Region IV Update (Jul-Dec 2020)

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It has been a whirlwind six months! In spite of COVID, we all continue to get the work done. I am so proud of all of you for pushing through, staying motivated, and remaining ‘present’ in whatever way you can. Don’t forget your self-care – you need to midwife yourselves, too.

This past year has been busy. I’ve been in Board meetings, DAAS meetings, Listening sessions, Affiliate meetings, Inclusion conferences, and various webinars and conference calls. We continue our anti-racism work in many formats, plus our legislative and support work nationally. We also have an excellent Annual Meeting planned in 2021, with the virtual option making it even more accessible for all to attend.

In region IV, our members have also been active. I attended many state meetings, and appreciate all the hard work you are doing. Thank you for inviting me!

Arkansas has submitted a Full Practice Authority bill, HB 1215. They have legislative support and a recognized need in their state, so hopefully they will be successful. Their small affiliate has done a tremendous amount of work gathering data and getting good draft legislation. Good luck and well done!

Illinois is continuing to have success with midwifery! Keep up the good work, midwives! Your clients are blessed to have you.

Indiana has a birth center celebrating its second year, its fifth midwife, and doubled birth numbers; PLUS, another birth center celebrating its tenth anniversary and has a cesarean rate of less than 2% — WOW. The affiliate is working with the state APRN organization to improve practice environment and educate about scope of practice; they are also engaged in a statewide effort to reduce congenital syphilis. It is so good to see our state ACNM leadership recognized and involved in these collaborative efforts. Plus, the affiliate is advertising on “Call the Midwife”!

Kentucky has CNMs at both major university health systems, plus other practices. They are striving to ‘seed the state’ with OBs who are ‘raised’ to understand and support collaborative practice. The state has legislation to make birth centers easier (HB92) and to remove the collaborative agreement for APRNs (SB78).

Michigan has a CNM who has a new patent for a device for pap collection and cervical exams (more info to come – how exciting!). The affiliate is working with various groups to consider further scope of practice and birth center legislation.COVID seems to be settling down, the politics are less acrimonious, and life is getting back to normal; most sites allow support people for birth again.

Missouri has bills submitted for getting a license instead of a Document of Recognition, to eliminate barriers to practice and eliminate practice agreements.

Ohio, together with the state’s APRN group, supported a bill (HB 177) to remove some barriers to care; unfortunately, it will need to be reintroduced this session. On a happier note, one practice at the Cleveland Clinic has grown from 12 to 24 midwives over the past year – during COVID! Congratulations!!

Thank you, my Region IV midwives, for allowing me to represent you to the ACNM Board of Directors.