by Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM, ACNM President
I spent a few days last week in Silver Spring, MD, working at
the ACNM national office.
On my first day Jesse Bushman, ACNM director of advocacy and
government affairs, led the monthly all-staff meeting. I was excited to observe
the diversity and inclusivity within our staff; young association staffers
comfortably engaged with more seasoned leaders in candid discussions that
encompassed various viewpoints. The camaraderie, caring, and team support was
palpable. I also noted that many staff members regularly keep extended work
hours, dedicated to advancing the priorities, mission, and vision of ACNM.
Thank you−to ALL members of the ACNM staff!
The next day, ACNM hosted members
of ACOG’s leadership for a discussion of shared interests to advance the health
of women and infants. Dr. Hal Lawrence, ACOG Executive Vice President and Dr.
Jeanne Conry, ACOG President, as well as 2 other ACOG senior staff members
joined a delegation from ACNM to explore initiatives with potential for collaboration.
Both groups emphasized the mutually-agreed need for future focus on interprofessional
education and collaboration initiatives, between our associations and our
members alike. Progress is only possible with collaboration and cooperation. We
were excited to share ACNM’s vision with our ACOG friends.
My last day involved working with
staff member Damaris Hay, ACNM media relations, social media, & marketing specialist,
to try a new form of media outreach. I was asked to hold a live, one-hour
Twitter chat on the topic of midwifery and the Affordable Care Act. My initial reply
was “sure;” however, my knowledge of Twitter was sorely lacking. After some
evening homework, I set up a Twitter account in preparation and can now be
followed at the handle @gingerbreedlove.
My goal on Twitter is to monitor, comment about, and disseminate, with Damaris’
help, information related to childbirth and women’s health through the
lifespan. Fortifying ACNM’s online presence by connecting on social media is
increasingly important if we want to reach our target audiences in relevant ways:
we know from many surveys, including Listening
to Mothers III, that every week “nearly two-thirds (64%) of pregnant women
access online information from a smartphone…and
82% go online from a computer.” We should all work toward improving our social
media literacy, and participate on the platforms that make the most sense for
our individual purposes. I am excited use Twitter to engage with many of
our midwifery colleagues worldwide, follow other organizations with similar
missions, and talk to women interested in midwife-led care.
I want to encourage our members and
students to reach out to your ACNM affiliate officers, region representatives, or
ACNM staff whenever you have a
question. Your concerns are important, and we extend our sincerest desire to
help. And, if you are ever in the Washington, DC metro area, consider stopping
by the ACNM office at 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1500, Silver Spring, MD, to get
to know your ACNM staff and thank them for their work on behalf of our