Midwifery dates to biblical days and many are not aware of its existence nor the special care that midwives provide. The art and science of midwifery are characterized by several hallmarks: incorporation of scientific evidence into clinical practice, health promotion, disease prevention, health education, promotion of a public health care perspective, and collaboration with other members of the interprofessional health care team (American College of Nurse-Midwives, 2019). Region III Affiliates seek to share this gem of midwifery in many ways, and in our update, we will highlight a few of our efforts: to build foundations, to expand midwifery education, to increase access to midwives, and to tackle legislative challenges.
Build the Foundation: Jessica Brimley, CNM, FACNM, PhD and the Florida Affiliate are reaching out to Florida student midwives interested in being nominated for the Students LEAD (Lead, Engage, Ascend, Deliver) program, a leadership development program designed for student midwives and facilitated by ACNM. Katie Woeber, PhD, CNM, MPH and the Georgia Affiliate adopted two new student interns and a student emergency fund to support initiatives involving students.
Expand Midwifery Education: Barbara Davenport, CNM and the South Carolina Affiliate report that the South Carolina Education Task Force met with leaders at Clemson Nursing to review their proposal to develop a graduate midwifery program in their state. In addition, the South Carolina Affiliate sponsored and coordinated a successful Tristate Conference (South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia) entitled “Innovation and Prevention: Midwifery Strong” in Hilton Head. The Georgia Affiliate provided members with contact hours on the topics of “Human Trafficking: Knowledge for CNMs” and “Legislative Talking Points: CNM Care, the Triple Aim, and the Removal of Practice Restrictions.”
Increase Access to Midwives: Margaret Taylor, CNM, DNP and the Tennessee Affiliate announce that the Governor of Tennessee issued an executive order in response to the national emergency of COVID-19 that gives APRNs full practice authority. In addition, the order includes the need for insurance providers to cover medically necessary telemedicine visits.
Tackle Legislative Challenges: Shannon Pfingstag, CNM and the Louisiana Affiliate report continual work with LANP (Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners) on state legislative issues and organized member visits to their state legislators to educate them about CNMs. The Tennessee Affiliate is plowing ahead with the Tennessee SB 2210/HB 2203 legislation to pursue full practice authority. The Georgia Affiliate testified before the state legislature’s Maternal Mortality Study Committee about CNM practice and how it reduces maternal mortality.
The hallmarks of midwifery yet shine from biblical times to current times.