by Kathryn Kravetz Carr, CNM; Brielle Stoyke, CNM; and Jeni Poell, CNM
Advocacy month is not just for August anymore! For years, members of the ACNM Government Affairs Committee have encouraged their fellow midwives to capitalize on the opportunity to meet with legislators from Washington, DC, during the August Recess while members of congress are in their home districts and more accessible to busy midwives. This year, Karol Krakauer, CNM, was able to enjoy an August Advocacy Month visit from her congressman in November. After much persistence, Krakauer's congressman, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), toured her health center and met with staff and clients. This experience opened Gardner's eyes to the world of midwifery and augmented a mutually valuable relationship between local midwives and the congressman—read more about their visit on page 35 of the latest issue of Quickening! Brielle Stoyke, CNM, of Saint Paul, MN, and Jeni Poell, CNM, of Chicago also have exciting advocacy stories.
Along with the executive director (ED) of her federally qualified health center, Poell attended an event where Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) received an award for his support of community health centers. She writes, “It was a very small group of people from community health centers around the city, mostly CEOs, CMOs, and a few clinicians. When the congressman walked in for the event, I was standing at the door anticipating his arrival. I introduced myself and got a few words in edgewise about midwives. I asked him to come visit Alivio, our health center.Then our ED ran up to get a few words in too. Within a couple of minutes, [Davis] had many others around him and private conversation was more difficult, so I was glad I took the chance when I had it.”
Stoyke gave a tour of her hospital especially for a young staff member from Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) office. During the tour, Stoyke “asked one of the nurses to speak about what she thought about midwives. It turns out that this was a great tactic and increased our credibility as providers and strengthened the relationship between nurses and midwives.”
Reaching out to legislators doesn’t have to be intimidating—see more tips on how to find them and schedule a visit! And make sure you and your supporters receive ACNM's Federal Policy Action Alerts. Sign up at http://capwiz.com/acnm/mlm/signup/. Capwiz Action Alerts are sparsely but strategically timed to make the biggest impact for our collective effort and are critical to advancing ACNM's legislative agenda and maintaining relationships with members of congress and their staff.