Passing of Barbara Hughes, CNM, FACNM


In the early morning of July 3rd, Barbara Hughes, CNM, FACNM died peacefully in her home. She was surrounded with love by those near and far.

Barbara was a midwifery pioneer in Colorado, graduating from University of Colorado’s midwifery program in the early years and continuing her education with an MBA a decade later. She worked at the university for nearly ten years, teaching and eventually serving as the Director of Midwifery Practice.

Barbara continued to mentor and support generations of midwives throughout her career. She founded three midwifery practices in the Denver area, building strong, resilient teams that exemplified excellence in care. Using her unique skill set, she amplified the voices of nurse-midwives in the boardrooms of healthcare.

Always generous in the support of others, Barbara became a consultant. She was driven by the belief that every woman deserves a midwife and that midwives deserve to thrive. She used her expertise with Emotional Intelligence and Strengths Based Leadership to tirelessly promote midwifery from New York to California.

Barbara has been recognized by the College as a Fellow and recipient of the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award. She has served ACNM in many roles over the years, from local chapter head to most recently the chair of the national Leadership Development Committee.

How does one sum up a life, by a list of accomplishments? Barbara certainly had many. Rather, let’s consider the lives illuminated through her work and friendship. Barbara was an exceptional leader who saw strengths in others, and more importantly helped us to see strengths in ourselves. Her brilliant light shines on in all of us whose lives she touched.

Written by Jennifer Fields, CNM, MS

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made in Barbara’s memory to the March of Dimes.

Barbara’s memorial service will be streamed on Facebook at this link on Saturday, June 25, at 10:30 AM MDT.