of midwifery. All donations to be tax deductible as allowed by law.

A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc., PO Box 380272, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02238-0272 · Phone (240) 485-1850 · Fax: (617) 876-5822 ·


American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
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