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Examining Personal Racial Bias, Celebrating Successes

“When someone denies that I am the target of racism, it is almost more hurtful than the person who did it.” — a midwife colleague

Our colleagues endure racism every day. This foolishness would wear on anyone; it is hurtful, can make people feel embarrassed, and can turn students and midwives away from being care providers. Thank you for being a safe space for colleagues to share stories about the racism they endure, for believing, and for validating these experiences. Furthermore, thank you to all midwives for your ongoing leadership examining personal racial bias and working to dismantle systemic racism.

The University of Vermont (UVM) Midwifery Service celebrated their 50th Anniversary this year during National Midwifery Week. One of the oldest hospitals and university teaching hospital practices in the country, its midwives have cared for more than 13,000 births during the past 50 years. In 2017, they were involved in 19.5% of all the births at UVM Medical Center. In 2017, when combined with the deliveries of our community CNMs, midwives delivered 28% of the babies at the University of Vermont Medical Center!

In Christiansted, St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands, Shannan Calhoon, CNM continues to provide midwifery care despite low resources and difficult access. More than a year after the 2017 hurricanes, they are still waiting for modular ORs. A “new” temporary hospital is slated to be up and running by the summer 2019. Shannan recently shared the photo shown here in a brochure about midwives of St. Croix dating from 1848–1908. Widowed women on St. Croix were sent to Denmark to be trained as midwives.

The Connecticut Affiliate hosted an energizing Advocacy Day with their Fall Affiliate Business Meeting this past September, and members feel rejuvenated to tackle equal reimbursement for the spring legislative session. Polly Moran, CNM was celebrated for her service as outgoing affiliate president, and Kristin Nowak, CNM, MPH and Kristen Becker-Talwalkar, CNM are taking over as affiliate co-presidents. Karen McGee, CNM coordinated the Retired Midwives Lunch in October at the Yale School of Nursing, exploring the topic: What can we do as “retired” midwives to help our profession? Finally, a hearty congratulations to Jenna LoGiudice, CNM, PhD celebrating the one-year anniversary of her DNP midwifery program at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut!

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