NEWLY INDUCTED AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NURSE-MIDWIVES PRESIDENT PLEDGES FOCUS ON REDUCING MATERNAL MORTALITY AND TACKLING ALARMING HEALTH DISPARITIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This leadership will be responsible for establishing and carrying out the goals and objectives of ACNM. Among those goals will to be to continue to bring attention to the shockingly high rates of maternal mortality in the United States and the impact that nurse-midwives can have in addressing this growing health care problem. While studies show that nurse-midwives can have great impact in addressing maternal mortality and filling the gaps in maternal health care available to rural and underserved populations, legislative barriers in many states limit patient access to nurse-midwives.
“Our country is facing a maternal health crisis that is garnering national attention,” Stone said during her address at the ACNM annual meeting. “The maternal mortality rate continues to rise as well as the number of cases of severe morbidity. It is abhorrent that this is most evident for women of color, especially for black women, who experience these poor outcomes at three to four times the rate of white women. These disparities are disgraceful and unacceptable. As midwives, we need to carry the banner of change and become its forceful catalyst at all levels. Our women and families are relying on us.”
About 10 percent of US births involve midwives, far behind other industrialized countries, where midwives participate in half or more of all deliveries. Each state has its own laws and regulations regarding midwives’ licensure, their ability to provide services in different settings, their authority to prescribe medication, their access to hospital privileges, and the rates at which they are reimbursed through Medicaid.
“To make the necessary changes, we need to not just be present, but leading in all venues where decisions are being made,” said Stone, who also serves as the President of Frontier Nursing University. “We must be participating in legislative agenda and mortality/morbidity review committees, and planning and constructing the health care systems of the future. Midwives must be central in the decision making process. We are the experts at helping women become healthy and remain healthy. We are the teachers, the care providers, and the advocates who can change this picture. Together, with our present students and future graduates, we can make a difference.
“My priorities as President will be to position midwives as leaders in national discussions regarding maternity care and our health care systems, ensure positive collaboration among midwives and maternity care providers, and to increase the number and diversity of our midwifery workforce.”
Stone’s initiatives will be supported by the leadership at ACNM, which also welcomed the following newly inducted officers to its Board of Directors:
Bridget Howard, CNM, MSN was inducted as ACNM Secretary. Howard is an Adjunct Faculty member at the Midwifery Institute at Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Additionally, she is a Certified Nurse-Midwife at the Perinatal Evaluation Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Bridget has been Chair of the ACNM Midwives of Color Committee as well as a committee member. She has also served as Secretary of The A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. She succeeds Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN.
Jeanne Murphy, CNM, PhD, FACNM was inducted as Region II Representative. Murphy is an Assistant Professor at George Washington University School of Nursing as well as a Certified Nurse-Midwife at the University of Maryland, St. Joseph Medical Center. Murphy is Secretary of the Maryland Affiliate and is a member of the ACNM Public Health Caucus, the Division of Standards & Practice, the Research Committee, and the Program Committee. She succeeds Mairi Rothman, CNM, MSN, FACNM.
Elois Edge, CNM, CLC, MSN was inducted as Region III Representative. Edge is a preceptor at Frontier Nursing University, a certified nurse-midwife at the Albany Area Primary Health Care in Albany, GA, and is actively engaged in teaching family medicine residents and midwifery students. She has been a member of the ACNM for 20 years. Edge succeeds Jennifer Foster, PhD, CNM, MPH.
Ann Forster Page, DNP, CNM, ARRN, FACNM was inducted as Region V Representative. Forster Page is the Nurse-Midwife Director at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. She is also an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, in the Nurse-Midwifery DNP Program. Forster Page has served as the Co-chair of the Minnesota Affiliate. She succeeds Lynne Himmelreich, ARNP, CNM, MPH, FACNM.
Kira Schultz of Marquette University was named new Student Representative to the ACNM Board. Kira will join our Board for a one-year term, succeeding Lillian Medhus of Georgetown.
Two new members are also joining the ACNM Nominating Committee and will serve three-year terms. They are Terri Patrice Clark, PhD, MSN, MA, CNM, RN, FACNM and Celina del Carmen Cunanan, CNM, MSN.
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. ACNM promotes excellence in midwifery education, clinical practice, and research. With roots dating to 1929, our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM provides research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, establishes clinical practice standards, and creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress to increase the visibility and recognition of midwifery care.